Brian has been working in the same company for four years. In this time, his salary has not been reviewed. Brian feels he should be earning more, but every time he requests for a salary review, the boss ignores his request.
“Whenever I ask my employer for a raise or a promotion in my job, he always brushes off the idea. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, how I’m I supposed to ask for a raise?” Asks Brian
Most of the time, it’s all about timing when asking for a raise, however, there are some things that you could be saying that will hurt your chances of getting that salary raise.
Here are four things you should never say when asking for a raise:
1. Don’t threaten to quit
It might seem like a good idea, especially if you are a good performer and you think the company needs you. However, the sad truth is everyone is replaceable. So never threaten to quit unless you are ready to follow through with it.
When asking for a salary increase, you need to try to get on your boss’s good side. Do not anger them.
If you approach the meeting with aggressively, your boss will likely not respond favorably – he may actually call your bluff and tell you to quit.
Instead, you can choose to explain how much you enjoy your work. Let your boss know that you’re interested in growing with the company. Next, state your argument for a salary increase. Be professional and keep your negotiation brief.
2. Don’t mention a co-worker’s salary
Never bring up another employee’s salary as a defense to why you should get a raise. This will never work.
Even if you learn that a co-worker in a similar position as you earns more, don’t mention this when speaking with your boss about a raise.
There may be valid reasons why your co-worker earns more. Maybe he has an advanced degree, or maybe he took additional courses to improve his skill. Or maybe he was better at negotiating his/her salary during the interview process.
Don’t immediately assume that your employer is intentionally paying you less, how much you earn usually depends on how good your salary negotiation skills are.
Rather than bring up a co-worker’s salary you could say, “I’m been researching the going rate for this position, and the average salary for workers with my education and experience is 50K. I feel that I’ve been doing a great job and would like to discuss increasing my salary.”
Just ensure that you have solid proof that you deserve the raise because of your work.
This will work better than complaining about how someone else earns this amount and so you deserve it too.
3. Don’t choose the wrong time
Like I said earlier when you ask for a raise is just as important as how you ask for it. There are various factors that determine whether you can get a raise or not. For example, is the company performing well financially or is it near the end of the financial year where they are coming up with a budget?
Don’t ask for a raise when the company is performing poorly financially, you also have to try and find them in a good mood because they will be more likely to have a positive response when they are happy. Don’t also ambush your boss plan a meeting with them.
Don’t ask your employer for a raise out the blue, and you certainly shouldn’t ask during a meeting.
4. Don’t whine about your personal problems
Do you have a HELB debt? Was your spouse laid off? These are all valid reasons to negotiate a salary increase. However, this has nothing to do with your boss; they are not required to give you a raise just because your financial responsibilities changed.
Your boss will empathize with your situation, that isn’t grounds for them to give you a raise, you need to show you deserve the increase and this can only be done through your work.
Prior to this meeting, compile a list of all your accomplishments during the last 12 months. When your boss questions your reasons, be ready to run down this list and mention any other selling points.
You could say, “In the past 4 months I’ve taken on several new responsibilities (list them), and I know that you were satisfied with many of my suggestions and changes.”
When asking for a salary raise you need to be ready to hear no, as such you need to have a back-up plan on how to ensure that even though you don’t get an increase you get something.
This is where you can discuss benefits such as a substitute as you wait for a better time to ask for a salary increase again.
Getting paid your worth can improve job satisfaction. And if you’re already completing assignments outside your job description, why not take a chance and approach your boss?