I have been at my current company, a medium-sized advertising agency, for the last year. When I joined the organization, it was decided that I would work for 30K but after a year, there would be a review on my salary depending on my performance.
For the past year, I’ve really succeeded here—I have continued to take on higher-profile clients and projects, and I have received great feedback from my boss.
So as the year came to an end, I decided to approach my boss about the salary review. I did my research and planned to ask for a raise of 25%, which would mean my salary would be in line with what people in my field at this level make.
At the end of the meeting, I had managed to convince my boss that I deserved the increase and even though I didn’t manage to get the full 25% increase, I got a 20% increase plus additional allowances such as transport and communication allowance.
So how did I go about successfully asking for a raise?
1. I did extensive salary research beforehand.
You will not be able to successfully negotiate if you do not understand just how much you should ask for.
You have to look at the industry standards, years of experience and size of the company among other things. This will give you a better idea as to what someone in your position should be earning.
Not knowing how much you deserve might lead you to accept an offer that is way below what you should be earning.
2. Base your request on your performance
Most people usually ask for a raise because of increased responsibilities and the need to cover their increasing bills.
While this is a good motivator, it should not be the reason you give your boss. There is only one thing that can convince your boss to give you a raise and that is your performance.
So when going to negotiate your salary, ensure you base all your arguments on your performance.
For example, have you been able to increase the revenue of the company? Reduced cost of operations and saved the organization money?
If yes, then this is what you need to present to your boss. They need to see that you have done your part to earn the raise and they will be more willing to actually increase your salary.
3. Choose the time well
Something else that will determine whether you get the salary increase is the time you decide to talk to your boss.
Look at these two scenarios: if one goes to ask for a pay increase when the company is performing well, and the other who goes to ask for a pay increase when the company is facing financial issues – who gets their request granted?
So choose the time you approach your boss wisely.
4. Be prepared for a ‘no’
There is always a real possibility that the answer you get is no, so you need to be prepared to counter this.
For me, I was told that 25% is too high at the moment and so I decided to ask for 20% but with some allowances.
If I had not been prepared for a scenario where my first request is not granted I would have probably left the office feeling dejected and angry.
However, because I was prepared to hear no, I had counter offers ready to ensure I leave the meeting with something concrete.
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When it comes to salary increments, most companies have their own policy that governs when it will happen and by what percentage or amount.
This means that you need to know how your company handles such things so that you don’t end up asking for a raise after the budget for the year has already been passed.
Remember that if you were underpaid in your current job, chances are you will continue to be underpaid throughout your career unless you find a way to convince a new employer to offer you what you deserve.