We’re living in a moment where gender equality in the workforce and parity when it comes to salaries are at the forefront of society’s consciousness. You might be hearing things like “lean in” and “it’s time to close the gender pay gap,” and that’s definitely true. With the economy experiencing a turn for the better since the Great Recession that’s been burdening our nation for the past few years, and with all this new-found focus on the salaries of women in the working world, there’s no better time to ask for a raise if you think you deserve one than now. While asking for a pay raise seems like one of the most frightening and nerve-wracking things you can think of (especially for women, since it’s been proven that they have a harder time successfully negotiating one than their male counterparts), it’s not impossible. Here are five tips to follow that will have you at your prime when you take the plunge.
We’ve all heard how important networking is; it can give you that competitive edge over other applicants when going after a lucrative opportunity. But networking doesn’t stop once you’ve made it through the door; if your boss doesn’t know anything about you other than your name, that’s one less reason for him or her to give you a raise, even if your job performance is stellar. Building relationships is important, and while you should do that with people on the same or lower “levels” as you, it’s especially helpful to have that rapport with people in positions higher than you when it comes time for raise-asking.
Time It Just Right
Unless you just single-handedly saved the company from bankruptcy, you’re not going to want to ask for a raise three months after you got hired. Wait for the six-month or year-mark, and if your boss doesn’t ask for a meeting to discuss your performance, ask for one yourself. If you have a good track record, a performance review would be the perfect time to bring up the possibility of a pay raise, since you’re already talking about your work anyway. Conversely, you can wait for a shining moment in which you do save the company from bankruptcy or sign a major new client, since your boss will likely be in a more positive and receptive mood.
Go In Armed
Before you even decide to request the meeting with your boss, you need to have some ammo. Make a list of all the accomplishments you’ve achieved during your time with the company, so you have solid evidence that your performance deserves increased compensation. Don’t be afraid to talk yourself up; the whole point is to sell yourself again and make your boss believe that your value has increased over time, like gold. Also, know in the back of your head exactly how much your current position is worth by chatting up HR and asking for a ballpark range of the salaries of people in similar positions, or going on job transparency sites like Glassdoor.com. That’ll help you know if your boss is low-balling or not, and you can respond appropriately.
Look Forward, Not Just Back
You have your list of accomplishments and achievements, all the markers that prove that you’re an asset to the company. But what about a list of ways that prove you’ll continue to be an asset to the company, one that deserves to be compensated more? If you have a game plan for moving forward and you let your boss know that you’re still invested in helping the company to grow, what you can do for the company and not just what you think it should be doing for you, it’ll put your request in an entirely different light, one that is arguably more positive and more beneficial to you getting what you want.
Doing your work diligently and putting effort into your job are very important, since that’ll lay the foundations for your track record. But if you think that you’ll be showered with rewards and raises simply for doing your job, you’re probably very mistaken. No one is going to offer you more money just for doing your job; it’s also your job to portray yourself in the best possible light and take the necessary steps to actually receive that raise you want. And if your boss seems hesitant when you broach the topic, or flat-out refuses, swallow your disappointment as quickly as you can and ask him or her what exactly you need to accomplish to deserve that raise. Speak up for yourself. Chances are no one else is going to do it for you.
By: Dariush Azimi