Requesting (and Getting) the Raise You Deserve

Australians looking for more pay

 

 

 

 

 

 

It used to be that raises were an annual thing – people could expect, at the very least, a company wide pay increase around annual review time every year. But when the economy tanked, so did that long-standing tradition of automatic raises. Now, plenty of companies will put off the raise question for as long as they can – waiting for employees to approach them with requests, rather than automatically making the adjustments.

This isn’t necessarily bad business. The previous methodology had people sometimes getting raises they didn’t deserve, simply because the company deemed it “time” to give everyone an increase. With an end to that, there are often more reserves available to give raises to people who truly deserve it – so long as they are willing and able to make a case for themselves.

 

Be Reasonable with Your Expectations

When trying to determine how much to ask for, know that you likely aren’t going to get a 20 percent increase, just because you ask for it. Keep your current salary in mind when thinking about how much more you hope to be making, and consider when the last time you received a raise was, as well. If you just got a pay increase six months ago, know that you are doing better than most people in the workforce right now – and ask yourself whether or not now is really the right time to be asking for more.

 

Do Your Research

Spend some time finding out what the average pay grade is for your position in your area. Plenty of sites make these searches simple for anyone to complete – and you can find out where you stand on the range compared to others doing your same job nearby. This information could have the potential of being extremely beneficial when you make your case.

 

Keep a File

It is always a good idea to keep a list of your accomplishments nearby, even when you aren’t actively seeking a pay raise. You never know when such a file may come in handy, be it when you are applying for a move up within your company or when you are asking for more money. Keep a list of all accommodations and successful project completions in that file for you to reference back to when the time is right.

 

Make the Respectful Approach

There is a right and a wrong way to ask for a raise, and the wrong way would be to approach your boss casually in the break room and ask for more money there. Instead, you want to come at this discussion as professionally as possible. Send a meeting request to your supervisor, letting him or her know exactly what you are hoping to talk about. Show up the day of your meeting in your best work attire and have your case prepared for presentation – including the research you have done on average pay scales and your list of recent contributions and accomplishments.

 

Be Open to Alternatives

Time Magazine recently reported that two-thirds of people asking for a raise get at least some of the money they request. You certainly have the opportunity to come out of this discussion better than you entered into it, even if you don’t get the exact raise you are requesting. Don’t be so focused on that dream number that you stubbornly talk yourself out of what is being offered. Recognize that companies don’t always have the means to give you exactly what you are looking for, but they may be able to offer other benefits or rewards (such as an extra week of paid vacation) that could be just as appealing.

 

 

Coming Out on Top with Salary Negotiations

pay riseIt happened. You put the time in, searched for the perfect job, went through all the interview rounds, and now – they’ve offered you the position. Congratulations! You made it!

Except, the fun has really only just begun. You see, so many people make the mistake of automatically leaping upon the first offer they receive. They are so excited to be getting the job at all, that they fear rocking the boat by requesting more. They don’t realize that most companies count on salary negotiations as being a part of the process – or that negotiating a higher salary actually puts them in a better position for the duration of their career. Because making more now, means larger increases in the future.

So, yes, you are allowed to negotiate. But doing it well? That’s another thing entirely.

 

Don’t Give the First Number

A lot of companies will try to get you to commit to a number you are willing to take long before you have even been offered the job. This is a standard negotiating procedure for them – if you give a number early on; they know the lowest amount you are willing to take. And they will likely offer at that point. So whenever possible, you want to avoid giving them that number. Leave that space blank on applications, and provide deflecting responses if the question comes up in interviews. For instance, you may want to tell them that you are willing to consider any reasonable offer if asked. This keeps you from giving an exact number, and puts them in the position of first determining what “reasonable” might be.

 

Know What You’re Worth

Before going into any salary negotiations, you want to take the time to research your value. Look up average salary ranges for similar positions in your area, and take into consideration your level of expertise and experience when deciding which end of that range you belong on. Compile the data and look up information about the company you are applying to, as well. A larger, more lucrative company is likely in the position to pay more for quality talent than a smaller mom and pop shop.

 

Present a Fair Counter-Offer

Never accept the first offer made to you. If the offer is presented verbally, ask for 24-hours to make a decision. And then come back with a reasonable counter-offer via e-mail, utilizing professional language and remaining thankful for the opportunity. Use your research to determine what your counter-offer should be, and to back up why you are asking for more than was originally offered. You also want to take into consideration what the original offer is. Generally, you don’t want to counter-offer for more than 15 percent of the original offer – remember that companies have a range they are able to pay, and it generally doesn’t exceed much higher than 15 percent of what they initially offer.

 

Don’t Oversell

One of the biggest mistakes people make in salary negotiations is trying to “play” the employer. They may make claims of having incredible offers from elsewhere, or try to overhype what they have to offer. The thing is, even if you do have a better offer from elsewhere – it is naïve to think an employer doesn’t have a backup or two in their pile of resumes as well. And no employer wants to feel as though they are fighting for your interest. They want employees who actually want to work with them; who actually want this job. So don’t oversell it. Stick to facts and statistics in making your counteroffer, and show gratitude for the opportunity throughout. Employers are absolutely willing to negotiate, but only for those who continue to prove they would be valuable employees; which means those who are willing to negotiate in respectable and reasonable terms.

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