An increase in salary and perks is one of the most significant incentives why professionals strive to excel in their careers. The salary is the biggest reason one wants to stay employed and keeps looking for better positions. High-paying roles are not easy to come by at the beginning of one’s career.
However, even if you start at a junior position, you can slowly climb the ranks and eventually secure a high-paying position once you have gathered the necessary experience and spent years in the industry.
However, while some companies have increment policies in place and employees have their salaries revised every couple of years based on their performance, in some cases, you have to ask for the raise yourself.
How soon should you ask for the raise, and what is the best way of doing so? Many employees keep working on lower salaries as they feel they may step out of line by asking for a raise and risk losing their jobs altogether.
However, you should not let fear hold you back, and if you feel you have been a diligent employee and deserve your pay raise, you should speak to your boss about it.
Why Should You Ask for a Raise?
Getting a pay raise will be a massive boost to your self-confidence. Yes, you are bound to feel elated because the additional money and perks will allow you to start living the lifestyle you have always dreamt of.
But the biggest motivating factor is knowing you are going in the right direction and the management appreciates your work. You will feel charged and will perform better, looking forward to the future.
Moreover, if you are working to the best of your abilities, then you should be paid according to the industry standards because that is the mark that you are progressing in your career.
You are bound to pick up new skills and learn new techniques while working at your job, and you will put your new-found knowledge to perform even better in the future. You deserve to be compensated for that.
Bonus Read: How Long Does it Take to Learn a New Job?
Scenarios in Which You Should Ask for a Raise
Particular scenarios will arise at work, and you should take the opportunity to ask for a raise. Here are some of them.
1. Additional Responsibilities
If your employer is giving you additional responsibilities outside the scope of the regular tasks you are designated to do, you should ask for a raise.
More responsibilities mean more effort and also more time. You should be paid more for the additional effort you are putting in.
Your boss might be training you for higher-level roles, but you should ask for a raise if the work pressure is too much for you.
2. Getting a Promotion
If you have received a promotion, you have been given a higher designation, which automatically qualifies for a higher pay package. Your boss will probably tell you the details of the additional perks that come with it.
If your boss doesn’t give you that, you will just be doing more work for the same pay, and you should ask for a raise.
3. You Have Some Time at the Company
Once you have spent some time at the company and know your performance has been met with praise, you can ask for a raise.
Every employee is subjected to review at the end of the year. If you do not see significant negative feedback on your report after spending a year or so at the company, you can ask for a raise.
How Often Should You Ask for an Increment?
It would be best if you asked for a first raise after spending at least six months at the company. In many companies, the first six months are a training period. You can ask for a raise after the period ends, and you are made a permanent employee.
Most employers will give you a raise after completing the first year of the job successfully. If they have a performance review at the end of the year, you can take the opportunity to ask for an appraisal.
If you have been with the company for several years, you can ask for a raise yearly or once in eighteen months.
However, every company pays differently, so you can speak to HR about the increment policy before approaching your employer.
How Much Raise Should You Ask For?
Apart from knowing when to ask for a raise, you should also know how much to ask for a raise. If you have had an enormous increment for one year, your employer might be unwilling to give you another raise within the next six months or one year.
You can expect a raise of 20% of your salary after the first year; from then on, the percentage might increase or decrease yearly, based on your performance.
How to Negotiate a Pay Raise With Your Employer?
Most employers will not begrudge you a pay raise if you have been a good employee and they have no complaints against you. An increase in pay package is the surest way to retain good employees, or the company risks losing them to their rivals.
Hence, once you have made sure you have done everything on your part as a diligent employee, you can go ahead and negotiate your pay raise with your employer during the performance review.
You may not have any need for negotiation if your employer gives you a raise by a healthy margin. However, if not, you can negotiate with your employer on the following points.
- The additional responsibilities that you have handled in recent months.
- The additional work hours you have put in the recent months.
- A list of all the projects you have completed and how you have contributed.
- Any new trouble-shooting ideas you came up with while handling a new task?
- You have shown that you can perform well under pressure where deadlines were changed.
- You have shown that you can handle diverse roles and have helped with other areas at work outside your job description.
- You have learned new skills on the job or gained certifications that have helped you excel at your tasks.
- Your new skills and knowledge of tools have added value to the team as you have reduced the time a task can be accomplished, enabling the company to achieve more in less time, thus saving on resources.
It would be best if you made notes while approaching your employer so that you do not miss details about how you have added value to the company and why you deserve the raise.
