Have you been thinking about asking your job for a raise? Now more than ever women should feel encouraged to ask for a raise. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, men make roughly 24% more than women and the gap is even wider if you are a woman of color. With wage inequality also factored in, going about asking for a raise can be challenging, but with the right preparation and attitude, it can go a lot smoother than you may think.
When asking for a raise, the majority of the work is found in the preparation for the meeting. The first step in preparing is figuring out why you are asking for the raise. There can be many reasons: pay inequality, a change in your job description, a greater need for higher wages, achievements, and added responsibilities.
Once you figure out your reasoning, you want to type out your talking points for the meeting. This will allow you to rehearse and for a smooth and confident delivery. You should also include a list of everything you've done while at the company: the projects you've spear-headed, achievements, new strategies you've adopted as well as your future plans in the company. Consider making extra copies so that you and your supervisors can look over it during the meeting.
Once your points are put together, schedule the meeting.
Timing is Key
The timing of your request plays a large role. Familiarize yourself with your company's policies and timeline. Is a new fiscal year or is there a time in the year when pay raises are expected? Be sure you know the answer to these questions then schedule your meeting accordingly.
Also, keep in mind the company's financial trajectory. Did the company just face huge losses or lose a contract? Try not to schedule a meeting after a negative turnout. The best time to ask for a raise is after large successes for the company and morale is high. Always consider the company as a whole when making requests and especially when asking for a raise.
The Big Day
The big day has finally arrived and you are prepped and ready to ace your meeting. Even if your workplace is casual, when asking for a raise dress professionally. Here are some tips:
Speak loud and clearly
Be a good listener
Be open to negotiating
Be Happy with the Outcome
Keep in mind that your company may not respond immediately. There are additional factors that need to be considered before a final decision can be made. Have patience and be happy with the outcome.
If you got the raise, congratulations. Your hard work and dedication has payed off. Be sure to send a formal letter of gratitude to the appropriate parties involved.
If you don't get the raise, don't take this as a loss or a sign of your value. Many companies have strict guidelines that have very little flexibility when it comes to pay. Keep moving forward. There are always going to be more opportunities to ask for a raise in the future.
Asking for a raise is a multi step process that can seem intimidating to a lot of people. With the right preparation and key timing, it can go well. Keep these things in mind and go out and ask your boss for a raise. Good Luck!