Economically, times are really tough right now. Although that means that it’s that much harder to get a raise, it also means that it’s that much more necessary for you to get one. So just how do you go about getting a raise in economic times like these?
First, you need to ask yourself whether you honestly deserve a raise. If even you don’t think you really deserve a raise, arguing that you need one will be exceedingly difficult. Plus, you really don’t want to come off as the employee who is always asking for a raise – because then when you really do deserve one you won’t get it.
If you decide that you really do merit a raise, the next step is to quantify the reasons for it. That is, how exactly has your work impacted the bottom line? If you do sales, come up with sales numbers. If you have done things that have definitely saved the company a specific amount of money, cite those. If you are having a hard time finding exact numbers, list your best work and projects – and make sure to focus on work that impressed your boss.
After you’ve gathered your data, you need to practice your pitch. Lay out exactly what you are going to say to your boss to convince him or her that you need a raise. Bring along any reports, projects, or data that can visually reinforce your point. Plan out the best time to talk to your boss. If it has been a particularly bad month at your company, you might want to wait until next month. When you do decide to talk to your boss, make sure that you schedule a time in advance so that there aren’t distractions when you’re busy trying to make your point.
If you’re in the process of plotting just how to ask for a promotion, there are certain things that you can do in the meantime to help get yourself noticed. Even when you’ve already been hired, continued self-branding efforts can be really important, so keep perfecting your public image, whether it’s through maintaining a website or networking or speaking engagements. The more your boss hears other people mention your name, the easier it is for them to believe that you are a hot commodity. One great way to get yourself noticed is to try to work on pet projects that your boss finds particularly important. Projects like that are exactly the type of thing to mention when you’re presenting the reasons you deserve a raise.