Over the past few months, I’ve had 3 different people come up and ask me for advice on how to ask for a raise from their respective employers. Here is a worthwhile article that sums things up very nicely and should help most of you. One of the biggest tips, BE PREPARED. It works for the Boy Scouts, it applies here as well.
I’ve had a few people over the years and back when I was in my mid 20’s I was also one of these guys that thought I was worth way more than what my boss did. I worked my way up and was listening to others on how great I was. Soon I learned a very valuable lesson, EVERYONE is expendable. This applies to the CEO of a major company that makes your annual salary in 1 month, so don’t think it doesn’t apply to you. I made a mistake and basically didn’t do what the boss wanted because I thought I knew better. He then placed me on a 3 day unpaid suspension for me to think about my career. At the time I thought he just did me the biggest favor he could have by allowing me to go out and make the money that I thought (and was told) I was worth.
I learned a lot. First, he was paying me ABOVE market value and more than what I could make at my top 5 choices. In order to get somewhat close to what I was making, I would have had to drive 45 miles one way, versus the 5 miles I was currently driving. To make matters worse, I wasn’t offered an immediate position at my top 5 choices and would likely have to go for a few weeks without a paycheck. So, then I searched all postings in the classifieds and on the internet (this was back in the late 90’s, so the print papers where still rather big). You know what I found out, there wasn’t that many companies hiring. There wasn’t that many companies paying within $100 per week of what I was making, and back then $100 per week was HUGE.
Sometimes you need to take a step back and think before you go and ask for that raise. Be prepared, know the market, do the RESEARCH! If your company is not making it’s numbers and experiencing a down turn, wait before asking for that raise. Believe me, if the company isn’t making it’s numbers, the managers know it and they are fully aware and you asking for more money isn’t going to go over well. Use some common sense.