Some companies will adjust employees’ salaries automatically each year, but if your employer doesn't, you should ask for a raise.
“No one else is going to look out for your career progress or compensation the way you will for yourself,” says Jaime Petkanics, career advisor and founder of The Prepary, an online guide for job advice. “The ball is in your court and if you don’t ask, you may not ever receive.”
Although it may be intimidating to ask for a raise, doing so will keep you motivated at your job and it also shows your boss that you care about progress and the quality of your work.
Petkanics shares with us the do's and don'ts when asking for a raise:
When to ask
Do make sure you time the request right. Asking too soon into a new job is poor form. Petkanics says the best time to ask is around one or two years in the same position without a change in compensation, especially if your role has changed. If your company holds annual performance reviews, this is an appropriate time to bring up compensation.
Don’t deny yourself the right to compensation for an increased workload. If you were hired for specific responsibilities and you find yourself in charge of many other tasks, the amount of time you’ve been in the position is irrelevant. Ask for a raise to reflect the amount of work you’re responsible for.
How to ask
Do prepare your manager for the conversation. Giving them a heads up about what you’d like to discuss will give them a chance to review your performance and history with the company. On the other hand, they may be more inclined to say "no," if they feel they have to make a decision on the spot.
Don’t talk about your compensation over email. A discussion like this warrants scheduling a time to meet in person. Show your manager that you’ve earned a raise by outlining what skills, clients, or growth you’ve brought to the company since you began. Never tell your hiring manager that you need it to support your standard of living. Your compensation should only be reflective of your job performance.
What to ask
Don’t undersell yourself. A typical "cost of living increase" is three percent, says Petkanics, and your time with the company, level of responsibility and other factors may warrant a raise larger than that. Just be sure not to go beyond a reasonable amount. The salary you ask for does play a role in the way your manager views you, and you don’t want to put any tension in your relationship.
If you're worried that asking for a raise might put your job in jeopardy, Petkanics says not to worry — if you're prepared for the conversation and your accomplishments warrant an adjustment , then you deserve to be paid what you’re worth.
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