3 Things To Do Before You Ask For That Raise

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated June 22, 2018

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Personal Finance
June 22, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

As the old saying goes, cash is king. Cash flow allows you to live more comfortably, build savings to address financial surprises, invest for your retirement, and afford things that might make your life a bit easier or more enjoyable. Moreover, if you’re like most of us, the vast majority of your cash flow – if not all of it – stems from the earnings you bring home from your job.

Therefore, it should go without saying that maximizing those earnings is a critical part of optimizing your cash flow and enjoying all of the accompanying benefits. Unfortunately, sometimes getting what you feel you deserve regarding salary employer can involve some stressful, uncomfortable conversations with management about a raise. Before marching into your boss’s office, unprepared and unbridled, review a handful of best practices that will provide you a much better chance at being successful in getting that raise you desire.

When it’s time to ask for a raise, walk into your supervisor’s office with an appropriate combination of confidence and humility. Think of yourself as a salesman with a warm lead, knowing your value to the company, your potential, and what you have already added to the organization. However, it’s a fine line between assuredness and overconfidence so try not to come off as cocky and arrogant but merely confident in your abilities.

Do plenty of research ahead of time to fully understand the value of your position within the overall marketplace as well as the specific traits and characteristics that distinguish you from the rest. For example, if your general position with a similar amount of experience averages $50,000 per year in average salary, demanding $75,000 is a surefire way to shorten your stay with the company or, at the very least, make a very bad impression with your boss. Keep your expectations lofty but realistic.

Likewise, ask around to get a better understanding of your organization’s specific pay practices, including your HR department to ask about official company policy regarding pay.

Lastly, choosing the best time to ask for a raise could very well be the difference between success and failure. If the entire organization just sat on a conference call with the CEO and heard that cash was tight at the moment and they needed to pinch pennies for the foreseeable future, that would be an inopportune time to ask for a raise. However, after a record fiscal quarter or year, where profitability is at an all-time high, your chances of successfully getting a raise might be much higher than they would be otherwise.

When the deal is done, follow these smart things to do when you get a raise to make the most of your increased paycheck.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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