The best moment to ask for a raise
There were times when companies had a very simple salary policy: there was a review once a year, a raise was defined in percentage for every position and that was it. When the time comes, a manager makes the assessment, decides about the raise and you have your 2, 4 or 15 percent. But you can't count on that anymore.
Business is today very fast, companies are very competitive, and on top of that managers are aware that making assessment once a year is simple not enough. That's why employees are evaluated every day and every single day is a chance for being fired - or for a raise.
Now, before you ask, you should be prepared and you can do that in a few easy steps.
First, do what your workplace demands - and more. Today it is not enough to arrive at 9am, work, leave at 5pm and expect the status of the star. You always must take that extra step and do something what's not on your job description list.
Then, communicate clearly and frequently what you did. Don't wait for that moment when you are ready to talk about a raise - inform you manager frequently. Tip: the bigger the number, the better.
Don't say "I increased sales by 20%," say "I earned $200,000." The bigger number sounds better and it gives a clearer picture about your accomplishment.
The final step is to decide how much to ask. But, there is no firm rule here. Every company has its own rules, every company is in a different market position and you will have to do a research to find out should you ask for 5%, 10%, or more.
Take into consideration similar companies in your field and geographical area and see how much those companies are paying their employees.
But... If the usual raise is 5% and you are doing a fantastic job, bringing a lot of customers (read: money) to the company, you are most probably worth much more.
So, now we know how and why, but - when? The answer is surprisingly simple: now.
If you are good and contribute greatly to the company, the time is now. Every reasonable manager will give you a raise without waiting to keep the excellent worker, so there's no point in waiting.
And, as a bonus, a checklist what not to say, a big no-no:
- I'm working here for years now... - Nobody cares about that, your manager wants results and doesn't care are you in the company from last year of 1950.
- I know, it's not the best time... - If you know it's not the best time, why do you ask? That shows that you are thinking about yourself, not about your company.
- My colleague earns more than me... - Well, her life is her problem and if she really earns more you should ask yourself why. Not her, not your boss, ask yourself because there is a reason for that.
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