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Advice on How to Ask for a Raise

Apr 27, 2008
Yes, you have been working for a while at your current job. Yes, you have been working hard. Yes, you have made some definite positive changes for the company. Now it is time for you to make some more money. But the question is, why won't the boss give it to me? The answer is simple, they are already getting great work out of you, why should they pay you more? Also, if they pay you more, then that means they will make less in profit. I know when you read this that you are thinking your employer either doesn't think this way, or if they do that it is very evil, but at the end of the day, it's just business.

All businesses are in it for the money. They all want to sell as much of their product or service as possible, while spending as little as possible in materials, labor, intellectual property, etc. So, how to ask for a raise? Well let me give you a few pointers to motivate your employer to upping your dollars:

1. Understand that the company is in business to make money, not to pay you.
This is critical to having the right approach when you walk into the boss' office.

2. Schedule a time with your boss to discuss your compensation.
I know this seems like a 'duh' thing, but really, how long have you wanted a raise, but not done anything to push the matter? You can't receive anything, if you don't ask for it. Being proactive will get you a lot further, a lot faster.

3. Make sure to stay very professional, and keep a low tone of voice when speaking to your boss.
Facts are a lot more important than opinions. If you can show your boss evidence of being underpaid, and not be offensive when presenting your case, you are much more likely to obtain the raise you are wanting.

4. Instead of protesting how hard you've worked, how you are always on time, and very reliable while at work, focus on the benefits the company receives by employing you.
Explain to the boss how you have helped to increase sales, or how you have worked to lower the company's costs in particular areas. If you are in customer service, explain how you have worked to appease your customers, and note any repeat business the company has received from those customers. If you are in administration or a technical area, explain how much time you were able to save other employees by the systems you have put into place. If you have saved those employees a lot of time, they are able to do more, and the company will not have to hire additional people, i.e. you are saving the company money.

5. Do some market research on average salaries for comparable jobs in your area.
Monster's Salary Wizard is a good place to start. If you find that you are being paid considerably lower than your peers, this is good ammunition to bring to your boss' attention.

6. Finally, the best way to get a raise from your current employer is to get another job.
In my own experience this is the best way to apply enough pressure to get the raise you deserve. If you go out there and find another job that pays more, then go to your boss and tell them you have another offer on the table that you are considering, they will be much more likely to negotiate with you. Fear of loss is one of the best sales tactics. And make no mistake, when you ask for a raise, you are a salesman, you are selling yourself to your boss. The great thing is, if your current boss says no to the raise, then you can take the other job.

Don't be deceived by tenure, or other baloney things that employers may put out there. You don't have to wait for an annual review to get a raise. But make sure that if you are asking for a raise, that you have some very solid evidence of why you deserve a raise. Asking for a raise is a delicate issue, however, with a calm and knowledgeable approach backed with industry and local facts, you will put yourself in the best position for getting that raise.
About the Author
Get more great finance and investing tips at Jeffry Evans' personal finance blog. How to Ask for a Raise is just one of many great articles you will find at Personal Finance Resources.
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