In a perfect world, your employer would actively take notice of all your accomplishments and how you have helped the company to succeed and approach you with an opportunity for a raise.

Unfortunately, that is rarely how things play out, even if you are deserving of one. Likewise, don’t expect to get a raise just because you ask for it. Employers don’t give raises because they are nice or because they like you. Business is business and your employer will need to see why it makes sense and why you deserve a raise.

So, how do you best position yourself for a raise and get what you ask for? Here is some advice, on how to get the raise you deserve!

1. Pave the Way for Yourself

Before you even ask for a raise, you want to ensure that you have put yourself in the best position to get one. Express to your employer or supervisor that you have your sights set on growth within the company and ask to meet with them to discuss their recommendations and expectations. That way, you are clear on what you should be working towards and have time to implement their feedback. When the time comes to ask for a raise, you can reflect upon your previous discussions and have expectations to measure yourself against. Be sure to arm yourself with an overview of how you have been an asset to the company, some of your key accomplishments, goals that you are striving for, and reassert where you’d like to see yourself within the company in the future.

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2. Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Successes

You want to do as much as you can to have your employer already know you are deserving of a raise, rather than having to build a case for yourself from scratch. As such, don’t be afraid to share your successes and achievements along the way, prior to you proposing a raise. That way they already know you are a shining star and exceeding the expectations of your role.

3. Do Your Research

It is also important to make sure that your salary expectations are reasonable. Sites like Payscale and LinkedIn can provide valuable information about salary ranges for your role in your geographical area. Make sure to do your research when coming up with the salary you propose and let your employer know that you have done such research so that they know you haven’t just come up with a number out of thin air.

4. Time the Conversation Wisely

If your company has been laying people off, you saw a poor quarterly report, or there is noticeable tension in the air about expenditures, now is not the best time to be asking for more money. Whether you deserve it is one thing, but whether the company can comfortably afford to pay you more is another. Time your asking for a raise around a more successful or profitable time.

5. Focus on the Positives

Avoid letting the conversation start with “I haven’t had a raise since…” or “I’m doing the work of two people…” While these may be true, you want to avoid focusing on the negatives or coming across as though you are complaining. Likewise, don’t make threats or ultimatums unless you are prepared to follow through with them. Instead, keep the conversation focused on your strengths, why you are an asset to the company, and why your employer should continue to invest in you.

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Many people are intimidated by asking for a raise, and so they never end up having that conversation with their employer. But like I said, your employer will rarely approach you to give you more money! The worst that can happen is they deny giving you a raise. Then it will be up to you to decide what to do next. Depending on their reasoning, you can either decide to explore career opportunities elsewhere or you’ll leave the meeting armed with feedback and information on how to accelerate your growth within the company.

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