BY KEVIN SAWYER – One of the best ways to increase your income is to ask for a raise. Easier said, of course, than done. A recent survey conducted by a large data research firm has discovered an astounding fact. Nearly 60% of all people currently employed have never asked for a raise. What seems to rule here is fear and an undervaluing of contribution.
Women, it seems, are far less likely to ask for a raise than men are. What most don’t realize is that the whole process is a negotiation, a sale, if you will. You have to be prepared and then go in and make the sale. Experts across the board agree that it is better to go in and negotiate for a raise and not get it than to just keep wringing your hands and plodding along like a good little worker bee. The experts say that, even if you get turned down, you have shown initiative and determination. You have demonstrated to the company that you have value and that you will, eventually, be recognized for it and that you will not be someone to be undervalued or taken advantage of.
And don’t sell yourself too short. You already know how to negotiate. You got the car keys from Dad that night, didn’t you? So, how to plan that negotiation?
- The first thing you need to do is research your company as well as the industry it’s in. You need to have knowledge of what is really going on. You need to know what others in similar jobs around the country are making, also. This will give you a range and display knowledge to the person your asking. In addition, figure out your long run. The more data driven your argument is, the better chance you have at succeeding. Sure, right now you’re only in your 20’s or 30’s but someday soon you will be in your 60’s looking to retire. A $5,000 a year raise will figure out to be as much as $500,000 by the end of your career. Even if you never ask for a raise again.
- Be honest with yourself and your position at the company. Are you looked upon as a good worker by your managers? Are you the go-to girl or guy in the department? If so, your chances are brighter. Be prepared with your pitch and be sure that you have a detailed list of what you do for the company and how your contributions have made the company stronger. Remember how prepared you were when you first went in to this company and aced the job interview and the follow ups? Well, this is pretty much the same thing. If you sold them on you in the first place, you can sell them on giving you a raise.
- It’s all about timing and knowing the person you will be dealing with. If your company has regularly scheduled employee reviews, try and go in and ask for the raise a couple of months before your review is due to happen. This way, it’s on the table and can be integrated into your later review. Also, what kind of a person is the person you will be dealing with? Know them and know what fires them up and play to that. People like helping people and the especially like helping people they like.
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