Earning

How to ask for a raise if you don't want to wait for your performance review, according to career experts

"You'll never know if you can negotiate a salary increase outside of performance review season if you never try."

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Almost one-third, 29%, of employees are quitting their jobs because of a lack of growth opportunities, according to Monster's fall 2021 hiring report.

A company can offer growth opportunities in a number of ways, like by encouraging employees to learn new skills or promoting interdepartmental collaboration. For the vast majority of employees, though, growth opportunity means one thing: money. A whopping 77% of employees surveyed define career growth as a salary increase, according to the report.

Most negotiation advice focuses on how to ask for a higher salary during the interview process or a yearly performance review. But sometimes you need or feel you deserve a raise outside of those times, and that can be tricky to navigate. "The fact that your company hasn't doled out raises outside of yearly check-ins in the past shouldn't prevent you from asking for one now," says Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume.

If you're unhappy with your pay but can't outright quit your job or find a new one quickly, you might consider asking for more money.

Here's how to ask for a raise outside of your yearly review, according to career experts.

Do your research

Research your company's policies, Augustine says. "Every company operates differently, so it's important to do your homework and find out if there are policies in place that stipulate when raises and other compensation changes can be made within your organization and your specific department," she says.

You can learn about compensation policies in an employee handbook or by talking to a trusted colleague or HR representative.

Find out what other companies are paying for similar work, says Angelina Darrisaw, a career coach and founder of C-Suite Coach. This way, you'll know whether the amount you'd like to get is more or less than the industry standard. This can help "validate your ask," she says.

Schedule a meeting

"You'll never know if you can negotiate a salary increase outside of performance review season if you never try," Augustine says. "The worst that can happen is that your manager insists on holding off on having such a conversation or making any changes until a later date."

If that's the case, then at least a dialogue was started and your manager won't be blindsided when your performance review does roll around.

The fact that your company hasn't doled out raises outside of yearly check-ins in the past shouldn't prevent you from asking for one now.
Amanda Augustine
career expert for TopResume

Set up a meeting with your boss. When scheduling it, "take your boss's personality into account," Augustine says. If your manager is direct, make your objective clear, she says. For example, you can say, "I'd like to schedule some time with you to revisit my salary."

If your boss prefers a less direct approach, wait until your next one-on-one.

Recap your successes

"Your conversation doesn't need to be structured much differently than if you were asking for the raise closer to performance review season," Augustine says.

Go over all your responsibilities and all of your successes. "It may seem silly, but it's important to educate your manager about your current role, responsibilities, and performance during this conversation because managers often aren't fully aware of their employees' workload and achievements," she says.

This is the time to mention if you've tried and done well at anything new, Darrisaw says. Bring anecdotal evidence of times you performed tasks outside your current job description. "Have you taken on additional responsibilities? Has your scope expanded? Have you gained additional training? If so, leverage those changes to advocate for salary growth."

Reiterate your commitment to the company

Remind your manager how you contribute to the success of the company as a whole. "Demonstrate why you are an essential part of the engine keeping your company moving forward and what your accomplishments in the relevant areas mean to the business," Darrisaw says. "Articulate your value to the bottom line."

And don't forget to communicate that you are looking to stick around for a while, Augustine says. "Recognize your past accomplishments, but also focus on the value you can contribute in the future," she says. "No one wants to give a raise to someone whom they suspect will give notice in the near future."

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