We all want to be paid what we feel we're worth, but when it comes to relying on someone else to decide our pay, it doesn't always go the way we want. Ask anyone if they want a raise and they'll likely say yes, then ask them the last time they asked for one and it'll probably be quite some time ago. It's because many have a fear of asking for what they want and getting rejected. Don't settle for less than what you deserve! There are several things you can do to increase the chances that you'll get the raise you want.
Take constructive criticism to heart
Don't look at constructive criticism as an insult. Many will only offer the information because they feel you're capable of more than what you're doing. Take the information your boss gives you and put it into action. If the action doesn't work, at least your boss will see that you were willing to give it a try.
Build your knowledge
You're not going to get anywhere in any industry if you don't keep your knowledge fresh and up-to-date. Read websites, newspapers and magazines that are industry related, talk to those who have much more experience than you and learn new skills. All of this can provide you with an extensive amount of knowledge that you can use to get your raise.
Prepare your reasons
Never, ever go into your bosses office asking for a raise without reasons about why you deserve it. If your boss asks why you feel you deserve one, the last thing you want to do is stand there with a blank look on your face and an explanation of "Because I do.". Start off with your biggest reasons; many will only hear the first few sentences you say so make them count.
Build up a good background
I've heard about a couple of people who had the audacity to ask for a raise when they were with a company for only a couple of months. Sure there are those who get offered a raise in a very short amount of time, but asking for one is a completely different story. Ask for a raise only after you've been with the company a substantial amount of time and have developed a good background.
Ask for it
Of course it's nerve-wracking to put yourself in a vulnerable position to ask for more money, but you're not going to get anywhere by keeping silent and hoping it'll happen. I once asked for a raise and the boss said "You know, now that you mention it, you're due for a raise." Had I not said anything, who knows when I would have gotten it.
Ask at the right time
There's a right and a wrong time to ask for a raise. When you know the company is having problems or the boss is in a bad mood are two times when you need to hold off with your request. Don't get impatient; if you ask at the wrong time you're almost guaranteed a "no" even if you deserve the raise.
Have a number ready
Some are so preoccupied with asking for a raise that they don't come up with a dollar amount they feel they deserve. Don't be caught standing there choking on your words should your boss ask how much of a raise you were thinking. Do the numbers and come up with something reasonable.
Have the right attitude
There's two ways to almost guarantee getting a "no" response. The first is having a negative attitude in general at the office; the second is going in to make your request with a negative attitude or one of entitlement. Unless you have a written contract stating the terms of a raise, the boss can very easily turn you down. Keep your day-to-day attitude positive and when you go in to ask for a raise, be genuine with what you say, be grateful if you get a "yes" and be appreciative for your boss listening to your request even if you get a "no".
There are so many people out there who deserve a raise and are never going to get it because they don't ask. Don't be one of them. If you know your worth and you're confident in it, others will see it too. It can be nerve-wracking to ask for a raise, but if you truly feel you deserve it, you're not losing anything by making the request.
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