It’s time. You look yourself in the mirror and know it’s time to have that conversation with your boss. You give yourself a little pep talk, “You can do this. You deserve this. It’s long overdue.”

Sufficiently fortified, you walk into your boss’s office and say,

“I want a raise.”

Your boss, ever the jokester, looks back and says,

“And I want to be 20 pounds thinner, get back to work.”

You slink back to your desk, wondering what I could have done or said differently to get that raise.

The sales recruiting specialists at CreativeSourcing work every day with the very bosses you’re trying to convince. We have in-depth conversations about compensation, pay vs. worth, longevity vs. results and we know quite a bit about their thought processes.  It’s with that experience we offer some suggestions:

1. Do a Little Research

The first step in preparing for this important conversation is to do a little research on the company’s current financial position. Is the company in the financial position to offer a raise? Has the sales team hit or missed their quarterly goals? Is the stock price, for a publically traded company, on the down side or moving up?

Bottom line, if the company is having a challenging year, whether you are due a raise or not, your boss may have their hands tied. If the money isn’t there to give, chances are pretty good you’re not going to get it.

Also, make sure you take time to run salary comparisons to counterparts in similar companies. You may feel you deserve a raise, but if you are already making more than your competition you may have a difficult time selling your point of view.

2. Ask for a Time on their Calendar

If after doing your initial research, you find that the company is having a good year and there is room for a salary bump compared to others in the industry, then approach your boss and ask for time on their calendar.

If you just barge into their office and force the conversation, you’re putting them in the awkward position of having to react. Often a boss with their back against the wall is going to come out swinging and won’t be in a mindset for open dialogue. By asking for time on their calendar, you show that you respect their time and want to have a discussion which involves give and take.

3. Prepare your Talking Points

Next, be prepared. Are you asking for a raise because you just think it’s time or are there other reasons behind your request? For example, have you

  • Outperformed others in your department as well as your own past performance bringing in unexpected revenue.
  • Discovered ways for your department to streamline activities thereby saving the company time, money, effort, etc.
  • Worked on a special project which required additional hours and yet have continued to exceed expectations in your regular assignments.
  • Taken a leadership role with some of the new hires, mentoring and encouraging them to be successful.

These are just a few examples you may site, when talking with your boss, about the possibility of an increase in your salary. Don’t forget to list your accomplishments and include the numbers that correspond with your performance.

4. Leave your Emotion at Home

Remember that this is a business discussion. Whining, complaining, or threatening are tactics that won’t work. State your case, outline your research and state your value. Give your boss the opportunity to ask follow up questions, which leads to the next tip.

5. Use the Silence

Once you have made your case, give your boss some time to ponder and digest your request. Let the silence be. Resist the urge to jump in and put words in your boss’ mouth. Your boss may even ask for some time to think about what you have said and get back to you. That’s okay, they may need time to talk with their human resource department or assess their current budget. Give them the opportunity.

6. Be Prepared to Walk Away

Finally, you have to be prepared to walk away. Depending on your situation, it may mean walking back to your desk or it may mean walking out the door to another job. However, before you enter the discussion, you need to know what you will do if the answer is no.

Again, this isn’t the time for threats or ultimatums. Be respectful to your boss and the company you work for. Make sure that you maintain relationships and don’t’ burn and bridges. It’s a small world and you never know when you might cross paths again.

On the flip side – make sure your executive team, directors and managers are prepared when a member of their staff comes to them for this discussion. If you need guidance, training, suggestions, advice, don’t hesitate to contact us. Give the recruiting specialists at CreativeSourcing a call. We can help. [773] 296-0167.