Inflation is spiking the cost of nearly everything this year, with the latest Consumer Price Index showing an 8.2% increase in the all items index over 12 months. To compensate for the range of increased expenses a household has to handle, from higher-priced groceries to climbing medical and transportation costs, a pay raise may be a welcome boost for you and your family.
Despite inflation creeping into so many corners of the market, salaries aren’t rising at the same pace. A survey of U.S. employers shows us that while companies might be budgeting for an increase in salary of 3.4% this year — that’s less than half the current inflation rate, which hovers at around 8.2%.
Asking for a raise can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Companies should consider raises to be built-in incentives to help employees do their best work. With that in mind, you can make a good argument that will benefit your financial future.
It’s worth noting that if you’re unhappy with your job, asking for a raise will not make you love your job. If this is your situation, consider talking with a manager about what’s bothering you and how you can change things.
But if your issues can be fixed with a larger paycheck, and you know you’ve added value to the company this year, you may be wondering what’s the best way to get the career boost you deserve. The following tips may help.
Time It Right
First, know that timing is everything. Before you start, figure out when budget planning occurs for the year, and then schedule a meeting with your boss. Make it clear that you’d like to discuss your pay. Having a transparent agenda will help you both prepare to have an open, frank discussion.
Do Some Research
Before the meeting, make sure you’re prepared. Do your research. What is the average pay rate for someone in your position? How do experience and education impact this number? Salary range sites such as PayScale, Salary.com and BuiltIn can help you show up to a meeting about a pay raise with numbers in hand.
Gather Your Kudos
Bring all the positive reviews you’ve received and what you’ve accomplished in the past several months. Get ready to explain where you’ve gone above and beyond. Be specific and know your numbers.
Set A Straightforward, Positive Tone
Be courteous as well as straightforward about your accomplishments and your needs. Thank your manager for meeting with you and taking time out to discuss compensation. Be positive. Using the right tone and focusing on both objective measures of growth alongside more personal elements can make for a convincing combination.
“Give it your best case for why you should get a raise,” Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio, a career expert at SixFigureStart, told Forbes. “Never use idle threats or mislead an employer to think you have an outside offer. Make your case based on your research and the results of your work. The worst they can say is no.”
Ready to ask for a raise now? The advisors at Money.com offered scripts you can follow based on the situation you’re facing once you’ve gathered your data and are heading into that meeting with your boss.
How To Ask For More Money When You Know Your Co-Workers Are Making More
Once you’ve gone through the preliminaries, Money.com says to start by explaining to your boss that you’ve done some research and have realized you’re underpaid.
If your boss says they’ve been paying this same rate for quite some time, say that you’ve collected some data. Make sure you have those actual numbers on hand; don’t base your argument on hearsay.
If your boss says the company doesn’t have the difference available in the current budget, ask if you can revisit the conversation in six months. Find out if you can access other benefits in the meantime, such as a larger educational stipend or additional vacation time.
“If you are aware that colleagues are earning more than you, tread carefully,” warns Dr. Katharine Brooks, executive director of the office of personal and career development at Wake Forest University, in an interview with Forbes. “You don’t want to put others in a negative light or violate a corporate written or unwritten rule about knowing what others earn. Simply present what the field generally pays, and why you believe your performance is at the top of your field.”
How To Ask For A Raise If It Has Been A While
To start this conversation, Money.com says to explain how much you enjoy your role at the company, as well your work in the industry. Then transition into how your current salary is starting to become a challenge to live off of in the current economy.
The cost of goods has gone up, including gas, so even driving to work is more expensive than it used to be. Explain that this is why you’d like an increase, and that you feel like this is fair based on what you’ve accomplished and what your pay might have looked like if you’d had regular salary increases over the past few years.
If your company is facing issues in this economy, come to the meeting with a backup plan, Money.com suggests. Again, be prepared to suggest a smaller raise with education or other benefits added in.
How To Ask For More Money When You’ve Taken On More Responsibility
In this case, you’ll want to make sure your boss knows how proud you are of your accomplishments — both personally and as a team. Mention how happy you are that the company has grown, which has allowed you to take on more responsibility. List your successes and note specifically how you have contributed to the company’s revenue.
Then, Money.com recommends transitioning to how inflation has raised prices for you on a very personal level — for example, you might note that your childcare costs increased when you came back to the office. Lastly, explain how with rising costs and your increased responsibilities, which are helping the company’s bottom line, you believe an increase would be warranted.
Go to Money.com to read the full scripts, and good luck! You’ve got this.
By Emily O’Brien, for Newsy.