Asking for a raise is a topic that most professionals, especially young professionals, have trouble bringing up. 

While there are many ways to go about this, the truth is that most companies are not likely to offer raises beyond an annual cost-of-living increase unless a person asks for it. The key is not to simply ask for a substantial pay increase, but to take the initiative to have a conversation with your supervisor about how you can earn the raise. Taking the initiative is the first step, Josh Mangum, Director of Strategy, explains.

Start with a Conversation

The first step to getting a raise is to ask for one. Schedule a time to meet with your supervisor and have a conversation. Discuss why you feel you deserve a raise and explain how you plan to contribute to the company in the future. Throughout the meeting, maintain a positive attitude and do not expect your boss to give you a raise right on the spot. Express that you want to work together with your manager to put yourself on a track for a pay increase. Ask for input and recommendations, listen closely and collaborate to come up with a plan.

Add Value and Earn Your Raise

During your conversation, make it clear to your boss that you expect to earn your raise. Demonstrate how you add value to your company now by providing specific numbers and data related to your performance. Explore opportunities for you to contribute more in the future and remain open to taking on new responsibilities. By increasing your productivity, performing a larger role in company initiatives and showing strong leadership skills, you prove your value to your boss. In turn, your supervisor will be more likely to support your efforts.

Set Goals and Establish a Timeline

Once you and your manager reach an understanding, establish specific goals to work towards. Evaluate where you are today and where you want to be three to six months down the road. Clearly define how your performance will be measured and set a timeline to achieve your goals. Schedule regular meetings to evaluate your performance. It’s important that your boss sees you taking the steps necessary to earn your raise.

In addition to the steps above, be sure to research the salary range for your position to ensure your request is consistent within your industry. Be patient and manage your expectations. Avoid demands, ultimatums and anything that may unsettle your relationship with your boss. Demonstrate to your manager that you want to work together and that you are thinking about the company as well as yourself.

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