If you are afraid to ask for a raise, you are not alone. Most people, no matter how self-confident they are, feel quite anxious about this issue. But good work should be rewarded, and most companies know that great talent is hard to come by and that the cost of turnover is quite high.
If you’re doing an outstanding job, your bosses will do what it takes to keep you. All that you need is a plan. Here’s one you can carry out in ten easy steps:
Get your timing right: Timing is everything. It is probably not best to ask for a raise when the company has just announced a massive layoff or your boss is stressed out with a huge project, or you have just returned from a two-week vacation. Try to find a quiet time, preferably when you have just completed a major initiative or pulled off a major coup.
Leverage: Start meeting with recruiters and headhunters and begin applying for other jobs. The more leverage you have, the stronger your negotiating position will be. Plus, it is a good opportunity to assess the job market. If there are lack of places for you to go, you might have to dial down your expectations.
Formalize: Let your boss know that you would like to schedule a meeting with them and an HR representative to discuss your future. Send a meeting invitation and plan for atleast a 45-minute discussion.
Know and state your value: Make a list of all your skills, from your fluency in a foreign language to your IT experience, from your project management protocols to your accreditations, classes, and expertise. Chances are, the last time your boss reviewed your skills was when they first looked at your resume.
State your successes: Prepare a bulleted list of all your accomplishments since you joined the company and bring it to the meeting. Do not leave anything out. Build it up with supporting evidence, like financial documents, plans, and press coverage. Have this evidence on hand during the meeting! Most bosses are not aware of all that you’ve done.
Benchmark: Do your homework and benchmark your salary against other talent in similar positions in your company. When you give your boss your proposal, go for the highest range. You will want to have room to negotiate it down.
Have a firm attitude: There is a difference between asking for more money and asserting your value to the organization. Demonstrate your desire to help and your ability to contribute to the business’s success. No one wants to hear someone whine and complain. Let your boss know that you are committed to the company, that you enjoy your work, and that you are more than happy to take on additional responsibilities.
Negotiate: Be prepared for a “no,” and be ready to negotiate. Nothing will come to you that easy.
Document: Write up what you agreed to in a formal memorandum and email it to your boss and your HR rep. Add all the pertinent details, such as the amount of the raise, the effective pay period, title changes, and anything else you agreed to.
Follow Up: If you had to accept a smaller raise than you wanted, agree to it for a six-month period with a promise to renegotiate based on your performance.
Do your homework, and do not sell yourself short.