You are due for a raise. All you have to do is ask for it. In this post, I am going to tell you exactly how to get more money.
I was surprised to read a CareerBuilder survey that found 56% of people have never asked for a raise because they don’t know how and they’re too afraid to ask.
Fear no more. First, I teamed up with the negotiation expert Jim Hopkinson to explain the art and science of successfully asking for a raise. Check it out:
#1 Time it Right
Timing might not be everything when asking for a raise but it certainly plays a huge role in your success.
According to the negotiation expert Ted Leonhardt, the best time to ask for a raise is when you’ve reached a milestone that gives you more leverage.
Great times to ask for a raise include:
- After you’ve worked for the company for a year. Many companies expect salary negotiations at the year mark.
- You’ve been assigned new responsibilities. This forces you to expand your skillset and possibly work more hours, making you more valuable to the company.
- You have another job opportunity. If you love where you work but another company offers you a higher salary you can use it as leverage to convince your current company to offer you a raise.
- You’ve made a major contribution to the company. If a project you work on raises revenues, cuts costs, or helps your company in another big way, your boss is more likely to give you a raise since you’ve proven your value.
You can ask for a raise any time but, keep in mind that it’s easier to do when you have a reason like the ones listed above to start the discussion.
- Choose a milestone in the nearby future that will help you time your request for a raise.
- If you have nothing, start looking for ways you can take on new responsibilities or make big contributions.
#2 Prepare with Winner Body Language
A group of University of British Columbia researchers studied blind athletes in the Special Olympics. Their findings were astonishing.
In the study, they observed how blind athletes responded to either winning or losing a race or event.
They found that winning athletes used broad and expansive postures and gestures like this:
Meanwhile, the losing athletes used small and defeated postures and gestures. They crossed their arms, hunched their shoulders, and held themselves:
Action step: Stand like a winner before your meeting. If you don’t want to look awkward outside of your boss’s office, do it in the bathroom a few minutes before you go into your meeting.
#3 Treat it Like a Business Deal
Asking for a raise is just like negotiating a business deal except you’re the commodity and your salary is the price. Your goal is to prove that you’re worth more money.
Like with any negotiation, you need to go into your meeting prepared to explain your value proposition. The best way to do this is to create a list of the amazing contributions you’ve made, focusing on the ideas/projects that generated revenue or cut costs.
If your position doesn’t directly involve revenue streams, compare your current salary to what people with similar skills and responsibilities earn. For example, if the average person in your job with the same level of education as you earns $61,000 per year but you’re only making $54,000, you can use that statistic as evidence that you deserve a raise.
The key is that instead of asking for a raise, you’re proving that you deserve one.
- Create a list of all of the valuable contributions you’ve made to your company. Use numbers when possible.
- Research what other professionals who have similar responsibilities, skills, and education earn.
- Compile your list of contributions and research about your market value into a professional-looking report that you can show your boss when you ask for a raise.
#4 Master Your Nonverbal Cues
How you’re perceived when you ask for a raise is just important as your reasons for asking. Keep these tips in mind to make a positive impression during your meeting.
- Keep your hands visible – This subconsciously makes the other person feel more comfortable with you.
- Sit up straight – Just like power posing, sitting up straight during your meeting makes you appear larger and more confident.
- Lean in when you’re making an important point – Leaning in shows you’re engaged and is the body language equivalent of an exclamation point.
#5 Respond to Their Body Language
Now that you know how to use your body language to send positive vibes, it’s time to learn how read your boss’s nonverbal messages.
- Nodding is a good sign – If they nod while you explain why you deserve a raise it means they agree with your reasons and you can let out a silent sigh of relief.
- Blocking is not – If they block themselves by holding something between you, such as their hands or their coffee mug, it’s a warning sign that they don’t like what you’re saying. You can stop their behavior by handing them something such as a report. It forces them to let go of what they’re holding onto and refocus on you.
Knowing whether or not your boss agrees with your request before they give their final answer is a great way for you to tell if you need to try a different approach to explain why you deserve a raise or if what you’re saying is working well.
Check out my video to see how skilled you are at reading body language:
- Carefully monitor your boss’s body language and, if needed, change your approach.
We hope these tips give you the skills and confidence to ask for your well-deserved raise.
About Vanessa Van Edwards
Lead Investigator, Science of People
I’ve always wanted to know how people work, and that’s what Science of People is about. What drives our behavior? Why do people act the way they do? And most importantly, can you predict and change behavior to be more successful? I think the answer is yes. More about Vanessa.
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