A reader writes…
Now that we’re supposedly out of the recession, do you think it’s appropriate to ask for a raise?
Dear, “Raise Requestor,”
True, economists are saying we have likely dodged a recession… but only by the skin of our chin. By no means are we (as a country) in the clear just yet. Many businesses continue to have hiring freezes, and others are not in a position to offer raises and/or promotions at this time.
Now, I already know what many of my readers are probably thinking. They’re mortified by your question since a “raise” is the last thing on their wish list. A simple income would be nice, right guys?
But let’s get back to the question at hand…
I suppose it all depends on the circumstances. If your company is currently struggling, or things are looking rocky in your industry overall – then now may not be the best time to ask. Likewise, if you’ve only been employed for a few months or you’re a poor performer with your hand out – then my answer remains the same, “No. Not a good time to ask.”
On the flip side, if you’ve done your research, you know your organization is somewhat financially stable… and you are a top performer deserving a pay increase, then I say, go for it!
- Make sure you know your market value and your company’s position before popping the question.
- Next, prepare to sell yourself. Write down your accomplishments, additional responsibilities, basically anything and everything that would warrant a pay increase. You need to be prepared to back up your request and show proof of why you are deserving.
- Finally, be prepared for disappointment. Despite your research, planning, and hard work, the answer may still be “no.” If that’s the case, work out a plan with your supervisor where you may revisit the subject 6 months down the line. Continue to track your progress and productivity and hold tight. If anything, you’ve planted the seed and things may change for the better – sooner than later!
Readers, how many of you recently asked for a raise? Did you get it? If so, what was YOUR approach?