Asking for raise at work can be a difficult, somewhat awkward thing to do. This is especially true for those of us who are introverts. However, failing to ask for raise when you know you deserve one hurts not only you but your family as well.
Prior to asking for a meeting to discuss a potential salary increase, prepare a list of your accomplishments to date. Also, put together another list of ideas you have to make the business better. The pay bump needs to be mutually beneficial or at least perceived as such by management.
You want extra money and the company will need to receive something extra in return. Whether it's additional productivity or a new invention, there will need to be some return on investment for the organization to grant a raise in pay.
Here are some ice breakers you can use to broach the topic.
The subtle approach
Hello Matt, would you happen to have some time to discuss a few ideas I have for integrating the CRM platform with Facebook leads?
I've been studying extensively on digital marketing as of late and would love some time to share my thoughts with you.
This approach doesn't ask for a raise outright, instead, it allows you some time to discuss the additional value you are bringing to the company. Once you have thoroughly explained your proposal, let them know that you are requesting a salary increase along with the new responsibility.
There are pros and cons to this approach. While it's a definite plus to offer a manager additional value, they may feel blindsided by the request for additional money. For some, it's best to include the salary discussion request in the email.
The direct approach
Hello Matt, I would like to schedule some time with you to discuss an increase in salary. I have recently earned the Project Management Professional distinction from the Project Management Institute and would love the opportunity to use the skills I've obtained at work.
This approach lets the manager know the purpose of your meeting request and the reason why you feel a salary increase is appropriate. The downside to this approach is that the manager may avoid the meeting if they don't want to discuss a raise with you.
You'll need to determine the best way to approach the decision maker(s) for your raise. Consider how they have reacted in the past to tense situations and how amendable they have been to others with respect to promotions, transfers to other departments, and vacations.
Once you have gotten the icebreaker out of the way and the meeting scheduled, it's time to market yourself. Here are some tips to help make your case for a salary bump.
Be sure to name your price for the additional work before agreeing to take on more responsibility. Failure to do so may result in you gaining additional tasks without more pay. To find out where there an opportunity for additional tasks may be lurking, check with HR about job openings.
A job opening at a company means there is a problem that needs to be solved within the organization. Letting management know that you have the skillset to meet that need can help you make your case for an increase in salary. You could also ask other departments what issues they are currently facing at work.
Most people will be happy to vent about things that annoy them at the job. You will need to sift through the gossip and find a problem that you can provide a solution for. For example, you may learn that the accounting department is struggling with the current reports generated from the billing software.
To solve this you could offer to extract the data and run an analysis on the export for them. This will allow you to showcase your Excel or SQL skills, as well as your ability to problem-solve. Even if you are not tech-savvy, finding solutions to problems is a great way to get noticed and pick up extra tasks at work.
Find out what is broken at the company and provide management with a solution that you can provide to fix it.
Be careful when choosing certifications to pursue. Many companies create certifications as a money grab. They may offer little value to your career and only help in lightening your wallet.
This is especially true in the IT industry. For example, nearly every programming language carries a certification but there are seldom any job postings that require or desire one.
There are, however, a few universally appealing certifications that are sure to help you earn more money at work. Here are some of the best ones to get along with the pre-requisites needed for attaining them.
Project Management Professional: This certification is considered the gold standard when it comes to project management. To obtain this distinction you will need to pass a 4-hour, 200-question test. In addition to this, you will need between 4,500 - 7,500 hours of project management experience along with 35 hours of formal project management training.
Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma Black Belt: There are several companies that provide Six Sigma certifications. There is little difference in value amongst the various providers. I've never seen a job posting that requires your certification to be issued by a specific certifying body.
Certification in whatever software the company uses: If the company uses a CRM vendor, there may be a certification that you can get. Salesforce, for example, has numerous certifications available for various roles. When you master the software the organization uses, you'll be able to come up with creative solutions to tackle the complex problems that arise daily.
Independent of the approach you take, ensure that there is an exchange of value when asking for more money. Think of yourself as a business and the employer as the client. If a business wants to charge a customer more, they typically would present additional value to justify the cost jump. Shake the employee mentality and you will not only increase your pay at work but your happiness overall.