Think you deserve a raise or a promotion? Well, the reality is, you probably won't get one unless you ask for it.
Gone are the days of automatic yearly increases for all employees. You might think this trend started with the recent economic crunch, but it actually goes back long before that. We'll save the reasons behind it for another article; what you want to know right now is how to get more money in your pocket every payday.
1. Don't ask during your performance review.
For one thing, many companies have already finalized their payroll budget before they start holding annual employee reviews. This makes it easy for them to tell you it's too late to change anything. Try to schedule your salary meeting two months in advance of your normal review month.
Also, the review is often focused on things the employee needs to improve; or, in less politically correct wording, what you did wrong last year. You want your salary conversation to be all about what you did right.
2. Prepare your arguments in advance.
When you walk into your salary meeting with your supervisor, you must become a salesperson. What you're selling is your value to the company. Like any good salesperson, you will offer convincing "reasons to buy" including:
Ways you've recently benefitted the company: successfully completed a project, exceeded quotas, solved a problem, saved time or money, etc.
Proof that you've met the company's criteria for promotion to the next level (ask your boss in advance if you don't know)
Industry-standard salaries for people in your position (googled from salary comparison websites)
3. Ask, and then shut up.
Silence is the golden weapon of the smart negotiator. Sum up your case with something like: "Because of these measurable improvements that I've brought the company, and the additional solutions I can contribute in the future, I believe a 6 percent salary increase would be appropriate."
Then be quiet and wait for your supervisor to respond. This puts you in the driver's seat of the negotiation.
Salary negotiations can be awkward and uncomfortable if you haven't had much practice. Rehearse with friends if necessary, but don't leave money on the table just because you're afraid to try. The reward will be a new and improved paycheck!