It’s the start of a new season—time for each of us to evaluate the status quo and prioritize necessary changes so we can grow and challenge ourselves. Has your relationship slowed to a snail’s pace? Is your job at a dead end? The issue of salary is usually near the top of that list, but don’t jump into that conversation with your boss unless you’re fully prepared. Here, six ways to guarantee you’ll be heard.
Prepare Your Case
Compile a detailed list of what you've accomplished since you were last awarded a raise or since you were initially hired. The most sought-after employees are the ones who kick ass quietly, without needing to be micromanaged, but your boss may not fully grasp your worth until you lay it out. Include deals you've closed, programs you've initiated and praise you've received from your managers, employees and outside partners. Clear demonstration of the ROI on your position is best. Remember, a raise signifies you're more valuable than you used to be, so be prepared to prove it.
Know Your Market Value
Sure, you can base your salary requirements on how much Balmain you’d like to buy, but your boss won't. Understanding what salary your role commands at other companies is a critical part of negotiating your raise. Ask around, or use sites like PayScale to get an accurate picture of your worth. If your supervisor values you, he or she won't want you to get poached by a company with more competitive pay.
Emphasize The Future
Outline your plans for the next couple of quarters so your boss has a clear vision of the return he or she is getting for the increased investment in your role. Be specific, not lofty.
Make A Logical Argument
Unless you're lucky, your company likely doesn't hand out cash just for length of service, so asking for a raise with your review might not make sense. Instead, make a case for it after you've shown an increase in value (closed a big deal) or as you're being assigned more or different responsibilities. Saying, "But I’ve been here a year!" is a lot different than saying, "I just brought in X dollars to the company."
Pretend this is an interview and prepare for tough questions by enlisting a friend to role-play with you. Prepare talking points and practice articulating them so you don't choke once you're in the room. Most importantly? Know how you're planning to respond if their answer is "no" before you enter the room.
Have A Backup Plan
In some cases, you might have to Jedi mind-trick your superiors into giving you the raise you deserve. If bumping your salary makes them sweat the company's bottom line, you might suggest a performance-based bonus or commission-based payouts, if appropriate.