Have you been working the same job for a while without any offer of more money? While some companies have methods in place for ensuring each of their employees gets a merit-based raise each year, others are a tougher nut to crack. In either case, it’s important that you’re prepared to defend your reasons for wanting a raise in order to convince your employer beyond the shadow of a doubt that you’re worth it. Here are some basic ideas to formulate your game plan.
Demonstrate your value.
Step one is to come to the negotiation table having already done your own homework. Don’t expect your employer to jump at a chance to offer you more money. Ask for a meeting and at that meeting, share the data that supports your cause. Show how much money you saved, how reliable you are, how much work you accomplish, and how you interact with the team. Once you do all of that, you can provide a number and let the negotiations begin.
Set benchmarks for your growth.
Your work isn’t done once you’ve received the raise. You also want to demonstrate your interest in improving your performance and reaching new career goals. Share with them a plan to increase your production, revenue, or any other benchmark that will give them confidence that their investment in your future will be worth it.
Look for a new job
Some people suggest that you start looking for a new job to encourage a new salary negotiation. That the threat of losing a top employee may kick your management team into high gear to keep you around. This is a dangerous gamble to make. Experts tend to agree that you should only look for another job with the intention of leaving your current one and it may be best to keep your search private until you have an offer in hand. Otherwise, you may risk being fired.
Manage that counteroffer.
In some cases, you may have decided to start the raise negotiations because you’ve received a job offer from another organization. What do you do now? Some experts advise against trying for a counteroffer. If you provide your notice and your current employer offers one, then it can be in play. But remember, there are reasons you wanted to look for a new job and the salary was only a portion of that.
Make professional connections.
Getting a raise isn’t just about pleasing your current managers. Career development takes time. Even if you’re not in the market for a new job immediately, you may want to put the feelers out there. Not specifically to apply for jobs, but to network in your industry. You never know where a more attractive offer can come from.
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