How to go About Getting a Raise

by Justin Weinger on May 6, 2007

First off, I apologize for the amount of time between posts – last Saturday I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and strip and restain my deck. I thought that I would be done in a day or two, but unfortunately I was off by about a week. So, needless to say, my energy has been focused on my deck as opposed to my websites.

Anyway, while I was waiting for some of the stain to dry, I came across a pretty interesting article on Yahoo! Finance, which talked about the correct ways to go about asking your employer for a raise.

(As a side note, for those of you who are serious about getting up to speed on your personal finances, I highly recommend that you check out Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money each and every day. There are a lot of great columnists that will give you plenty of fantastic ideas to help you save money and then help you grow what you’ve saved.)

The article, written by Liz Ryan of Business Week Online, gave a pretty good overview on how you should go about asking your boss or employer for a raise so that you are compensated in line with your education, experience and skill.

One of the interesting points brought up in the article was the fact that not all compensation has to be related to your salary. Compensation has to do with all of your job’s perks- your salary, benefits, paid time off, etc., so when you go to ask for a better compensation package, you don’t always have to focus on money.

Aside from that, here are some other key items that I took away from the article:

  • Do some research before you open your mouth. Try and find out what other people with similar qualifications are getting on the “open market.” Just telling your boss, “I think I deserve a raise,” probably isn’t going to be enough to substantiate getting one.
  • Know when to bring up your compensation package. It probably isn’t a great idea to talk to your boss about your salary after you’ve just been asked about why you showed up at 8:15 that morning. Wait until you’ve received some praise for your consistently good work and then feel free to bring up the subject.
  • Don’t get low-balled because your previous job underpaid you. When switching jobs, your salary history is bound to come up. If you feel that you were underpaid and your previous job (and it’s going to be the basis for how much your new employer is going to pay you) be sure to bring it up during negotiations. Remember, try and have some numbers to back up your claims though.

I’ll be perfectly honest, I think it takes some pretty big onions to be able to walk into your boss’ office and tell them that you deserve a raise, and it’s not something that I think I could ever be able to do.

That being said, if you truly are underpaid, it’s only right that you get what you are worth, and the only way you’re going to get there is to simply ask.

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