You’re an experienced IT project manager or application developer. You’ve been with your employer for some years now, and you know that your efforts have contributed significantly to your company’s revenue. So it’s only logical to think it’s time to reassess your salary. But if you’ve never negotiated a raise before, you might feel a bit apprehensive about broaching the subject with your supervisor.
Despite the incredibly low employment rate, you’re not alone: Hannah Morgan states in her U.S. News Money article titled “How to Ask for a Raise—and actually get it” that nearly 60 percent of all workers don’t ask their employers for a raise. In fact, only 40 percent of men and 26 percent of women feel comfortable discussing a salary increase. But the truth of the matter is that if you don’t initiate the conversation, your employer probably won’t, either. In short, it’s up to you to take action. Follow these five steps to effectively negotiate a raise.
- Research your company’s policies regarding raises. As Lisa Quast points out in her Forbes article “Want a Raise? Preparation, Strategy and Timing Are Key,” you need to do your homework. Refer to your employee handbook or speak to somebody in HR to find out what your company’s policies are regarding raises. Are they always tied in with performance reviews? How are they determined? Who has the final word in the decision-making process? Find out as much as you can so you can tailor your request appropriately.
- Research the going market rate for similar positions with the same amount of experience as you possess. Glassdoor is a great source of information: simply enter your job title and location, and you’ll see both the national average salary and the median salary for similar professionals in your area. This enables you to put your request into a competitive context while still remaining reasonable.
- Justify your request. Double-check that you’ve consistently met your job requirements. Make a list of the projects you’ve worked on and what you’ve contributed to the company. Are there any instances where you went above and beyond the call of duty, for example in troubleshooting a new app or managing a difficult project? Use this information to prepare a detailed overview of your contributions, and where possible, illustrate it with visual aides.
- Time your request. It’s vital that you only discuss a raise when your company and your supervisor are in a good place. If the company is making cuts, it’s not a good time to broach the subject. Also, make sure to understand when the company usually gives raises so you can be realistic about the timing of your request. You don’t want to bring it up so far in advance of the normal raise cycle knowing that, in all likelihood, a raise will not be approved until the next cycle. On the other hand, if raises are typically given during a specific month, it might be wise to approach your supervisor a month or two in advance.
- Schedule an appointment to discuss your raise. Make an appointment with your supervisor for a relatively calm day like a Friday, and ask for 30 minutes or an hour of his or her undivided attention.
- Prepare your response if you’re met with a refusal. Even if you’re disappointed, remain calm and polite. Enquire what you need to do in order to be eligible for a raise, as well as when would be a good idea to return to the subject.
Asking for a raise is a sensitive matter that can be intimidating at first. But if you do your research and prepare properly, you can greatly enhance your chances of your employer increasing your salary.
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GradSchoolHub.com infographic “How to Negotiate a Higher Salary