"Will I, won't I?"
Ever find yourself in the hopeful loop about that pay raise? Everyone does! It's time to switch from crossing your fingers to taking action.
Unfold these strategies to turn your raise from "hopefully" to "happening"!
Do Your Homework
A pay raise isn't the result of a day's conversation with your boss. If you want your pay raise to be higher than the company average, you need to strategize. Here's what I learned through experience over time:
Know your worth
Look up what others in your position, with similar experience, are earning.
Know the review calendar
Get familiar with the review cycle and the process that your company follows: year-end, half-yearly, or quarterly.
Prepare and Document
I used to believe getting a raise was all about doing great work. Turns out, it's about meeting your boss's expectations, too! Therefore, it's important to stay on track with check-ins like these:
Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback weeks or even months before the day of review gives you the opportunity to improve your performance.
Share your goals for growth (money, role, work flexibility, other perks) with your review manager and ask what needs to be done to reach them.
List your achievements
Document what you've achieved this year. Increased sales by 20%? Led a successful project? Write it down!
Even if the project does not deliver as expected, write about the process and analyze what you learned from it.
Practice Your Pitch
Why? Because you are the hero of your narrative. So rehearse your way to success.
Be clear and concise
Practice how you'll present your case. "I've contributed X, Y, and Z, and believe a raise of (specific amount) is in line with my current role and industry standards."
Keep it factual and professional. Support your achievements using data and testimonials from your colleagues/ managers.
Be prepared to talk about any failures as well! "I understand that the project took more time than expected, but reflecting back, this is what I realize." (Talk about the areas of improvement and what you learned from the project.)
Your review manager asks you to rate your performance on a scale of 1-5 (1 for very bad, 5 for excellent). Choose the most appropriate way to answer this.
Finally, it's time to set the stage. Ask for a meeting to discuss your performance and compensation. This shows you're serious.
Stay calm and confident
It's normal to be nervous, but remember, you've earned the right to this conversation.
Be ready to discuss
Be prepared for questions and feedback. Listen actively.
If they can't meet your number, be ready to negotiate.
If Things Don't Go As Planned
This could be tough but don't get disheartened if you don't land the desired outcome. When it happened to me, I asked for advice on how to improve and suggested revisiting the topic in a few months. It worked!
Remember, this isn't a "no", it's a "not right now". Use the feedback to grow.
Whatever the outcome, send a thank-you email summarizing the discussion and any agreed-upon next steps. Lastly, continue to work hard and prove your value. This sets the stage for future discussions.