Most of us are long overdue for a pay increase, but knowing that doesn’t mean that you will be game enough to sit down with your boss. Many of us simply don’t have the soft skills or know how to ask for a raise or negotiate a new salary.
Asking for more money is hard in any circumstance. But especially at work when there could be even a tiny risk of things turning sour. After all, managing conflict is a skill in itself.
That said, asking for a raise is generally the best way to get one - it’s not very likely that your boss is going to wake up one day and think “Gee! I really feel like giving Rob from HR a raise today!”.
We have to take action and pro-actively learn the skills and techniques that will help us know how and when to ask for a raise effectively. Considering a few important factors before asking for more pay will get you a long way.
Taking a soft skill approach to getting that next raise will be easy with these four quick tips:
1. Do your research
You never know if you are already being paid the average salary for your position. Finding out will help you avoid under-selling yourself by asking for less than the baseline. Also, consider what others are making based on their experience. It will help you avoid asking for a ridiculous amount. Ask colleagues politely and discreetly. Remember to explain why you are asking and to be sensitive to people’s potential reluctance to share (money can be a private thing).
2. Ask at the right time
How annoying is it when you get asked for money and you don’t have any to spare? Similarly, asking for a raise when the company has just missed its annual revenue targets is not likely to go so well. Make sure you understand your employer’s financial position before deciding on a time to have the pay rise chat.
Make sure your homework is objective and not just based on your own judgements. Look at financial reports, do some company research and follow business news.
Why should your boss give you a raise? If you can’t answer that question your boss probably won’t be very convinced. Go back over your wins, projects and achievements to show your boss why deserve more pay.
4. Respond to a No:
As goes with everything. There is a chance that your plot to raise the kitty will go awry. That is ok!
That said, it is as important to know how to respond confidently to a no as it is to know how to ask for a raise in the first place. If handled well, it will mean that there is another opportunity to take action to improve and to ensure that the door is left open for a later discussion.
If you get offered less than you expected, or get a flat-out no, you should know in advance how you will respond. How you plan on dealing with your boss’s response will shape how you respond to their answer.
Need some new skills for managing pay rise or performance review conversations? Book a FREE personal one-on-one soft skills assessment session, and find out how soft skills could benefit you or your workplace.