You know you’re good. Your boss knows you’re good—she’s told you many times, but, sadly, accolades don’t pay the bills. Still, times are tough. So, with scores of over-qualified candidates scurrying for jobs, dare you ask for a raise? And if so, how—and when? We asked Richard Greenwald, president of Concorde Staffing Group, a White Plains-based staffing agency, to share his best advice.
1 / Know What You’re Worth. “Find out what people in your market and your position are making. Consult a recruiter who specializes in your industry. You can also find this data on websites like Payscale.com. To find out what you’re worth, click on the ‘Evaluate salary for your current job’ option.”
2 / Request a Meeting. “Once you’ve done your research, meet with your manager about salary. Don’t threaten to leave if you don’t get a raise, and avoid mentioning financial hardship. Instead, remind your manager of the strong contributions you’ve made and bring tangible, relevant evidence. Highlight new clients you’ve brought to the firm and cost-saving measures you’ve enacted. Include the key projects you’ve completed and goals you’ve met. Your employer might be losing money because of a downturn, but, if you can prove that you’re vital to getting the company through the recession, then a raise could be
3 / Negotiate. “Be prepared to address compensations outside of salary. For instance, many people consider additional vacation time just as valuable as money. Other options include health benefits, reimbursement for commuting, and professional training in a job-related skill. If you are denied the raise, tell your manager that you appreciate that company finances are tough. Then ask to discuss non-salary perks. Or ask what you can do in the next six to twelve months to make this conversation successful the next time.”
4 / Be a Good Listener. “Sometimes, in conversations about compensation, people are so anxious to demonstrate their worth that they end up not letting their boss get a word in. Don’t let that happen to you, because it could work against you.”
5 / Refine Your Negotiating Skills. “Learn about negotiation from books, websites, networking, and friends who have successfully negotiated a pay raise.”