Asking for a salary increase is something that many workers fear despite the clear signs that they deserve it. One of the main reasons is that they simply do not know when to ask for a raise or how to approach a potentially difficult subject.
However, the average salary in the US currently stands at $54,132 . When combined with the frightening cost of living crisis that has affected millions, it is clear that a salary negotiation is no longer motivated by greed. It is about knowing your value and protecting your financial health amidst the widespread economic difficulties.
This guide on when to ask for a raise will help you prepare and enable you to approach your employer with a clear and confident strategy. Let’s get started.
Every worker would love a salary increase, but that doesn’t mean everybody can get one. Before approaching your employer, then, it’s important to understand how likely you are to gain the desired response from your boss.
While every worker’s situation is unique, a number of studies have been conducted into this subject and can provide some guidance. Key findings include, but are not limited to;
The above statistics show that the thought of asking for a raise needn’t fill you with fear as there is a very realistic chance of seeing your wages climb by at least 3%. The extra $1,500 (minimum) on a $50,000 salary should be more than enough of an incentive to pose the question – not least because inflation is more than twice this rate.
If you are planning to enter a salary negotiation, it is important not to make the request too soon into your employment or too frequently. After all, asking for more money every 2-3 months is unlikely to be met with enthusiasm by your boss.
Knowing how to negotiate your salary can be particularly useful during the recruitment stage. After all, employers will want to hire the best candidates for their companies, especially in response to the great resignation.
Once you have started your employment, it is advised that you wait at least six months before asking for a raise. Following this, you should not ask for a raise more than once per year – except when certain situations occur.
Research shows that 2 in 3 workers who quit their position cite an inadequate salary as the driving force behind their decision. In many cases, it may have been possible to avoid quitting by proactively seeking a raise. However, any expert in this field will confirm that timing is everything.
Pay progression is usually linked to legal requirements (minimum wage increases), a reflection of increased living costs, increased market rates, performance-based pay , or your length of service.
You may feel that you are deserving of a salary increase, but it counts for very little if you are unable to convince your bosses that you are not currently compensated to the level that you deserve. The following five instances are all good indicators that your hopes of securing a raise will be high.
Perhaps the most effective way to determine whether you’re underpaid is to compare your salary to the earnings of other workers who do the same job. There are plenty of online platforms to value your resume while checking job listings and speaking to other people in your industry should provide further clarity.
There are other factors to consider, such as your experience and location, any clear discrepancy between your earnings and the average salary for someone in your role should not be ignored.
An annual review is the opportune moment to bring up your hopes of an increased salary. A lot can change in a year ranging from living costs to your experience and achievements. It is particularly useful when you have gained positive feedback from your boss or when you have successfully completed your first year with the company.
If it is your first review while working for the company, you should ask for advice on how the meetings are usually handled. This will help you prepare and find the opportune moment to raise the topic.
When your employer expects you to complete more tasks or take on more responsibility, you are well within your right to ask for a pay rise. In most cases, it is a sign that your boss trusts you as a worker. As such, they will want to keep you happy, not least because happy workers are 13% more productive .
Whether the increased workload has been formal or informal, the fact that you’ve noted it suggests that you deserve a pay rise. So, this is a good example of when to ask for a raise from the company.
At the time of accepting your job role, you will have been expected to hit certain targets. In fact, you may have had a probation period. If you have consistently outperformed those expectations, it could be a clear sign that you are due a raise. It is particularly noteworthy if your innovations were a catalyst for success.
If your output has contributed heavily to the company’s success and strong quarterly review, you should have no fear about asking for a raise. After all, your successes deserve to be rewarded with a suitable salary.
When thinking about salary negotiations, it is always wise to consider your employer’s perspective. Every decision is financially motivated. If you are an asset to the company, losing you could cost them dearly. Not least because finding your replacement is very expensive
Having already analyzed your worth to the company, you should know whether losing you would cause issues for the company. If it will, you are strongly positioned to leverage success from this fact.
The statistics show that worthy candidates have a very good chance of securing a raise, not least because we are currently living in an employee’s market . Nevertheless, there are many reasons why your bosses may refuse the claim. Some of the most common reasons include;
If your request is denied, you must stay calm and avoid showing anger. Asking your employer to provide their reasoning can be very useful as it will give you a better understanding of their perspective and ask for advice on what can be done to secure a raise when you revisit the topic later on.
