5 Mistakes to Avoid When Asking for a Raise

You’re a superstar. Forget slinging coffees and making copies – you’re negotiating big-time sales, running important meetings attended by VIPs, and dazzling your supervisors with your competence, drive, and energy. After a while, you start to wonder whether you could get more money if you asked.

Asking for a raise is tricky. The process can go incredibly smoothly, will all parties emerging victorious. However, one misstep can leave you in a very awkward situation. Here are some mistakes to avoid from Forbes – give yourself the best shot at getting more money!

Bad Timing

Don’t make your request during budget cuts or when your boss is overloaded with other projects. If you’ve just screwed up royally, it’s probably not in your best interest to ask for more money. (“Why would I give you a raise? You just lost us the Bank of Luxembourg as a client.”)

Complaining

Don’t use your busy work schedule or how long you’ve worked for the company as leverage. Research is your best friend – compile a list of salary ranges for similar jobs in your area, account for experience and skill set, and ask others in the industry what they would consider paying someone in your position. Facts will always win over whining.

Using Your Personal Life as Justification

This is about your work performance, not the fact that you want to send your kid to private school or want to save for a down payment on a house. If your boss asks you how a raise would benefit you, by all means, talk about stabilizing your situation – but don’t use these issues to buoy your case.

Throwing Out a Desired Number

If you go in and name your price, at best, you’re sealing your fate – that’s the highest they’ll offer you. Most likely you’ll get lower than that or nothing at all. Let your boss name the number after talking with his superiors, and only use a counteroffer if you’re really prepared to leave the company if it comes down to it.

Bad Attitude

If the process doesn’t go well and you’re going to remain with the company, avoid being petty or resentful. Keeping a good reputation among your boss and coworkers will only help you. Instead of moping, ask what you can do to earn a raise or a promotion and ask for a follow-up meeting in six months. If your boss sees that you’re serious about improving and that you’re working hard to meet or exceed goals, that raise just might be within reach.

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