If you think you're deserving of a raise, prepare a history of your work in the past year. List the contributions you've made to the company. Ask yourself how these contributions have improved the company or the bottom line. If you have trouble listing contributions, this is the time to rethink why you should get a raise.
Employers do not look favorably on those who consider themselves entitled to more money just because they've been working for the company for a certain number of years. Nor can you justify asking for a raise because you've moved to a bigger house and you need more money.
Second, research the going rate for someone who is in a similar position in your company or industry. Having this knowledge will allow you to assess more accurately where your salary should fall. A career counselor or the U.S. Department of Labor can provide you with information about what jobs pay in your area. Don't forget to add in the benefits you are receiving in addition to your salary. A human resource person can help in this area.
Third, role play the various scenarios that could take place when you ask for a raise. Look in the mirror and practice. Play yourself and then play your boss. If you can't convince yourself, it's unlikely you'll convince a boss.
Ask a friend to role play with you. Tell the friend to throw you some curve balls and see if you have the ability to handle them.
Another good exercise -- go over all the reasons your boss may use to discourage a raise. Then come up with a counterproposal. For example, if your boss says, "Well, you know profits have been down this year," you might counter with, "That's true. But my performance has been very good. For example…." Here's where you roll out those contributions.
If your boss says, "We just can't afford it now," ask when the company will be able to afford it. Try to tack down a date for review.
Also ask, "What can I do differently to convince you that I should have a raise?" Make sure you take notes as he or she answers.
Sometimes a person truly does not deserve a raise. Sometimes a raise is not in the company's budget. And sometimes people don't do their homework before asking for a raise. As a result they present themselves poorly and ruin their chances. Don't let this be you.
Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World,” “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide,“ and “Thin Becomes You” at Doris’ web page: http://www.doriswildhelmering.com.
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