So, you want to earn more money. There’s nothing wrong with that. And there’s nothing wrong with asking – after all, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. But it’s all too easy to shoot yourself in the foot by asking for a raise poorly. Don’t want a raise? Here’s how to do it.
Whine about how long you’ve been there
Sure, you've been with the company for a few years. But time, in and of itself, does not automatically entitle you to a raise. Cost of living, sure. But a big fat raise? Nope. For that you've got to put in some effort.
Ask for a boatload of money
When asking for a raise, keep it reasonable. Don't go into the boss's office demanding a 200 per cent raise. Do some research and find out what's fair for both you and the company.
Ask for a raise when you’re still new
To get a raise, you've got to prove yourself. Unless you're a wunderkind that turned the company around in a couple of weeks, don't ask for a raise until you've been on the job for a while. We'd suggest a year. And remember to put in extra effort as per our first tip.
Ask for a raise at the wrong time
The social committee has gathered for it's regular meeting – and look, the boss is attending. This is not the time to ask for a raise. Even if you're one-on-one with the boss during an unrelated meeting, do not attempt to negotiate your raise. Book a specific meeting to discuss compensation. And for heaven's sake, don't ask for a raise in the bathroom or at the staff Christmas party.
Say you do your job
A raise should be a reward for hard work and going the extra mile. Saying that you do what's expected of you is... expected! Why would that entitle you to a raise? You've got to earn the raise, and the best way to prove your value is to increase your value. It may cost you in terms of time, but the effort will be worth it.
Threaten to quit
Threatening to quit unless you get a raise is a pretty poor tactic. It might work if you're the best employee ever – or if the competition is courting you, but threatening to walk unless you get your way is childish at best. It also paints you into a corner. What do you do if the boss calls your bluff?
Compare yourself to another employee
This technique can never work. If you compare yourself to someone who is a worse employee than you, you'll look like you're not a team player. No one likes a back-stabber. If someone else is underperforming, chances are their days are numbered. It's not about them, it's about you.
Cite personal issues
We've all got personal issues. Debt, sick parents, daycare, teenagers, you name it. And none of those reasons makes you special enough to deserve a raise. Suck it up, buttercup.
Cite personal needs
You want a new car? Better house? A luxurious holiday? Who doesn't? Just because you want to live the good life doesn't mean you're entitled to a bigger paycheque. It just sounds like you're whining because you're having a hard time keeping up with the Joneses.
Ask for a raise when the company is in trouble
If the company is doing poorly, losing sales or cutting staff, this is the absolute worst time to ask for a raise. Not only is there likely to be no money available, you'll come off as being insensitive to both the company's bottom line and your fellow employees.