How can I get a raise?

We're living in a world where many people think it's their right to have a pay increase. And while there are certainly situations where you're being paid unfairly or below market rate, at the end of the day you work for a business who has to make real decisions around value. Think about your salary negotiation as just that, a negotiation. 

While you're thinking you should be getting paid more (because bills), they're considering your value. So the best way to get a raise is to do your homework ahead of time and be prepared to make a case for yourself.

Getting a raise is sometimes complicated...and other times it's really just straight forward.

In fact, sometimes getting a pay increase may be as simple as just asking for it. But walking straight into your manager’s office and asking for a raise without any upfront preparation probably isn’t going to end in the result you want.

Before you jump straight to the “ask”, here are four stages to consider: the process, your options, your case, and “the ask”. The more information you have upfront, the more likely you are to be satisfied with the outcome of the conversation.

Consider the following questions:

  • The Process: What is your company’s compensation philosophy? What are their criteria for providing a pay increase? When do they discuss pay increases?

  • Your Options: Why are you asking for a raise? Consider how your values and strengths play a role here. When you think about a raise, what exactly are you looking for? You do not need to list it in too much detail, but consider whether you are looking for a greater salary, more equity, a bonus, more vacation, etc.

  • Your Case: Which parts of your work performance suggest that you deserve a raise? What would motivate your manager to give you a raise? What additional work or value will you add to your company? Why do you deserve a raise?

  • The Ask: How will you ask and when will you ask? Try to be open here. The goal is likely not to give your manager an ultimatum but to open the discussion. You want a raise and you want to know how to get one.

  • From here, ask to schedule a meeting, clarify the purpose of the meeting so your manager is prepared and bring your research to begin an informed discussion.

It's ideal to start thinking about your next raise on a regular basis. What would you need to do to get the next pay increase?  Does that increase come with expectations that you're willing to meet? What skills do you need to acquire to get this raise?