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How to Ask for a Raise

In every office around the world there is a big bag of money just sitting in a closet. That bag of money is the secret stash that the big shots give to people who provide value. Your job is to get them to reach into that bag and give you the increase that you deserve.There is a good chance that your company doesn't really have that bag of money in the closet. But it is important that you keep that mental image with you as you seek a pay increase.

There is almost always a way for a company to reward a star performer. Sometimes this reward involves financial compensation. Sometimes the compensation can come in the form of an added benefit. Sometimes a company will only offer something as simple as a new place to sit or a larger office. The goal of this article is to help you receive something additional from your employer.As you begin, you need to take a good hard look at your performance.

Have you created value for your company? If so, can you quantify how much value you have created? (If you are in sales, this is pretty easy. You simply need to look at the amount of business you have brought into the firm. In other areas, look at money you have saved the company since your last pay increase.) When you examine your performance, examine it as it compares to your peers within your organization.

If you are not near the top of the list, you probably do not have a viable argument for seeking an increase. Next compare your performance to other people in your industry. Are you above average? Again, if you are not, you should probably improve your performance before you ask for a raise.

Now that you know how valuable you are to the company, and where you stand in the pecking order, you can begin to make a reasonable case for an increase. Get your numbers together. Make sure you can present some figures to the boss that show the value you have created.

DO NOT compare yourself to anyone in your current organization. You boss will have access to these numbers. She will know exactly where you stand in the firm. At this stage you are just looking to put some figures on paper that will show that you have a good understanding of the value you create.Picking the right opportunity for the "money conversation" is critical.

Timing is everything in business. There are a few times that are ideal for having a conversation about a pay increase. These times are:.

Right after you have received an award. If your company (or better yet your industry) recognizes your value by giving you an award, you have some good momentum. Go for it.After you have closed a big deal, saved some big money for the firm or played a critical role on a project. Once again you can capitalize on some positive momentum.If you have agreed to take on additional responsibility.

This is particularly true if you will be doing the jobs of multiple individuals. A labor savings will often result in additional compensation for the remaining workers.After your boss has received an award.

If your boss is performing at a high level, she may want to share some of the recognition with you.After the company has announced a good financial period. If the company is making more money, there might be some additional compensation available for key contributors.When the "moment of truth" arrives for the conversation make sure you are dressed well and you have excellent personal hygiene. (This sounds basic but there is nothing worse than sitting across from someone who is asking for money and smells like they slept in a dumpster). As you make your case, talk about the numbers.

Show the value you have provided. Explain how you plan to continue to provide even more value in the future. It is key that you appear rational and unemotional. Approach this as a business transaction.

Once the conversation is over give your boss time to process the information. Don't pester her every day for an answer. She may have several people she needs to speak with to get authorization for your request. After a week to ten days, follow up with a friendly e-mail asking if she has any information on your request.

If she does not, it is appropriate to ask her to estimate when she will have an answer.There are a few things that you should definitely NOT do when asking for a raise.DON'T talk about the reason you need the money. This will not be a consideration for most companies. Your problems are not their problems. Saying that you have personal financial difficulty only makes you appear weak.

DON'T demand to be paid as much as a specific employee in your firm. Comparing yourself to other employees will only get ugly in the long run. It's OK to compare yourself to the average pay for your position or the average compensation in your industry, but don't compare yourself to an individual.

DON'T threaten to leave. Your relationship with you boss will never recover from a threat. If you are good at your job, your boss will know that you have options.

You don't need to rub it in her face.The bottom line in asking for a raise is that you must be a value-creator to deserve additional consideration. Highlight the ways you create value. Talk about your value in financial terms. Time your conversation appropriately. Take a rational and business-like approach toward requesting more compensation.

Remember that most businesses try to obtain services as inexpensively as possible. This includes labor. Chances are good that you will only receive more if you ask for it.

.David Lorenzo has more than 20 years of business experience as a successful corporate executive, entrepreneur, strategist, author, and speaker. He has worked with and mentored some of the world's most successful businesspeople while helping lead many large organizations to unprecedented success.

His latest book is titled: Career Intensity: Business Strategy for Workplace Warriors and Entrepreneurs.Mr. Lorenzo's experience in starting new business enterprises and repositioning under-performing business units, along with his ability to implement innovative performance improvement solutions, makes him one of today's most sought-after trusted advisors.Mr.

Lorenzo is a participant in the Wharton Fellows Program at the University of Pennsylvania, a management think tank that meets regularly to analyze and address timely business issues. He received his MBA from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University, and he received a Masters of Science in Strategic Communications from Columbia University in New York City.Dave's blog is http://www.

careerintensity.com/blog.

By: Dave Lorenzo



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