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Asking your supervisor for a salary raise can be nerve-wracking. A lot of people feel so awkward having a discussion about money that they will completely avoid the subject. Even the most qualified and high-performing professionals will wait months or even years before they ask their manager for the compensation they deserve. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for what you are worth, but before you ask for a raise, you should be prepared. You should understand the best approach to asking for a raise, be prepared to present your case, and know the right questions to ask. Here are some tips to keep in mind when asking for a raise. 

Research Your Role's Salary Range

Before asking for a raise, it’s important to have a figure in mind. You’ll want to see what other people in roles are making so you have a reasonable number to request in a salary negotiation meeting.

In your research, it's important to take geographical location into account. Someone in Kansas City, for example, likely won’t be making as much as someone in New York City, however, some of these standards have changed with the increase in remote work.

Use salary websites like PayScale and Glassdoor to compare average salary ranges to your current salary and then create an in-depth report.

Use salary websites like PayScale and Glassdoor to compare average salary ranges to your current salary and then create an in-depth report. This research will be crucial in backing up your salary request when you meet with your manager.

Find The Right Time

Timing is everything when it comes to asking for a salary increase. Asking at the wrong time can ruin your chances of receiving a good salary adjustment and it can even hurt your professional reputation. Don't ask for a raise during budget cuts or tough times at your company. This can come off as disrespectful to your employer. 

The best time to make a salary request is after a professional achievement that benefited your employer or during an annual review. A performance review is also a great time to request a salary bump if you expect to receive positive feedback on your performance. 

If your manager has recently given you an additional responsibility, this is also a perfect time to negotiate an annual salary increase. When you are doing more work with greater accountability, it is reasonable to be compensated higher than your original starting salary.

Whether it is during an annual performance review or after a career success, always make sure you find a convenient time for your boss. You should never catch them off-guard or ask on the fly. Find a time that works for both of you to meet in private where you can give your full attention to the negotiation.

Read more: How To Write A Salary Negotiation Email

Focus On Your Wins

Look back over your time with the company. Which of your projects has been successful? Have you saved the company money? Can you cite specific performance data and metrics that demonstrate why your work is successful? Are there colleagues who would be willing to give you an endorsement as a dedicated team player? These are all great things to consider before you meet with your manager to request a raise.

On the big day, come with a list of achievements in alignment with business goals and get specific on your level of contribution to the company's success.

On the big day, come with a list of achievements in alignment with business goals and get specific on your level of contribution to the company's success.

Many people have a difficult time talking about themselves and their successes, so if this is you, it is best to practice beforehand. You should speak clearly and make eye contact when outlining why you deserve a raise to your boss. Confidence is key. Even when your achievements should speak for themselves, the way that you explain your concrete contributions in alignment with actual salary figures is crucial.

Be Prepared To Hear “No” or “Maybe”

If you don’t get a “yes” right off the bat, don’t fear! If they tell you “no,” here is a chance for you to ask for more feedback. Ask your supervisor what you would need to do to make the amount of money you desire, and see what they say. You might be able to show them over the next few months that you deserve the raise.

Have an open and honest conversation with your supervisor about suggestions for improving your performance or ways they would like to see you grow in the role. If you want to be promoted to another role, ask what you can do to show your dedication and commitment. 

If your supervisor tells you “maybe,” make sure you ask follow-up questions. Are they saying maybe because the timing is wrong or because they already have a plan in place for you to receive a raise down the line? Are there goals you should set before revisiting the conversation?

One of the best ways to counter a "maybe" is to start solving problems that are “above your paygrade.”

One of the best ways to counter a "maybe" is to start solving problems that are “above your paygrade.” Take a good look at the overall structure and goals of your organization, and see where you can fill in the gaps. Exercise good time management skills so that you can fulfill your current responsibilities and take on additional ones.

Have A Backup Plan

If your manager says "no" or "maybe" to the target salary that you requested, you should have a backup plan in place. Maybe they aren't in the market to bump up your annual salary figure, but they would consider giving you more vacation time or better education benefits to boost your skills.

Consider what is important to you outside of financial compensation. Maybe a more flexible schedule with some remote days would be helpful or you could request that your employer pays for your phone or wifi bills. Every salary structure looks different and sometimes these perks or benefits are even more valuable so you can achieve a proper work-life balance.

A conversation about compensation may be difficult, but it is never impossible. Remember to take an empathic approach and listen to what your manager says. If there is room to grow and receive a raise in the future, stick with it! However, if your employer has gone years without considering a bump in salary then that may be a sign it's time to find a new job.

firstPRO can help you with your negotiating skills so you can reach your career goals. Our recruiters are expert career coaches with years of experience in helping professionals like you. Read our blog for more career tips like How To Negotiate A Job Offer.

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