How to ask for a raise

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The raise. One of the most interesting, delicate, and potentially dangerous requests made by an employee during their stay with a company. There are as many ways to ask for a raise as there are individual relationships between an employee and their boss. What you need to know first is why you should ask for a raise.

Everyone is overworked and underpaid. So your request for a raise at a time when normal employee reviews are not scheduled needs to be based on your work performance and overall benefit to the company since your employment began. Having a good week or finding out someone who is doing the same job is making more than you is not a reason to ask for a raise. The basis for your request must be based solely on your merits.

First, be sure you have solid basics when personally evaluating yourself. Here are some common issues that are often overlooked during the self-evaluation process.

Were you on time every day? Leaping into your chair one second before you are scheduled to start working does not mean you are on time from the perspective of management. Whatever reasons there may be for you being late on occasion does not change the reality you were late.

Were you late coming back from lunches or meetings? A lot of people may be fine on being back from lunch on time, but being late from (or for) meetings can be considered the same as being late for work. If you are guilty of this business behavior, hit the pause button before asking for a raise.

Has your work performance exceeded the expectations of your manager? In other words, stop looking around and comparing yourself to other employees, since each employee has their role in the company. Your manager is the person who will be evaluating you during your time with the company, and the person you will have to convince that you qualify for the raise.

Do you have a good relationship with your manager? If not, you probably have to rethink the whole asking for a raise idea.

If you are satisfied with the basics, then you can move on to the approach – how to ask for the raise. You need to be prepared to make your case with facts that both you and your manager are aware of. These can be sales figures, problems resolved, e-mails from other departments giving you positive feedback on your performance, and even recognition that came directly from the manager. Be assertive but not arrogant. While your performance may be exceptional, and your manager recognizes it, the request for an unscheduled raise is not an obligation to the company. It is at their discretion.

Finally, address the request for a raise with a future orientation. This means that while your justification for asking is based on past and present performance, your argument is that you will justify getting the raise based on your future performance with the company at your present position. In other words, they are making an investment, not rewarding you for what you have done.