How to Get the Raise You Deserve

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You like your job, and sometimes you actually love it. You’re good at what you do. Actually, there is only one thing keeping you from achieving real job satisfaction. You want a raise.

Should you feel guilty? Or, maybe ungrateful? On the contrary. According to a recent survey by CNN Money, 46.7% of employees in the United States believe they deserve more money for what they do. Think of that as one in every two that you see on your morning commute. No wonder they honk!

Now comes the big question, though. How do you get from “I want more money,” to “Thanks for the raise, Boss.” Money Examiners talked to two different classes of people. We asked employers what impresses them at raise-giving time. Then, we asked employees who succeeded in getting a bump at raise-getting time. Here is what they told us, in “do” and “don’t” form.

Do ask after a “win” for the company. You made the sale of the year. Capitalize on your momentum. Bosses love to feel magnanimous, so give yours this opportunity.

Don’t ask without practicing your pitch. Tell your spouse, your shaving mirror, and your car’s GPS why you deserve more money.

Do ask close to your time to be reviewed. That gives your boss a chance to say “yes,” or “yes when your review comes around.” That’s two yesses to one “no.”

Don’t ask via email. You can request a meeting by email, but your actual request needs to be face-to-face. That’s the way you can tell if a negative response is “no,” or “no for now.” It’s also a sign that you’re serious. Emails are ignorable.

Do dress the part. Your office dress code may lean toward the casual side of things, but not on raise-request day it doesn’t! Don a tie, run an iron over your blouse and put on dress shoes. These little things will bring about a professional appearance to others and an inner confidence for you.

Don’t turn it into an ultimatum unless you have another job lined up. Certainly, you want to be firm and assertive, but a little understanding of your boss’ position needs to be a part of your approach. Attack-based raise requests rarely go well.

Do keep your request on a professional level. Unless you are great friends with your boss and his/her family avoid bringing your family situation into your raise request. Remember this and keep it in the forefront of your mind. You DESERVE this raise. You aren’t asking out of desperation because your wife lost her job.

Don’t use office gossip in your pitch. You may think you know that a co-worker is making more money than you make. However, that kind of information is confidential and will send the boss into a snitch-find mode. That’s a place ill-conceived for raise giving purposes. Also, what you heard may not be true.

Those are our best ideas for helping you get what you deserve. Now, go in there with a hop in your step and come out with more coin in your pocket. After all, Money Examiners believes you’re Employee of the Year.