Asking for a raise is never easy, and the anxiety leads many people to avoid the conversation altogether, waiting for their boss to take the lead. If you feel you are not getting paid what you are worth, you should be willing to take the initiative and ask for a raise. After all, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your career. If you’re ready to put yourself out there, remember that advanced preparation can help settle your nerves and give you the confidence to ask.

Begin With a Self-Evaluation

Before you decide to arbitrarily ask for more money, conduct a self-evaluation. Document your answers to these questions in writing, using specific, quantifiable examples:

  • Do you exceed the expectations spelled out in your job description? List them.
  • Do you consistently turn your work in before deadlines? List the projects.
  • Do you ask for additional responsibilities outside the scope of your job description? Which ones?
  • Do others look to you for advice/assistance/leadership? Document specific situations.
  • Have you invested in growing your skills? How?

If you answered yes to these questions, and have more than one example for each, you can make the case to your boss that you are outperforming expectations and thus, should be rewarded accordingly.

Tips on Asking for a Raise

Even if you are confident in the case you have laid out, asking for a raise can still be intimidating. Here are some tips to help boost your confidence before you approach your supervisor:

  • Know Your Value: Revisit your self-evaluation and quantify the times when you exceeded expectations with hard numbers. This proof makes it difficult to argue that you are an asset to the organization.
  • Know the Market: Research your market area to see the going rates for the same job title. Make sure you look at years of experience, education level and size of the company in order to make an apples-to-apples comparison.
  • Time it Well: Don’t ask for a raise right after a round of layoffs or an announcement that budgets are tightening. Make sure there is money to be offered. It also helps to ask when your boss is in a good mood.

What Happens If You Get Turned Down?

There are a variety of reasons why your boss may reject your request for an increase in salary. However, if you are truly worth more than you are receiving, it’s probably time to move on to an organization that recognizes your value.

If you are ready to take on new challenges in information technology or accounting and finance, reach out to the recruiters at Systems Personnel in Buffalo. Since 1996, we have been connecting the best and brightest talent with some of the most innovative employers in the region. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your career goals with employers who value your experience.