Credit crunch or no credit crunch; sometimes asking for a raise is the right thing to do, so don't be discouraged from seeking one! In these post downturn days, it may seem a rather foolhardy proposition to look for a pay raise for a job some bosses may think you should just be grateful to have. But we should not allow ourselves to be convinced into accepting less than we are worth, for longer than we absolutely have to. During my working life I have found that most people are basically pretty honest about themselves so if YOU really think you are worth it, you probably are!
But don't just go steaming in first thing next Monday morning, the most important thing to do before you even knock on that office door is to make an honest evaluation of your own strengths and weaknesses. Only then can you put forward the most assertive and confident case for a raise, you can also be prepared to deflect negatives so much better if you are self-aware. In some circumstances, it may even be possible to turn a deficiency into, if not a pay rise, then recognition that you need some training that can lead to later pay hike, or in a worst case scenario, look good on your resume when you have to go looking for another job!
Before you take that deep breathe that comes before the plunge into the bosses office; double check in case what you actually need to ask for is an advance or interest free loan to tide you over a sticky patch, because that is a different conversation altogether!
You should not make the discussion you need into a public spectacle or put your boss on the defensive before you get a chance to put your case. Don't confront them in front of others or sidle up to them at the water cooler. Make at least a half hour appointment and tell your boss what you want to talk about. That way, you have time to put your whole case and they have time to prepare too.
Before you go to the meeting, remember that it will probably be one of several, or even many, that your boss will be having that day. If you are not used to this kind of thing, don't worry. As long as you have prepared well, using your job description to identify areas where you perform well or even, exceed what is expected of you, and in addition what others ether inside or outside the organisation are paid for a similar job. Put your case clearly but whatever you do don't threaten to leave if you do not get what you ask for. Your boss will need time and space to think over what you have said. Tell them that you will make another appointment in a week's time to find out what they think. Then go and get on with that job you know you should get a pay raise for!
By Ayesha from Kranj
Solid strategy. What worked for me when I was a church secretary and too shy to "beard the lion in his den" was a little creativity and a working knowledge of MS Powerpoint. I Gathered my facts and put together a brief slide show arguing my case. I got the raise, but got my hours cut, too. I didn't let that bother me, though. I was earning about the same and could spend more time with my teenage children to boot!
Thanks for the feedback, I was a little hesitant about sending in this post as many people are feeling so insecure at the moment. But I do think that especially in larger companies the boss often doesn't know everything about everyone and if your line manager is not willing to promote you, you might need to point out what a great job you are doing yourself.
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