7 Tips for Negotiating a Raise This Quarter
By Cecelia Bocker
The last quarter of the year is here, and that means your company is getting busy making sure to meet their annual goals, determining next year’s budget and looking back on the last 9 months. This also means year-end employee reviews are just around the corner.
Year-end reviews serve two purposes. They allow your supervisor to follow up with you about what occurred throughout the year, future goals and what will be expected of you in the upcoming months. These reviews also give you the chance to sit and discuss your future with the company in terms of responsibilities, ideas and compensation. We know mentioning a raise can seem daunting and you may be unsure of how to even go about bringing the topic up, so we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you.
1. Be realistic about your request – The first thing to evaluate when you’re considering asking for a raise is not your salary or your company, it’s yourself. How long have you been in your current role? How much responsibility do you have? How well do you execute your tasks? Do you take that extra step when it comes to projects? These are all questions that your manager will be asking themselves when you approach them, which is why you need to ask yourself these questions and be honest with your answers.
2. Be sure your company is financially stable right now – Just because it’s the end of the year does not mean your company will be prepared to give raises. If a major shift has recently occurred (a client loss, company merger, change in management, etc), this may not be the best time to bring up a raise considering most people with the ability to approve a raise will likely be busy. We guarantee you are more likely to get that raise by waiting a few months for things to settle down, instead of adding one more thing to your manager’s “To Do” list.
3. Learn about salaries in your area – Spend time researching how much money other professionals in roles similar to yours make in your area. When you do this, once again be honest with yourself about your responsibilities, how well you execute them and your overall experience/knowledge in your field. You can’t be an entry level employee and expect to be boosted to an executive level salary, be realistic with your request.
4. Be confident, but not pushy – Confidence is good, it will show that you know your worth and why you deserve this raise. Being demanding and not willing to negotiate, is the first way to rub your boss the wrong way. You want them to be understanding about where you’re coming from and to see your reasons as valid. You do not want them to think you’re aggressive and unreasonable.
5. Reference specific accomplishments that support your request – You should have three solid examples of how your work has benefited the company this year or major projects that you accomplished when you go to ask for a raise. Your manager is going to want to hear why you think you deserve more money. You cannot simply go in and say “because I said so”. You should have hard numbers that reflect how you and your work have specifically helped the company grow in your time there.
6. Be prepared to hear “no” or “maybe” – It does happen, sometimes your supervisor is not going to agree to your request or the company might not be able to support the amount of money you asked for at that time. If this is what occurs, accept the answer graciously. Do not lose your temper or go back and forth with your manager. Ask them when a more reasonable time to revisit this subject would be. Ask what you can do in the next few months to show that you deserve a raise in the future. Be proactive and positive, don’t get discouraged.
7. Say thank you regardless of how the conversation goes – As we just said, sometimes things don’t work out the way you wanted. Obviously if your manager agrees to giving you more money, you’re going to thank them (unless you have truly terrible manners, in which case we suggest brushing up on those before requesting a raise). However, if your raise does not get approved, thank your manager for taking the time to meet with you and discuss the idea anyway. They will remember your reaction, make sure it’s a positive one.
We cannot guarantee you’ll get a raise by following these tips, but we hope they give you an idea of how to start preparing for this conversation, as well as calm your nerves. Asking for a raise is completely normal after a certain amount of time, do not be nervous! The worst thing your supervisor can do is say “no”. Like we said, if you don’t get the response you were hoping for, you can always bring this topic up again after a few months when you have time to cite even more of your accomplishments!
If you do get that raise, congratulations! Tell us how your conversation went and which tips helped you the most, we love success stories. Good luck!
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