Bitch better have my money: Asking for a (big) raise

Most people think they should get a raise. And as a woman, you probably should if you’re being underpaid like most of us are – but what about a big raise? I’m talking a 22% PLUS increase on your salary.  Do you deserve it? And if you do, how do you ask for one?

Should you get a raise?

We’d all like more money. To help us move out, so we can go to Nandos more, travel to Brazil and stand under waterfalls… you know, for the important things. And lots of times in work, as with any place you spend majority of your day, you can begin to get a bit cabin fever-y, feel unappreciated, under-valued and just a little bit unloved. But do you deserve a raise? There are some things to ask yourself first before you go bowling into your boss’ office with your 3 point presentation.

#1 What is the company’s current financial status?


Even if the company is in a state of arrears this doesn’t mean you should be being paid less than you deserve. But you do need to be realistic and considerate of the company as a whole if you don’t want to be severely disappointed i.e. Is the company doing well? Or are they heading into liquidation? Are other people getting promoted? Or are lots of redundancies being made? Before asking whether you deserve a raise, ask if your company is at a capacity to give you a raise.

#2 Is the work you’re doing invaluable to the company? 

Are you one of five at your level but you think Jane isn’t pulling her weight and should eat her lunch during her lunch? The sad truth often is, though we may work hard and be an asset to our company, we need to prove that we are doing work that warrants a higher pay – that we are in all cases, invaluable to our company. How do you do this? Well one way to test the theory is, what happens when you take a sick day? Does the company literally fall apart? Work really well at your job and when you get back from your holiday ask your boss for an update on how it all went while you were away. If it all when tits up and Jane threw her lunch across the room, chances are your contribution is pretty important.

#3 Why should I get a raise?


If you are going to ask for a raise, you need to define why. Is it because your job has developed into areas that were not on your original job description? Is it because others on your team are making more than you? (namely men) Or is it because you can’t meet your rent and pay for travel if you want to continue living in London on 16,000 a year? More often than not it’s the latter but you need to be clear on why it is you are asking for a raise and create a compelling case.

So now you’ve deduced that you do in fact deserve a 4 grand pay rise (and maybe every Friday off…) here’s what to do.

Step #1 Do your research


What are other companies offering for the same job role as yours? Find this out and pull together examples. If you are looking for a title change too, look through job sites and find roles with similar job descriptions to yours and see what titles they have. This will give you a good idea of the current job market and help you not to make a fool of yourself in front of your boss… because let’s be honest, we do that enough. It also shows your boss in an indirect way that you are on job sites… clever.

Step #2 Compile supporting evidence

No, you’re not going to trial but you really, really need to be prepared. Think about how many people are in your company and how many of them may have asked for a promotion or a raise in the last few months. Your bosses are busy people and if they give you some of their time to discuss this, you really need to make the most of it. You need to show that you are not just doing this for the extra Nandos, but because you believe you are not being fully recognised for the work you are doing.

Create a presentation answering the following – How much money are you generating for the company as a direct result of your work? When was the last time you received a bonus or salary increase – and how has the economy changed since then? i.e travel costs?

Step #3 If it doesn’t go well, make sure you set down some work goals

If your boss doesn’t agree (how dare they) make sure you ascertain why. Is it just because the company can’t afford it? (It may be time to move on) Or is it because you’re just not at that level yet? If so, work with your boss to define some ascertainable goals that will have you at that level in a reasonable amount of time. And then revisit it all in a few months. A career plan is essential to your development and it is best to understand why they said no, and what would make them say yes in the future. And hold them to it! Bosses tend to say things like ‘Yeh you can go that event’ and then forget them almost instantly like it’s Men in Black. It’s an unexplainable mystery!

Step #4 Celebrate! 

Even if they said no, celebrate the fact you adult-ed like a professional and don’t worry too much about what they’re thinking. It’s normal to question whether your boss now thinks you’re rude or cheeky for asking, but most of the time you just come across as passionate, ambitious and career driven when asking to have these talks. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it, and if you do… well it’s just office policy that you’ll have to go to All Bar One for 2 4 1 cocktails. Now where’s that fit guy from IT…

If you liked this post let me know and I may do one on the exact way to word things when asking for a raise! You know saying ‘I have done my research and found..’ instead of ‘PLEASSSSEEE GIVE ME THE MONEY’

IMAGE CREDITS > Andrea De Santis

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