You deserve a raise. Find out the best strategy to ask for one and actually get it.
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Ask three times. It’s hard to muster up the courage to ask for a raise once, never mind three times. A boss knows this and may dismiss your first attempt hoping that will be the end of it. By asking more than once, it shows the company that a raise is an expectation that needs to be met. It also serves as a reminder. Everyone is busy, everyone has distractions. If you ask once and forget it, your boss may too.
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Don’t just walk in and ask. You have to be prepared to argue your case. This is almost like another job interview. You need to sell yourself again. Know your value within your team and within the company.
Have a number in mind but don’t toss it out. Do some research to determine what others in your industry and your geographic area are making. Someone working in New York City can expect to make more than someone doing the same job in Nashville. There are websites dedicated to this, glassdoor.com or payscale.com are two good examples. Discuss salary with your co-workers. It is not legal to fire employees for discussing salary. Many employers use the taboo of discussing salary to underpay everyone.
Don’t let them bamboozle you. As Matt learned, starting a 401K is not the same as cash in your pocket now. But don’t completely rule out an option that doesn’t mean an immediate increase in pay but can increase going forward, a promotion or a percentage of a new venture for example.
If you have done your due diligence, shown why you deserve more money, asked multiple times and still get no result, you may have to start looking elsewhere. The company doesn’t value you and you will never have any leverage. It’s generally faster to increase salary via a new job than a raise.