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When is the right time to ask your boss for a raise?
If you've been at a company for a while, you've probably taken on more responsibilities than the job description originally entailed. As a veteran employee, you may have made significant contributions to the business, both in regards to client satisfaction and revenue. If you haven't received a raise since you've been with your employer, it's probably time you received one. But how do you know when and how to ask?
"40% of professionals say the best time to ask for a raise is during performance reviews."
According to a recent ProOpinion survey, 40 percent of business professionals said that the best time to ask for a pay increase is during performance reviews. Another 28 percent responded with when the company is doing well financially. You'll have to take the time to determine when and how to best communicate with your boss about a raise.
When should you ask for a raise?
Asking for a pay increase is not a conversation that should happen on a whim. Preparation takes time, and the company can't always work raises into its financial plan. You'll need to strategically schedule a meeting with your boss. Performance reviews may be a good time. However, this is when competition is high, Time magazine explained. If you wait until reviews, you may be passed over in favor of another employee. Even if your employer is willing to give you a raise during your evaluation, it may be harder to do at that time, as the budget could already be decided.
The best time to ask for a higher salary is when your work tasks change, according to Harvard Business Review contributor Carolyn O'Hara. Did you just complete a large project that will bring in positive reviews? Are you about to take on more responsibilities? You want to show that you deserve more money, and that comes when you've made a difference in the business.
"If you've just created a whole bunch of value for your company, it's a great time to say, 'Can we share that value?'" Kathleen McGinn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, told Harvard Business Review.
Of course, there is more to timing that comes into play than just the time of the year. You also need to consider your supervisor's schedule throughout the week, The Daily Telegraph recommended. Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are the worst times, as people are getting organized on Mondays and may not have the ability to focus as much as needed on Fridays. You should also avoid any times where your manager has an important meeting right before or after yours. This could cut into your time or he or she may be more concerned about preparing for the other conference.
How do you ask for more money?
Now that you've determined when you're going to ask, you need to decide how to ask. The most important part of asking for a raise is preparation. If you can't successfully make your case, you aren't going to be receiving more money when you ask. This will help you both organize your thoughts and collect evidence to support your presentation, Harvard Business Review explained. Pull together information about what projects you've worked on, how they benefited the company, customer feedback and reviews from your other supervisors. You should also gather details about other company and industry trends in salaries so you can offer a comparison while you make your case.
Collecting all the necessary information is only the first step. Now you need to practice your argument. If you go in without knowing what you're going to say, you'll stumble your way through your speech, and that won't get you anywhere. Instead, look over all the documents and create a script for yourself, Harvard Business Review recommended. Figure out what you're going to say and then practice, whether that's with someone else, the mirror or a voice recorder. Make sure you remain calm and use an assertive, but not an aggressive tone. Don't forget to practice your facial expressions, hand gestures and posture, as all of these can hurt your case if you don't come across as confident or collected.
When you feel you've prepared enough, schedule a meeting with your supervisor. The Daily Telegraph suggested having the conversation on neutral territory. You want both of you to be comfortable, so step away from your desks and meet up in a conference room or local coffee shop. If neither have you have the advantage over the other, you'll be more likely to listen to one another and treat each other as equals. Then present your case as confidently and calmly as possible and, when you're done, give your boss time to respond.
While the ideal outcome would be a raise, it may not be the answer you receive. Your supervisor may turn down your request, but that doesn't mean it's a permanent response. Ask for feedback on areas you can improve on to get a pay increase next time. It may also be a matter of timing, TIME explained. If that's the case, check when would be a better time or ask if there are other benefits, such as work flexibility or bonuses, you may get in lieu of a higher salary.
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