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How to Ask for a Raise

How nice would it be to get a raise right now? Unfortunately, raises aren't handed out like candy. Sometimes you have to actually ASK for a raise and explain why you deserve it. Keep reading to learn the top tips for asking for a wage increase and being successful.

Before asking your boss for a raise, you will need to do some preparation in advance. Preparing in advance is the key to being successful with your pitch.

1. Know your worth

First, you will want to determine what income others receive in the same industry and position as you. I recommend that you use PayScale to determine the average salary for your position.

Sign up for a free account on PayScale and head to the 'What am I worth' button. You will answer some questions, including your job title, how many years you've been with your employer, what benefits you receive, your level of education, and your demographics. Based on your answers, PayScale will compare your earnings to others who have submitted their information to their website. You will then receive a detailed report outlining your worth compared to others in the same industry.

Using the information included in your report, you will be able to determine if you are being paid the market rate. This information will also be important in helping you decide on what salary increase you should ask for.

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2. Schedule a meeting

Now is the time to schedule a meeting with your manager. It will be best to have this conversation face-to-face rather than over email. I would recommend getting out of the office and heading to a neutral environment, such as a coffee shop.

Consider the timing.

Be sure to think about the timing of your request. How long have you been with your organization? If you have been there for less than 6 months you may want to consider waiting a few months before asking for a wage increase. You will want to have been an employee for more than 6 months so you have time to build credibility and work on important projects (which will help you with tip #3).

You will also want to take into account how the organization and your industry is doing as a whole. If your company isn't doing well they likely won't have the resources available to increase your salary.

3. Brag a little bit!

As uncomfortable as it may be, now is the time to toot your own horn! Your boss is likely very busy and doesn't have the time to keep track of your accomplishments. Your meeting is the perfect opportunity to remind your manager of what you have accomplished since joining the company.

Be specific! Use numbers and facts whenever possible (Oh no! My accountant is showing again!). Did you increase revenue? By how much? Did you save the company money? How much did you save?

Make sure you have examples of your major projects and how you were an integral part of the success of those projects. Outlining your growth within the company and how it relates to the company’s success will result in a more successful salary negotiation.

4. Know your ask

My most important tip for salary negotiation is to know your ask! Based on your research on salaries, you should be able to come up with a wage that you would be happy with. You should always ask for a range when in discussion with your manager.

For example, you want to increase your salary to $60,000 and you currently make $49,000. You may want to ask for $55,000-$65,000. This range will ensure that you will receive a raise close to what you are looking for. You may get lucky and receive the higher end of your request or your boss may meet you somewhere in the middle.

Have you ever negotiated your salary? Were you successful?

About the guest blogger: Amanda Swystun is a lover of budgets, Excel connoisseur, and a self-proclaimed tax nerd. She spends her days as a tourism agent sharing her love for her prairie city. Her blog Penniless Prairie Girl keeps her busy in her spare time.

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