Asking for a Raise and Getting It

By Lynda C. Corpuz

He resigned the month the company launched its new product, where he helped mount half of the program that was well attended. On his last day that coincided with the party, his boss approached him and asked if he was really sure of leaving. All he mustered was a heavy smile. The boss took him aside and they talked about the resignation.

His situation is usual for any individual who loves to do more work. Apart from being a writer, he also multitasked for the firm’s events and marketing departments of one of today’s fast growing publishing outfits, efforts that were commended by his bosses. But he got tired of doing so many things and realized he deserves to earn more. That’s when he decided to quit.

After talking to his boss, he took a terminal leave, stayed home, and searched for some freelance jobs. Then, a PR and ad agency offered him to handle a multinational company’s corporate social responsibility campaign. He got the job but his publishing employer called him. He informed the boss about the other offer and the latter thought about it. The next day, they were already bargaining and fixing the return package, and a few days after, they met for lunch. His story ends with turning down the other offer and staying with the publishing company. And from writer, he is now the firm’s creative director.

His move, as he puts it, was quite dramatic since he had to stage a resignation scene just to get noticed. But it was a calculated risk, aligned with what experts say that planning and preparation are keys when one asks for a pay raise.

According to online resource Salary.com, pay raises are dependent upon the industry you are employed; the market and pay for your job in the region; the pay practices of your organization, and your performance on your job. With these, following are tips collated from various sources on asking for a raise and bagging the pay you deserve:

Play it well. “When you know your worth, you can always bargain for something better – or for the best,” says MoneySense source.
Knowing your worth also means having the attitude, professionalism, punctuality, to cite a few, as characteristics expected from any employee. Although these are not enough to merit a raise, still, they add handsome points.

You also need to be on the same page with your employer about what is exactly expected of you and getting feedback on your performance, particularly listening to it, is a must before asking for a raise.

Constantly communicating with your boss, above all, remains an important. “I remember my boss telling me during the launch party, ‘Was it just the pay? Why didn’t you tell me?’ He’s right.  I should have talked,” he illustrates.

Timing is everything. Do not surprise your boss in the hallway or the water station with a request for a pay raise. Setting a meeting is important.

Check also how the industry and the company are doing before negotiating. Definitely there is no room for discussions on salary raise if the company is swimming in red ink.

And if your firm has the processes for salary adjustments, abide by them. “You don’t have to bring the HRD manager to your talks with the boss, but telling him or her about your request might just speed it up,” says MoneySense source.

Present your case well. Arming yourself with documents detailing why you deserve to earn a raise is a must in meeting your boss. Listing down your achievements in your position and how you are going the extra mile will definitely help. “Be concise. And to impress, be sure that your tone is very humble,” our source advises.

Be concrete about your demands. If the boss agrees, bargain for a particular amount.  “You may try analyzing how you spend to make sure you considered it well,” he notes.

Be ready for rejection.
And if ever a raise is not possible, do not despair. You can also try to bargain for other benefits that may not cost the company anything such as a telecommuting set-up.

According to Careerbuilder.com, most don’t succeed right away so remember you’re starting a conversation and assess exactly why you were denied. And if you were turned down because of your performance, get advices on how you can improve, so the next time you request for a raise, you will surely get it.

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