When Should You Ask for a Raise and When Should You Wait?
If you have a performance review coming up, then it is better to wait for it instead of asking first. At the end of the evaluation, they will probably mention areas where you can improve and offer you constructive criticism.
Your employer will most likely mention an increase in your pay package at the end of the review. It would be best if you waited to see how much they offer. If you see they did not mention a raise or the raise was not as much as you expected, you should ask for it.
While doing so, you must be prepared and have a note of the accomplishments based on which you could ask for the raise. Add figures to quantify your achievements rather than making vague terms.
For example, there was a 30% increase in revenue last quarter because of the additional customers you brought in (mention the number).
Or, you could talk about the increase in client satisfaction percentage after introducing a new project management tool. Finding the right time to mention your raise can be crucial, so you should consider it.
Tips to Ask for an Salary Increment
Getting an increment is something that everyone looks forward to, so you are bound to be excited about it. However, you should approach this phase with calmness. Here are some tips on how to speak to your employer and help you get a raise.
1. Time It Right
Timing is everything; this could go a long way when you ask for a raise. Wait to speak to your boss for some time and do so after you have completed a project.
Or, wait till you receive some recognition at work. Another good time would be when the company has seen significant success and revenue.
In such cases, your employer will remember the hard work you have put in for your personal growth and for that of the company, and they will be more willing to give you a raise.
2. Avoid Any Rush
Refrain from approaching your boss for a raise at a busy time of the year or when your boss doesn’t feel rushed into making a decision. If they feel pushed, they might refuse you altogether, and you will not be able to bring up the subject anytime soon.
Wait till the peak season is over and your boss is more relaxed to discuss such a topic.
3. Apply for a Promotion
Depending on the company policies, if you feel your boss will not just give you a raise if you ask for it, you could apply for a promotion.
Instead of asking for a raise directly, you can ask your boss about how to apply for a promotion, which will also convey that you are ready to do more for the company.
Once your boss tells you about it, you can ask questions about the increased pay that will come with it.
4. Know Your Industry
One of the biggest mistakes many employees make while asking for a raise is going blind without knowing anything about the industry standards.
Even if you cannot speak to your coworkers directly about how much they make, you can do your research and check the salaries of the designation you are employed in.
While there will be slight differences between each company, you will realize whether you are underpaid. That is your cue to ask for a raise.
5. Make a Case
Unless you fight for yourself, no one else will. Some employers might be difficult when you ask for a raise; some are just stringy with money or toxic by nature. In such cases, you must stand your ground and make a compelling case for yourself.
Make a list of your achievements and state why you need the raise to stay motivated at your job. Explain how you have grown over the years and how your experience has added value to the company.
6. Explain Your Worth
Show your employer that you are an employee worth investing in. Keep working hard, and do not complain if you have a little extra to do at times. Take it in your stride and learn from it, especially if you are eyeing a managerial position someday.
Speak to your employer, and you go out of your way to handle more responsibilities. Managers are always looking for ways to retain good employees, and they will do so for you.
7. Speak Calmly
It is vital to remain calm and use a positive tone while speaking to your employer. Do not get over-excited when you are talking about your achievements.
You should also remain calm if your boss refuses to give you the increment. Do not speak in any accusatory tone or imply that they are being unreasonable.
Negotiate with the utmost professionalism and thank them for their time, even if they decline your request and continue working hard.
Should You Leave a Company for Not Getting a Raise?
It can be pretty demotivating if your boss declines your request for a raise. However, do not relapse into depression and give up on your work.
Instead, keep working hard and add value to the company so that your boss reconsiders their decision and agrees to increase your salary and perks in the next cycle.
However, if you see that there has been no substantial growth in your salary for years and your friends in other companies at similar roles and designations are making way more money than you, then it is time to think of a change.
Maybe your company or your boss is unwilling to go the extra mile for their employees. They would rather keep hiring new employees at lower salaries than retain experienced employees with higher pay packages.
In such cases, you can think of applying to other companies. You will have some experience behind you and probably start earning what you deserve. However, do not hastily quit your present company.
Make sure you have secured another job before quitting your present one, and you are entitled to all the perks and benefits while leaving the job.
Getting a raise will improve your lifestyle, and you will love your job all the more for it. It will lift your spirits since it shows the company values you.
However, it would help if you kept working hard even after you got a raise instead of slowing down and becoming complacent. There are other milestones to achieve down the line. By continuing to work hard, you will prepare for the next phase of your career and even more increments down over the years.