Articles from the Career Advisor
 
How to Ask for a Raise
 
  Question:
My husband recently lost his job, and I'm thinking about asking my boss for a raise. How should I approach him?
Needing Money

Answer:
First, ask friends in similar positions, companies, and industries what the market is paying. Check The American Almanac of Jobs and Salaries, by Wright and Dwyer (Avon Books). Visit www.salary.com to look at comparable salaries. If it will not compromise your confidentiality, ask the Human Resources Compensation Specialist in your company for tips. Question those in your department who've gotten raises. What did they say to the boss? How did she react? How did they time it? How big an increase did they request?

Notice how well your department (and company) is doing. Is your manager complaining about cutbacks? Right timing is essential. Don't suggest a raise when business is down.

Prepare a statement of major accomplishments. List your results, achievements, and home runs. Give specific examples with percentages, numbers, facts and figures. Make before-and-after comparisons. Write your goals for next quarter. Rather than explaining your need for a raise as a personal issue (my husband lost his job), present it in a business framework. Explain how others with similar responsibilities are paid (show industry research). And show your accomplishments and goals.

Never present your request for a raise as a demand or threat. That makes you an adversary. Instead, take a questioning approach supported with written facts. You could say: "I've accomplished more than expected (show accomplishments), and I plan to do even more next quarter (show goals). How do you think the company would feel about paying X-dollars per month (indicating the raise)? That's what others in similar positions are making these days (show market research).

Last of all, wait until your manager is on a personal high. People feeling great are more likely to say yes. Don't expect a decision overnight. Give the boss your ideas, then give him time to think. Chances are, if you've really been producing more than expected, your manager can justify a raise. | Return to index of articles.

 


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