If you have been at your job for a while, grinding away and working hard, you may feel like you have earned a bump in salary. This is perfectly normal and perfectly fine, as a good majority of the workforce feels like they don’t currently earn what they are worth. Although many workers may think this way, they may not know the best way to go about asking for a raise, or may not even know if they are entitled to one.
While it may seem awkward to stand in front of your boss and ask for more money in your paycheck, it shows initiative and drives on your part, especially if you are able to make the request succinctly and confidently. After all, the worst thing you are likely to hear is “no” or “not at this time”.
So when is the best time to ask for a raise if you feel like you deserve one?
Don’t ask for a raise right off the bat
You don’t want to inquire about a raise if you are still a relatively new employee. This also applies if you have been at the same company for a while, but are just now settling into a new role or promotion. Either of these scenarios implies that you agreed to a set amount of money for the time being, so don’t jump too soon.
Instead, wait long enough in order to be able to prove yourself first. A good amount of time to wait before you begin considering asking for a wage hike is at least six months. That gives you plenty of time to show off your skills and for your bosses to assess the value you truly add to the company.
Find the opportune meeting time
You don’t want to just charge into your boss’s office demanding a raise. Instead, think of a more opportune moment that you could really jump on this chance. If your annual evaluation or performance review is coming up, then this is the perfect time to address a possible raise. Just wait until your evaluation day rolls around, and bring the subject up when the time feels right. If you don’t have a review coming up, you can always try to request a meeting with your manager at a time that is perfect for both of you. This isn’t a topic you want to address while you or your manager are busy and swamped with work, so picking a great time where your minds are clear and you aren’t bogged down in stress is a great time to have this conversation.
Look up your company’s policies on wage increases
Many companies will have specific policies on wages and wage increases, as well as when and how often raises can be given out with some strictly only allow managers to give out raises when the time for annual evaluations roll around. But some companies are not as strict with these rules.
To really dive into your company’s specific policies and familiarize yourself with the rules regarding wages and possible raises, there is only one surefire place to look: your employee handbook. Get your handbook out and pore over to it to see if there is any indication that your only time to think about a raise is during your review or not. If nothing is mentioned specifically, then you may be able to find a little wiggle room in your quest to make a little more money. Confidently ask your manager when the time is right
When the perfect opportunity comes, don’t let it slide past you. You may have to rehearse your script a little to make sure it sounds just right, but when the time comes, go ahead and confidently inquire about a possible raise. Make it plain exactly what contributions you provide to your workplace. Many managers love employees that can make them think about things from different angles, and you may be able to show them something you do on a daily basis that they weren’t even aware of. If your employer sees you outlining the value you add to the business, and the air of confidence with which you’re asking, you might find your request very likely to be granted.
Your Work is Valued
Remember, you’re a valuable asset to your company. The most effective way to get the raise you’re looking for is to help your managers see just how valuable you are. When the time feels right, sit down and have that meeting with your manager, and you just might be surprised to find that you might get what you’re looking for.