Welcome to Day 26 of our 30-Day Easy Money Makeover! Every day in April, we’re bringing you strategies to help you improve, and feel more confident about, your money situation. Follow along and see the rest of the calendar here.
Getting a pay bump can be as easy as asking for one.
Seven out of 10 workers who ask ultimately end up getting a raise, according to 2018 data from Payscale, based on surveys of more than 160,000 employees. Yet that advice is deceptively simple. You shouldn’t just pop into your boss’s office and blurt out a request for a bigger paycheck.
On Day 18, we helped you lay the groundwork for a successful raise conversation, pledging to come back today to help you seal the deal. If you followed those steps, you’ve now got all the evidence you need to pitch, and you have a scheduled one-on-one meeting with your boss.
Taking those two steps can help set you up for success in that you’ll be asking for something specific, be able to justify your request, and have your boss’s undivided attention. Now it’s time to speak up.
When you set up a one-on-one meeting with your boss to discuss a raise, you’re going to want to have a fruitful conversation—and that means bringing the goods to the table. By goods, we mean that you’ve done your research and that you’re ready to tell your boss exactly why you’re worth more money.
Part of your work on Day 18 was gathering your evidence for today’s big meeting. To recap: You should have a ballpark of what salary is typical for your field based on factors like your city and level of experience, as well as a list of your recent accomplishments that have benefited the company.
“Indicate you’ve done some research and it seems that you’re underpaid and the going rate is ‘X,’” says Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster. “In addition, point out several accomplishments to show not only should you get a raise, you deserve it!”
Once you’ve asked for a raise, be prepared to follow up. Your boss likely won’t be able to give an immediate “yes” or “no,” so set a timetable for checking in. “While the conversation may have gone well, time may pass where nothing happens,” Salemi says.
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Assuming your pitch was successful, you’ll still want to keep tabs on when that promised raise or promotion will take effect. If you get a “no” or are offered only part of your request—say, a promotion but no pay increase—that shouldn’t be the end of the conversation, either. It can help to ask why, so that you can determine the best path forward, whether that’s improving on certain skills, marking your calendar to ask again, or starting to apply for other opportunities.
“If the raise doesn’t go through, you won’t have any regrets because you’ve already been interviewing and looking for an employer who will pay you what you’re worth,” Salemi says.