Now might be just the time to ask for a raise. If you think that you should be paid more, you can get a little bump in salary, just for asking. But you have to ask right. If you don’t pay attention to what’s going on around you, and if you aren’t already showing that you are valuable enough to warrant a raise, you will be shut down. Here some things to keep in mind as you ask for a raise:

Can You Show that You Deserve a Raise?

The first thing you need to do is show that you deserve a raise. Back up your request for a raise with hard evidence. If you are doing good work, have benefitted the company, or have already moved beyond the original scope of your responsibilities, it will be easier to convince your boss (and your boss’s boss) that you deserve a raise. Gather evidence to support your case.

Pay Attention to the Timing

Marching in and asking for a raise when your boss is having a bad day is usually a bad idea. Instead, wait until your boss is in a good mood, and then ask if you can schedule a meeting to talk about your compensation. Try to avoid talking about a raise on Monday or Friday. You should also consider the time of the fiscal year. You probably won’t get a raise if you ask just after the next year’s budget has been set. Instead, pay attention to when the budget is being made, and pay attention to the fiscal health of the company. Asking for a raise just after a really bad quarter might not be the best play.

Make Sure You are Being Reasonable

Before you go in and ask for a raise, you want to make sure that you are being reasonable in your requirements. Check with sites like Payscale.com and Salary.com to get an idea of what people in your position, and at your level of experience and education, make. You can use the information you find to bolster your case for a raise, if you are being underpaid, or you can use it to help guide you as you determine what a reasonable compensation amount might be.

Make sure, though, that you consider your location. In some cases, you might find that wages, in general, are higher or lower in your particular area. You will need to take that into account as you prepare to ask for your raise.

Bottom Line

If you want to ask for a raise, it is a good idea to plan it out. Telling your boss that you need a raise in order to afford a specific lifestyle is not likely to go over well. Instead, gather information about your performance, and the way you benefit the company. Then, find information about what someone in your position can expect to make in your area. Paying attention to the dynamic at your company can also help you, since you want to ask when the company has money to spend.

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