Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How and When to Ask for a Raise?

Asking for a pay-raise from your employer can be a difficult subject to broach, especially when unsure how to go about it. This is the reason many employees just accept their small annual cost-of-living-raises instead of asking for the raise they know they deserve. Despite the fact that this is a much easier and far less stressful method, it is unlikely that an employer will hand out a big fat raise without being asked, even to a deserving and dependable worker.

Do they deserve it?

When seeking a pay raise, an employee must be absolutely certain that they have a valid reason to ask for one. If they do, then it is time to start planning the request. If not, however, then the employee should spend a few months going above and beyond the call of duty before even thinking of asking.

The outline

For the employee that deserves an increase in pay, the fight is still far from over. The word "raise" is not a word an employer loves hearing, which is why deserving workers must outline, in as much detail as humanly possible, why exactly they should be paid more money. They should highlight work-related achievements and if possible, provide factual statistics of how their performance has saved the company money, set an excellent customer service example or increased productivity in other employees, in order to help justify the payroll increase. In short, the person asking should make the validity of the request as irrefutable as they can.

Once a worker gets his battle plan outlined, he should go over it. It is a good idea to bounce it off a trustworthy friend too, but not a co-worker. Co-workers should never discuss their compensation with one another, as this is a huge no-no in the business world.

Knowing the range

Before requesting a raise in pay, workers should familiarize themselves with the standard pay range for their occupation and experience. Without this information, employees are likely to either ask for too much, or even not enough. A great way to find this information is by checking with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Timing is everything

Waiting for the opportune time to make the move can be the difference between getting the raise you deserve and being prematurely shot down. People should consider how far away their annual reviews are; if they're coming up, it may be a good idea to wait until then, accruing as many achievements as they can before the reviews. However, if an employee has just made a stunning achievement and his review isn't coming up, the best idea may be to strike before the accomplishment fades from his boss' memory.

Many factors enter into a pay raise, even for those that rightfully deserve one. The odds of getting a pay raise are much better when employees have done their homework. By putting together a list of achievements that display their worth and knowing the industry, employees can more easily negotiate their compensation. With the proper game plan, timing and attitude, employees can get the pay increases they deserve.

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