When a pay rise is out of the question, there are a number of alternatives that may be proposed. For starters, you could ask for a promotion , which would mean taking on added responsibilities in return for a higher salary. It could save your employer time and money if they are actively looking to recruit for a new role that’s above your current position. It would also mean that their new recruit has a great understanding of the company.
Another option is to look for ideas that indirectly increase your salary or will reduce your overheads to support your financial wellness. Popular choices that bosses may accept after rejecting the initial request include;
If your boss continues to reject your suggestions, it may be time to start looking for a new job. Do not hand your notice in yet, though. Wait until a better offer is made and then resign.
When entering the salary negotiation process, it is unlikely that you will get everything that you ask for. Therefore, you need to think of yourself as a salesperson trying to sell your time and experience. Despite knowing that a 5% pay rise is usually considered a success, you should probably try to achieve more.
It is generally suggested that a 10-20% pay rise is a good starting point for the negotiations, depending on how long it has been since your last raise. The percentile scale is more useful than setting a monetary target because securing a $2,000 raise in a high-paying job will seem far less impactful than in a low-paid role.
Conversely, if someone on $40,000 suddenly asks for a $30,000 raise, it’s likely that the salary negotiation will lose all credibility before you’ve even started.
Honesty is always the best policy when attempting to secure a raise. Therefore, it is vital that you prepare for the situation by knowing your worth as a value. Almost half of all US workers have quit at least one job due to feeling undervalued or unappreciated. Ask yourself the following questions and you will quickly determine whether your wage is fair;
If you think that now is the time to ask for a raise, you should trust your instinct. You should try to view the process in the same way that you would view applying for a new job because the right preparation will optimize your hopes of success. The following five tips will help:
Asking for a raise is a big moment, especially as you will probably only get one shot at it per year unless your boss asks to put the idea on ice for a few months. Therefore, it is vital that you take a run up at the process. It will allow you to make a compelling case and feel more organized.
Your plans may include listing the reasons you want a raise. This could mean documenting the average salaries at other companies, highlighting your time at the company, and showing that your wage hasn’t increased to the same level as inflation.
Perhaps most importantly, you need to prove your value to the company to confirm that you are worth the increased salary. If you have achieved great things for the company, you should list the accomplishments. Whether it’s an Employee of the Month award, boosting sales, or preventing a company disaster is up to you.
It is very easy for successes to go unnoticed but this is your chance to stand out and stake your claim. On a side note, if you have an offer from a competitor , this can be used to gain further leverage.
The research you complete during the planning phase doesn’t only prove your worth to the employer. It also promotes a sense of self-value and will help you understand how big your pay rise expectations should be. Settling for the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) rate isn’t really a pay rise.
Of course, it is also a chance to be truthful with yourself. If you don’t honestly believe that your work is sufficient for a salary increase, it might be better to go the extra mile over the coming months before revisiting the notion.
Casting a confident figure and maintaining an authoritative voice throughout the negotiation can have a telling influence on your hopes of getting a raise. If your bosses think that you will fold at the sign of resistance, they will probably reject your plea. It is another reason to plan what you wish to say.
Confidence can also manifest as being willing to seek alternative employment and ask your current employer for a referral . However, you may want to leave this until all hopes of a pay rise have been lost.
When you ask for a raise, it is likely that your line manager will need to seek permission from their superior or the business owner. Therefore, it makes sense to put the request in writing. It will support your initial requests and prevent the threat of unfulfilled promises or bosses “forgetting” about it.
Actively putting your request in writing will additionally give you the chance to check that all achievements or key points have been listed. So, it can boost your hopes of getting the raise you deserve.
Technically speaking, an employer may sack you for virtually any reason outside of protected characteristics. However, it would be very bad practice from them because it can harm worker morale across the team. Unless you respond angrily, losing your job is unlikely.
Every worker is different but most find that they should expect a raise every 1-2 years. However, comparing your salary against those of your coworkers and industry as a whole will highlight whether you are underpaid or not.
Yes, although it is bad practice, an employer can reduce your wages, although they would need to pay you at the agreed rate for any completed work. Also, if an employer pays you a different salary to a coworker who completes a similar job, they must be able to justify this.
Employees have the right to reject extra work without extra pay. But you will want to stay respectful when rejecting the request. Explaining that it’s someone else’s job or could disrupt you from your primary responsibilities