If you want an increase or a promotion you have to take it upon yourself and stop waiting for someone to notice you. What is surprising is how many hard-working people are getting paid a lot less than they are worth. To date I have not met 1 person that is comfortable with asking to get paid more, this falls outside most people’s comfort zone. Ironically, the people you will find asking for money and sometimes even demanding it are people that do not work for it, i.e. the gentleman or lady you see every morning at the traffic light on your way to work.
I do however give those people props for diligently waking up before all of us and for their persistence. I know how controversial this example is and I place no judgment on anyone because how can I if I’ve never walked a day in their shoes right. My point is if someone who has not earned your cash can ask you for it, why can’t you ask for money you’ve earned!
Below are a few tips I’ve put together to help you ask for a salary increase.
1. Know your worth
Firstly, it is important to know what your role in the company is worth, know how much your skill is worth in the job market and if the company you are working for can afford to pay such a salary.
2. Don’t focus on why you need it, focus on why you deserve it
Playing the sympathy card when you are struggling to make ends meet even though you work so hard is not going to get you the desired results. It is a victim mentality that management might not appreciate. Also, remember you are not begging, you are simply stating the facts and asking to be fairly compensated for the service you are delivering.
To read more here is a great article called: Please, boss, I want some more: how to ask for the pay rise you deserve
3. Check policy
Read up on your companies policy on increases. Things like time in position and amount of time since your last increase might not be in your favour and the last thing you want is to go in and get shut down for not understanding how things work. You do not need to wait to meet those conditions but at least when you are stating your position you will be taken far more seriously for saying “I am aware I’m not eligible for an increase for the next three months and I’m happy to wait for it.”
4. Go in prepared
You get one shot to do it right the first time, you can always come back and ask again if you messed it up the first time but now the perception your manager has of you might make it harder for him/her to take you seriously. Write down your points and rehearse your delivery, anticipate questions you might have to answer, and prepare your response.
5. Bring backup
Anything from customer feedback to reports on how your direct contribution increased the team’s success is very helpful when it comes to stating your value. Please do not expect to be rewarded for simply doing your job, you are already getting paid for that whether you think it’s enough money or not. At the beginning of your employment, you got the opportunity to negotiate your price and you made an agreement with your employer to deliver on your KPIs for that amount. If you want an increase you also have to increase the value you bring.
6. Show you are ready to grow
Don’t assume your ambition will be noticed with no effort from your side. Update your résumé to show the growth from when you started to where you are. Including a paragraph of short-term growth plans on the profile section of your résumé can also be helpful. Don’t assume résumés are only for job seekers, if you want to be taken seriously you have to act accordingly.
Bonus Tip: Ask for feedback
In the event your manager does not agree with you that you indeed have earned an increase, don’t be disheartened, keep a positive attitude. A lot of successful people will tell you how many times they were rejected before achieving their success. Instead of sulking, ask your manager what you need to improve on to eligible for an increase. Offer to take up additional responsibility within reason of cause, it is important to not work yourself into an early grave, work-life balance is very important.