Feeling overworked and underpaid? If you're starting to feel
like you deserve a raise, here are eight DO's and DON'Ts to build
your confidence and tact (and what to avoid!) in asking for the
salary you feel you deserve.
1. Devise a "Plan of Action". First and foremost, get a strategy
together. Make a note of the specific projects you've undertaken
and the results you've accomplished. List all of your job skills
and the features that make you an asset to this company. Find
out what a typical raise is for someone with your experience in
your area of occupation. Know the facts and be realistic in your
2. Ask for an amount that's slightly higher than one you would be
happy with. If you would be happy with a 5% raise, ask for one a
couple of points above it. That way, if your boss starts to
negotiate, you won't feel as if your worth has been diluted any
by getting less than what you feel you deserve.
3. Remember, your boss shouldn't be the only one negotiating. If
your company is going through a slow period or the economy is
down, try to be flexible and know how to respond if your boss
suggests a lower amount than what you may have been expecting.
Consider other ways of getting a raise too, such as additional
vacation time, employee perks or more time off. All of these can
be just as good (if not better!) than an actual amount of money.
4. Choose a specific day and time to meet with your supervisor
about your raise request. Avoid choosing a Monday or Friday when
bosses are at their busiest. Studies have actually shown that
people are more receptive on a Tuesday or Wednesday after lunch.
That way, they're not thinking about the weekend or their
stomachs while you're getting up the nerve to ask about a raise!
If you're afraid of being interrupted during your request, ask to
speak to your supervisor for a few minutes after hours.
1. Raise your tone of voice if your boss objects to your raise at
first. Remember, he or she is paying you to do a certain job,
and you're asking for more money to do the same job. Be
professional and polite at all times, and listen more than
demand. Chances are, if your supervisor doesn't award you a
raise, they might hint at what could else could be done to earn
it. If they don't, don't be afraid to ask what steps would be
necessary to "prove yourself".
2. Threaten with quitting if you don't get the raise or telling
your boss you have another job offer unless you actually do. He
may just call your bluff and let you go!
3. Stumble or beat around the bush with your request. Be
straightforward and confident. You are a valuable member of a
team and the supervisor hired you because they obviously thought
you were the best qualified. If you have "Thank You" notes from
customers or letters from the company praising you for a job well
done, bring those to your meeting as well, as they'll help to
cement your request and remind your supervisor of your role
within the company and its progress.
4. Compare yourself to, or talk negatively about your coworkers
or others in a position higher than you. You may think that this
will put you in a positive light when it comes to a promotion or
a raise, but to your boss, it shows that if you have a poor
attitude toward your colleagues, you'll keep the same poor
attitude if you are promoted.
Remember, be confident, professional and tactful. If the boss
says "no" or wants to "think about it", open his mind to further
consideration by volunteering to do more at the office. Stay an
extra hour or help another team on a critical project. This
demonstrates that you're willing to "tow the mark" rather than
giving your boss the impression of "gimme the money first and
THEN I'll work". Best of luck!
Roger Clark is senior editor at Rogers Resume Help Center where you can get free sample resumes, cover letters and job interview tips - http://www.rogers-resume-help-center.com/.