How to Ask for a Pay Raise
By Susan M. Heathfield. Human Resources Expert
Susan Heathfield is a Human Resources expert. She is a management and organization development consultant who specializes in human resources issues and in management development to create forward thinking workplaces. Susan is also a professional facilitator, speaker, trainer, and writer.
Susan is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Susan contributes regularly to professional publications including a book chapter for ASTD and a recent article in the American Society for Quality 's Journal for Quality and Participation. This Web site is recommended as a resource by many colleges and universities including the ILR School Catherwood Library at Cornell University.
Susan has covered Human Resources for About.com since 2000.
You can read more about Susan's current and past work on her Google Profile: Susan Heathfield .
Want more money than you're currently making? If your goal is to stay in your current job, working for your present employer, you'll need to ask for a pay raise. Planning and preparation are key when you ask for a raise. So are timing, your employer's pay practices, and the market-based pay rates for your job.
Steps in Asking for a Pay Raise - Research an Appropriate Pay Raise
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- Familiarize yourself with your employer's pay practices. If the standard practice is to offer salary increases once a year after an annual review, you are unlikely to receive a raise at any other time.
- Read your employee handbook. The handbook may present the process whereby pay raises are granted. If a policy or a process exists, your
best bet when asking for a pay raise, is to follow the process exactly.
- Network with other employees in similar jobs in similar industries to determine your salary competitiveness. Professional associations also do salary surveys and provide networking opportunities with people in similar jobs.
Prepare Your Presentation for the "Ask for a Pay Raise" Meeting
Once you've done your pay research in the above steps, you should have a good idea about how competitive your pay is in your industry.
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Next, you need to look at your work contributions to determine how you will present the request for a pay raise to your boss.
Or perhaps you've determined that your pay is competitive. Ask yourself why you deserve a pay raise because you will need good data to support your request for a pay raise. Determine whether the topic of the meeting you schedule is to ask for a pay raise.
Maybe it's smarter to ask your boss what you need to do to qualify for the highest possible pay raises and bonuses in the future, if you cannot justify a higher salary now.
- Make a list of the goals you have accomplished for the company. Determine how their accomplishment has helped the company. Document costs savings, productivity improvement, superior staff development, important projects achieved, above-the-call customer service, and ways in which you have contributed more than your job required. Documented, these accomplishments may justify a pay increase.
- Make a list of any additional responsibilities you have added to your job. An increase in responsibility, more employees supervised, or special projects are often grounds for an increase, if you ask.
- Set a pay increase goal, in your mind, that appears to reward the contributions and additional responsibilities you have documented.
- Learn about negotiation from books, resources, networking, and friends who have successfully negotiated a pay raise.
- Set up a meeting with your immediate supervisor to discuss your compensation. You will not want to ambush your supervisor. If the supervisor is unprepared to discuss an increase with you, nothing will happen at the meeting. Your boss will also want to do his research with the Human Resources staff and his own industry sources.