Have you made your 2020 financial resolutions? Is increasing your savings or getting rid of debt on the list? One way to get more money flowing to your financial goals is to ask for a raise.
In previous blog posts we wrote about the two primary paths to securing more money: increase your income or reduce your expenses.
The side hustle or gig economy is thriving and there are many legitimate ways to make extra money. It has become a mainstream strategy for thousands of Americans. You keep your regular job and, in the evening or over the weekend you join the gig economy. It’s a great way to bring in the extra money you need to meet your financial goals.
But maybe you like your off time. Taking on a side hustle means more hours of work time. Therefore, this may not be the strategy for you.
You could look for a new job, but maybe you love the job you have. You just need a better salary. Knowing how to ask for a raise is critical if you are to be successful in getting the salary you deserve.
Paring down your spending can also give you more money for savings and getting rid of debt. Budgeting and tracking your money are key to achieving this objective.
But maybe you’ve already gotten rid of all the unnecessary spending and you still fall short. You want to get out of that paycheck to paycheck existence.
Increasing your income is the only other option.
And one way to increase your income is to ask for a raise.
How do you Ask for a Raise?
Don’t Be Intimidated
Asking for a raise is normal and expected. Some of us work in offices where raises are automatic, but they are rarely as much as we would like. Exercising a bit of grit and confidence in yourself are admirable qualities. If you haven’t received a raise in a long time, or the raises are cost-of-living only, it might be time to go in and ask for a raise.
Pick the Right Time
If your company is going through a major PR or financial crisis or a product fail, this would not be the time to ask for a raise. You want to pick a time when conditions are favorable. Check the mood of your manager, if he or she is stressed or short on time, wait before asking for a meeting to discuss a raise.
Do you have a regularly scheduled performance review? This is a great time to bring up a raise in your salary. Or if you just finished a big project (with great results for the company), this is an excellent time to talk about increasing your salary.
Schedule in Advance
You don’t want to simply pop into your supervisor’s office and start talking about wanting a raise. Schedule the meeting in advance. If gives time for your manager to be prepared for you and you have the time to prepare yourself.
Do Your Homework Before You Ask for a Raise
Sallie Krawcheck says, “You have to be working on this all year round. Don’t go in cold asking for a raise.”
Here are two facts you want to pull together in advance of your meeting:
- What have you contributed to the company?
- What is your position worth in the marketplace?
How do you Start the Conversation?
Once you’ve prepared, picked the optimum time and know your worth, how do you verbalize your request for a raise?
- Begin with gratitude and enthusiasm.
- Get to the point quickly and be specific. You don’t need to create a powerpoint presentation.
- Maintain a positive and encouraging attitude as you explain why you wanted to meet.
- Be pleasant, not demanding or confrontational. And speak with patience.
- Pause in between your words to assess how you are being received. You can make pivots along the way if necessary.
Keep the conversation focused on your contributions to the company and not on your financial situation. Yes, you really need that raise in order to pay off debt or start saving for retirement and emergencies. But keep those issues to yourself.
Have a number in mind when you go into the meeting, but don’t state it. There might be an opportunity for negotiation.
And if the answer is No?
Your manager may answer that now is not the time. Or they might say they will think about it. The important thing is to remain positive regardless of the outcome.
If your manager says maybe or that they need to think about it, set a time when you can return to follow up.
If the answer is no, ask for a reason, in a positive and nonconfrontational way. The reasons could be simple things that you can easily repair.
You may learn that there is no way to earn the salary you want in your current job. This could mean that it’s time to move on.