It was my first week after becoming the leader of the internship program at work, and I felt exhausted. If you know what I’m talking about, then you understand how it feels to get promoted but not receive a raise or a new title. You only received more responsibility, which in my case meant 16 people to manage.
Being able to take on more responsibility at work is great! It provides you with the chance to learn new skills, get additional experience, and show how useful you are to the company. If you’re stuck in a job where you don’t have those opportunities, be sure to check out Skillcrush’s guide on getting one!
Your work wouldn’t go unnoticed and you’d get a raise in an ideal world, but that’s not often how it works. If you want to make more money, you have to be proactive and ask for a raise. Showing your value to the company by highlighting your accomplishments is key to successfully asking for (and getting) a pay increase. Do some research ahead of time so you know what comparable salaries are in your area for positions similar to yours. By following these six tips, earning the salary you deserve will be easier than ever before.
1. Set up a meeting.
Without a doubt, you should always set up a meeting to talk about earning more money. Even though it’s tempting to raise the issue in passing or send a quick chat or email, try to resist the urge.
In a one-on-one meeting, you have your boss’s undivided attention, which makes it more likely she’ll take you seriously. It’s easy for her to say no if you’re interrupting her day with an impromptu request; but if you’ve scheduled a meeting, she knows this is important to you and is more likely to give your proposal the time it deserves.
If you want your boss to take your request seriously, it’s better to approach them in a meeting dedicated to the topic. If you bring it up casually, it might seem like a whim rather than a well-thought-out argument.
[Related: 6 Tips for Getting the Raise You Deserve]
2. Write a list of accomplishments.
If you want more, be prepared to demonstrate why you are entitled to it. You should especially focus on instances where your work added value to the company. This will make a stronger case for a raise or promotion.
Consider how you’ve made the company money, such as through sales or by making operations more efficient. Numbers usually prove effective: whenever possible, use statistics and data that show metrics. For example, instead of saying you doubled monthly sales; say that you increased monthly sales by 50%, which equates to an extra $130 000. Pretty convincing, right?
You can also add praise from team members or clients to show that your work is valued by those who matter. Instead of simply telling your boss that you are respected among your peers, try quoting team members’ and clients’ praises from emails.
[Related: Levo’s 2015 Stem Salary Report]
3. Do your research.
Use websites such as PayScale, Glassdoor, and Salary.com to determine the average market salary for your position. This research will be useful when your boss inquires about the amount you would like to make or what she is willing to give you.
Giving a precise number is more effective than resorting to round numbers, as it makes the person come across as being knowledgeable. Asking for conciliatory counteroffers from researchers at Columbia Business School was found to be more successful when given specific rather than rounded numbers; For example, instead of saying you want 60 or 65K, ask for 63,500.
Keep in mind, asking for a raise is about displaying that you’ve gone beyond expectations- not simply completing all of your typical job duties. Backing up your request with data is an excellent way to show that you’re exceeding what’s expected of you.
According to recent studies, the average salary raise is 1-5%. Keep this in mind when asking for a pay increase from your employer so that you don’t request an unrealistic amount.
4. Explain what you’ll do in the future.
You can become a project leader by finding an issue and presenting a solution. If you don’t see an existing opportunity, create one! I started by observing that there were interdepartmental projects not being completed and many people asking to get an internship. So, I put together a proposal for an internship program and said I would lead it.
If you want to use a new project as leverage for a raise, discuss the additional responsibilities you’d be willing to take on and how it would benefit the company. For example, your thorough research might have exposed that blog engagement could be increased by 33% with improved Pinterest cohesion. Also, greater blog engagement could then lead to more sales down the line. Share your findings and give an outline of your proposed Pinterest strategy– stressing WHY this undertaking is valuable and thus worthy of extra compensation in terms of pay.
Another helpful tip is to find ways you can lend a hand to your manager. If they seem overwhelmed with work, talk about how you could lighten their load. It’s important to be careful with this conversation so that your boss doesn’t feel like you’re overstepping. Position the discussion as a way to help relieve their stress instead of taking on all their responsibilities.
5. Stay positive and professional.
It is essential to believe that you have already earned a raise before attempting to convince your boss of the same reasons.
Be sure to avoid discussing personal items such as your rising rent, needing to spend money on an extravagant birthday party for your dog, or plans for a vacation to Maui. Instead, focus solely on why you deserve a raise based off of professional successes. Stick with the numbers and reiterate the value you bring to the company.
Keep a positive attitude! You shouldn’t become defensive and state that you’ve been employed there for over a year or haven’t received a raise in years. This isn’t the time to enumerate all of the ways you’re unappreciated at your job.
[Related: The Silent Rise of the Female Driven Economy]
6. The little things matter.
To come across as confident and poised, it’s important to remember a few things about your body language and tone. Be direct, assertive, and sit up straight with good posture. Make sure you maintain eye contact too. By not looking like you’re ready to start a fight—relaxing your shoulders down, keeping your arms at your sides or on the table instead of crossing them—you’ll look more comfortable in the situation.
Not only does your body language affect how others see you, but it also changes the way you feel about yourself. Before your next meeting, watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk and do a power pose. “Power posing” is arranging your body in a position that has been shown to change chemicals in the brain and raise confidence levels. My favorite pose is “The Wonder Woman”: stand with legs apart, lean forward slightly, and keep hands on hips or above the head. Other power poses include sitting and leaning over a table slightly or leaning back in a chair—the key is taking up space.
Every time I have an interview or big meeting, I do a quick power pose in the restroom beforehand. It sounds strained to stand with my arms over my head like I just won gold at the Olympics, but it actually makes me feel more confident and better able to make a good impression during the meeting.
If you’re anything like me, asking for a raise makes you incredibly nervous. And that’s normal! The absolute worst thing that could happen is your boss says no–but there’s also very little chance you’ll get more money if you don’t ask in the first place. So what have got to lose? (If self-doubt is still plaguing your mind, check out our guide on How to Stop Second Guessing Yourself Immediately.)
If you don’t receive the raise, you might still get something else out of it. Ask for other benefits such as more paid vacation time or a new title. If you follow these 6 steps, then you will be one step closer to earning more money each month.
[Related: 4 Additional Perks To Negotiate]
This article was originally published on Skillcrush.