With the economy making a very, very slow recovery, the work place seems to be more competitive than it has ever been. Getting a 40 hour a week job and sticking with it for 40 years to retire on 40 percent of your income is no longer the great plan that it used to be a generation or two ago. In order to thrive and maintain your job, you must learn how to get recognition and in order to get a raise, you have to earn it.
Huffington Post contributor and Career Coach, Marsha Haygood, contends that there are four things that you must do to get a better salary and be recognized.
Before you stumble into your supervisor’s office and ask for a raise, you must have taken a good look at what you bring to the table. The question that you have to ask yourself is: “Am I solving a problem or fulfilling a need?” In order to be able to confidently ask for a raise, you must have answered yes to one of those two questions. Gone are the days when long service or an increase in your bills were enough reason to ask for a raise.
It is also important to make sure you know what you’re going to say when you ask for that raise, as well as how to say it. Haygood suggests getting clear about your reasons for asking for the raise and then also practicing what you’re going to say. She suggests even practicing in the mirror to make sure that you will make a good case for your request.
GIVE IT SOME TIME
The amount of time that should pass before it is reasonable to expect a promotion varies from organization to organization. It helps to look at the pattern and culture of the organization. For example, some organizations will only give raises once a year after a performance evaluation. If this is the case, find out when evaluations are and be prepared when the time comes.
DON’T MAKE A CASE BASED ON WHERE OTHERS ARE
Comparing yourself to your co-workers is not a good strategy if you’re looking for a raise. For example, it’s not a good idea to say, “my co-worker makes this much so I want to make this much”. That is not a good enough reason and you will probably not get what you’re asking for.
It is better to use other people’s salaries just to get an idea of what a reasonable expectation should be.
BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR REQUEST
According to Haygood, if you want to open up a salary negotiation, you need to consider three things,
“This is what I really want; this is what I’ll accept; and this is a deal breaker and I’m going to do something about it.”
Here is an example by Haygood:
You’re making $70,000, you really want to make $100,000, you’ll settle for $85,000.
The bigger the raise that you’re asking for, the more solid your reasons for asking for it should be. Make sure you are well prepared before you walk in to work to have the conversation with your employer or supervisor.