Now that the economy is slowly starting to show a bit of life once again, albeit at a glacial pace, a number of small and medium size businesses are once again ending their pay freeze and gradually beginning to contemplate giving employee raises again. If you are one of the tens of thousands of people who have been struggling lately and have had to tighten your belt, then you will no doubt feel like you could do with a raise. And if you have been working hard and think you deserve one, then the next question is how to go about getting it. The first thing to remember is that the worst that might happen is your boss says no. And the only other possibility is that they say yes, so what have you got to lose?
Here are some important points to remember when asking for a raise
(1) Know Your Own Worth – This is the most important part of any salary negotiation. You need to be aware of just how much your job and your work should be valued at. In order to do this you should do a little bit of research and find out what others in your field earn and what people at rival companies are earning. Ask yourself, are there other people out there with the same skills as you and the same qualifications as you, earning more money than you? Next, you need to evaluate how your those skills have brought value to your company and your employer and what sort of value they have brought. By keeping it in purely financial terms and avoiding talking about your own personal financial situation you can talk to the owners of company in pragmatic and financial terms that will make sense to them. Show them your value to the company.
(2) Don’t Underestimate Dressing the Part – You may have been at your company for years and there may be a casual dress policy in effect for day to day office life, but it never hurts to dress smartly for any kind of interview or important meeting – and salary negotiations are no exception. By dressing like you are worth more money you give off the impression that you are worth more money. And you will make yourself feel like you are worth more money, which means you will project confidence during the negotiations.
(3) Don’t Go In There and Start Talking Too Much – It is essential that you don’t go in there and start chattering away and talk yourself out of a raise. Sit down and clearly and effectively make your pitch – sell your value as mentioned above. Once you have done this, use silence. Silence can be very powerful. Sit and wait for your boss or bosses to respond. Anything else will make you sound desperate.
(4) Be Prepared for a Negotiation – Remember always that this will be a salary negotiation. That means there will need to be a bit of give and take. Go in there with your ideal salary in mind, but be prepared to make a deal with the boss. This could be an increase in benefits such as flexi-time or working from home in addition to a smaller raise, or it could be a straight raise that is almost as high as the one you asked for.
(5) Confidence, Confidence, Confidence – There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance and you should make sure you never step over it. But you should also be confident throughout the whole meeting, by being positive and prepared. You’re looking good, you know what you are worth and you are ready to negotiate. Give a good, firm handshake, maintain eye contact and speak in a clear and confident way. Follow all these steps and you’ll be walking home with a bigger paycheck.