Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
There comes a point in your career when you realize you're worth more money but are too afraid to ask for it. We get it. Sitting face to face with your boss to talk about how good you are isn't something that comes naturally to most of us. But knowing when to ask for a raise is the tricky part. A Harvard Business Review article warns that putting it off can result in decreased enthusiasm for your job and, consequently, poor performance. So don't leave it too long, or you might start to resent your role.
The key to making sure this process goes smoothly rests in knowing exactly how you should address it. For instance, how do you alleviate the inherent stress and awkwardness that come with discussing something like getting a raise? It's especially difficult if you have no background in negotiating. If that sounds like you, then we're here to help. We've gathered five tips from various experts that will help you judge your own self-worth and determine how to approach your boss about making sure you're fairly compensated. Below, we're rounding up five tips on how to ask for a raise.
Don't Put It Off
If you think you're being underpaid, don't be afraid to ask for a raise or at least get the conversation rolling. "You need to ask for it or you won't get it," Katie Donovan, salary negotiation consultant and founder of Equal Pay Negotiations, told Business Insider. If you're feeling timid, this will stop fear in its tracks.
Don't Underestimate Your Worth
According to David Sturt, the executive vice president of O.C. Tanner, some bosses may not be aware of the standard salary increases that occur in every department. That means when you do decide to ask for a raise, it's up to you to know what the standard salary is. "Understanding your value will help you have a much more productive conversation with your manager," Sturt says.
Have a Number in Mind
Most employers want you to have a realistic idea of what you're worth to the company. Lolly Daskal, a leadership development and CEO coach and consultant, told Inc. that asking for an inappropriate amount "will not only cost you the raise but also show your employer that your judgment is poor."
Don't Lose Hope
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. According to Donovan, you may not get your raise until you've had multiple conversations. But "if you realize there's no way your company can afford to give you the pay you deserve, it's time to start looking for a new job," he suggests.
Try to Pivot
Daskal suggests trying for a bonus if a raise isn't a possibility or salary budgets won't allow one at the time you ask. "A onetime payment won't affect the pay structure, so it might be easier to get," she says.
Are you nervous about asking for a raise? How do you know when it's right to ask? Share your thoughts below.