It's always difficult to ask for a raise. When you want to do so for the first time at your first job, the request seems even more intimidating. New employees often feel hesitant to ask for their worth. Sometimes they request raises at inopportune moments or in ineffective ways. Read on to learn how to ask for more money without falling into those traps.
First, you need to figure out whether you actually deserve a raise, which is meant to compensate extra work you have done or income you have brought in. So before you ask, be sure you have gone above and beyond your job description. If you're generating substantial revenue or taking on extra responsibilities, you deserve to be compensated. However, refrain from requesting more money within the first few months, unless you have considerably boosted the company's profits in that time.
Once you believe that you do deserve a raise, you need to do some preparation. First, see whether there is already a policy in place. Are raises at your company based on merit? Is there a common percentage that everyone receives each year? Figure out how things typically work at your office.
Next, you need to know where you stand in your industry. Do some research on the average salary for a position like yours. Compare your wages on sites like Payscale.com or look up salary information at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Take note of how much more you need to make for your salary to be competitive.
Once you know how much you're worth, make a list of several compensation options that would make you happy. Include your best possible choice and the lowest one that you would consider. Remember to think about all the ways you are compensated. Maybe your package can include things such as additional vacation time, stock options, a company-paid laptop or more flexible work hours.
Now, you need to start building your case. Make a list of things you have accomplished for the company. Create a document structured almost like a resume detailing amounts of revenue you have helped bring in and specific contributions you have made. Your superior will need to see a clear picture of the way you contribute to the company to grant a raise. You should also consider the reasons your employer may have to reject your request. Be prepared to counter with firm examples of how you have increased profits or saved money.
Once you feel prepared, ask to speak with your supervisor and let him or her know the purpose of the meeting beforehand. This gives your boss time to do research and be ready to have a discussion with you.
When you go in, bring a copy of your accomplishments. Conduct the discussion as though you are partners trying to reach a compromise that will make you both comfortable. Calmly and assertively lay out why you believe you merit a raise. Don't be too aggressive, act entitled or mention why you need money.
Also, refrain from asking for a specific amount. Let your boss tell you what the company can offer, just in case it is more than what you would have sought. You can steer the conversation in that direction by mentioning a figure that others are paid in your field.
Finally, keep the conversation flexible and roll with it. Don't be drastic or threaten to leave if you don't get the raise. If your employer does not think you deserve more compensation, that may be your cue to start discreetly looking for a different position.