The current economic climate doesn’t exactly lend itself to asking for a raise.
With all the talk of bailouts, budget cuts and layoffs (not to mention undue bonuses), many an employee is wary of asking for more money. But what if you deserve a raise?
According to some experts, you are in luck. Now could actually be the best time to start negotiating.
“Companies are trying to figure out how to do more with less,” says Lane Transou, a human resources manager for a drilling company in Houston, Texas. “Management is willing to listen more so than ever.”
But before you march over to your boss with a list of new salary demands, make sure you’re fully prepared. Here is what experts say you need to know before you ask for a raise:
1. Assess your company’s financial health. Understand the goals of your company and the challenges it is trying to mitigate. Take into account your company’s standing in the industry. A quick Google search (Stock Quote: GOOG) and a copy of the firm’s latest annual report can reveal what the market conditions are like. If your company is struggling to stay in business, it is probably not the best time to ask for a raise.
2. Assess your skills and accomplishments. Make a list of all your accomplishments and write down how you contribute to your company or professional team. Be specific. “It’s important to articulate what you’ve done for the company,” says Robert Chope, president of the National Employment Counseling Association. “That’s the most important thing you can do and people are always too shy to do it.”
Transou suggests approaching management with some return on their investment calculations. “Show them their cost-savings by promoting you over hiring a new employee,” she says. “If you can explain how the company can save in the long-term by promoting you, you’ve put yourself in a good position to get a raise.”
Above all, make sure you know where you stand compared to others in your industry. Chope says to compare yourself to other people in the organization and to people with the competition as well. Are they doing the same tasks as you and getting paid more money to do it? Or are they doing more for less?