With the popularity of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, New York City editors have noticed an uptick in female employees asking for raises. Recently, I read an article that most employees ask for raises in January and June, so since we’re coming up on the half-year mark, I thought I would post some thoughts on negotiating a raise.
Trying to decide if now is a good time to ask for a raise? This flowchart from Lifehacker can help you suss out what factors might make now a good time to ask for a raise.
If you’re seriously considering asking for a raise, the first place I would go is to the Levo League. Because as the site says, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you ask for. They have helpful tips and videos to get you thinking about how much you should ask for, how to ask and how to move forward with a negotiation. And should you feel like you need some in person coaching, Levo is having an event this Thursday in D.C. to help school young women on the art of salary negotiation.
Another great website to visit is Glass Door. If you work in the private sector, it can give you a better sense of what others in your field are making. They also have a great blog where they provide valuable tips on asking for a raise. I found this post on not making the first move in a negotiation particularly helpful.
As for my own advice, having been on both sides of the desk for a salary negotiation, I can tell you that the best thing you can do is come into the room confident and prepared.
Asking for a raise is nerve-wracking. I’d rather take part in a live fire exercise than sit across from my Boss and explain why I’m worth more money than he’s paying me. And when I was younger, I would let that internal weakness undermine my negotiations. Twice, I took less than I deserved because that little voice in my head said, “You’re lucky to have a job at all, take the first offer so you don’t offend anyone.”
Later on, I realized that that little voice is a wimp and a liar. As long as you handle your negotiations with strength, class and professionalism, you won’t offend anyone (unless you boss is the most sensitive human alive, he/she will understand that dealing with raise requests is part of the job). And if you know that what you’re asking for is fair, in line with other salaries for your position and justified by your value to the company, then you’re not wrong to ask.
So before you go into the room, spend a solid hour thinking about your request, things to say to your Boss and answers to his questions. Think of counterpoints to common arguments like, “now is a really bad time” or “you know the office is in a tight financial spot.” As Monster points out, negotiating a salary, esp. in a tight fiscal climate, means that you need to be prepared to demonstrate your value to the office with evidence of your worth.
Lastly, this article from Forbes lists out seven no-nos when asking for a raise, which can help focus you on the right things to do.
In closing, I’ll say it again, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you ask for.