How to Ask for a Raise So You Actually Get One

The cost of living is rising across the country, yet many incomes are staying the same. Many Australians feel they’re stuck in a financial trap in some form or another. The Australian Bureau of Statistics report shows that the top 5th of all households continue to raise their own income while everyone behind them stays the same. To do so, many workers need to first ask for a raise.

When you have bills to pay, you need to find a way to raise your own income. For many, this means you need to ask for a raise from your employer. Asking for a raise should be simple. If you’re a valued employee, your employer should want to make you happy, yes?

Yet, almost half of all Australians won’t ask for a pay increase. According to the study by Indeed, 12% of those surveyed fear losing their job while another 17% had been refused a raise in the past.

If those statistics teach us anything, it’s that there’s a right way to ask your employer for more money that doesn’t compromise your position within the company. In a perfect world, nobody would ever have to ask for a raise. Of course, the world isn’t perfect, so sometimes we need to take matters into our own hands. Here’s how to ask for a raise so you actually get one.

1. Think About Your Why

Before you take any action, you need to be honest with yourself. Do you deserve a raise? This honest self-assessment needs to go beyond your initial “of course I do!” mentality. We all want more money for the work we do. That’s only human. Why do you actually deserve a raise based on your work up until this point?

Take on your manager’s point of view. If you were your own supervisor, ask these questions about your performance:

  • Would you be happy with your level of work?
  • Is there anyone else at your office doing better or the same level of work?
  • What value do you bring to your company?
  • How has your experience level changed since you began? (ie. did you learn a new skill or get additional training)

The goal of this exercise is to understand the why behind your raise. Getting a raise just for the sake of it usually isn’t enough. You need to back up your qualifications, your experience, and what you offer the company.

2. Research Your Positions

There’s no reason to be afraid to ask for a raise. It’s a normal, expected part of the employer-manager relationship. Employers understand that you have bills to pay and that you grow as an employee over time.

That being said, you can’t blindly go to your bosses office and ask for more money. You need to do your research first so you can present an argument for your raise that’s based on facts not feelings. Start this research by studying your position and your local market. How much does someone with your experience level get paid on average where you live? Glassdoor is an excellent resource for this.

Are you being paid on the same level of other professionals on your field? If so, you can certainly still get a raise, but you might need to work harder for it. If you discover you’re being paid below market average, that gives you leverage room.

3. Understand Your Employer

Next, you need to take a hard look at your employer before you ask for a raise. Unfortunately, not all employers can actually afford to give raises to top employees. If you’re working for a new company or a small business with only a few employees, there might not be extra cash for these types of raises.

Sometimes companies struggle financially. While they might recover soon, it’s not a good idea to ask for a raise while the going is tough. Instead, consider if it’s worth staying with this organization and waiting it out, or if you would be better off elsewhere.

4. Knowing When to Ask

Now that you know if it’s appropriate to ask for a raise as well as your current market value, it’s time to prepare to ask the big question. You don’t want to ask at the wrong time and catch your boss on a bad day. Like most things in life, timing is everything.

First, wait for a time when you know your boss is in a good mood. You also don’t want to ask when the boss is crunched for time, such as right before a meeting or at the end of the day. If possible, ask your boss in advance if they can put time aside to speak with you.

5. Ask For A Raise Confidently and Professionally

Finally, when you do ask the question, be confident. You’ve done your research. You know you deserve this raise, now ask for it. However, be professional. Never blame your employer or call out other employees who make more than you. It’s tempting to say things like “I’ve been here forever” or “I need the money,” but this puts your employer in an uncomfortable position.

Approach asking for a raise with respect. Explain your value and why you feel you deserve a raise, as well as your research about how much your position is worth in your market. In most cases, the answer will never be a firm no. Take a negative answer for what it really is: not right now.

If you’ve presented everything with confidence, you’ve likely just earned yourself a raise. Congratulations! This is a big accomplishment.

Now it’s up to you to put your newfound income to good use. Not sure where to start? Talk to a professional at Debt Busters today on 1300 368 322 for the best saving and debt payoff strategies to take your money further.

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