Contributed by Pamela Z.

RaiseAsking for a raise is difficult for most people and the reasons used to justify not even trying might sound valid: They will think I’m greedy. We are in hard economic times.  They will give me a raise when they see fit. I’ll just wait to get the standard raise, after all that’s what everyone else is going to get. When you boil it down, many of us do not ask for a raise because the fear of rejection is intense.

Across the various jobs I have had, I have received raises, bonuses, promotions or perks, within three months of starting the job. Every year, if not every six months, I renegotiate again.  Oh, and I have never been turned down. Here are some ideas I used to overcome my fears about getting raises I believed I deserved.

Keep track of all of your successes.  Did you find an unpaid invoice, collect a bunch of overdue bills, save the company money somehow? Make a note of what you did and how much money you made for the company.  Are you able to tackle lots of projects because you are organized? Then you have saved the company time and money.  Even if it seems small write it down, it all adds up.

Check out your job description.  What skills are you using to meet this description? What extra skills are you bringing in that no one else has? Where have you extended yourself above and beyond your job description to get the job done?

Schedule a meeting and ask for the raise.  Do not apologize before hand. Starting with “I am sorry to have to ask you” or “I know we are having a rough time financially” is supplying your boss with the excuse you will accept if they tell you no.  Instead begin by stating your skills and the financial value you have added to the company, then talk about how you think you merit a raise.

Do not accept no.  If they cannot give you a financial raise due to budget constraints, ask for extra paid time off, sick days, transit checks, free lunches, etc.  These perks also benefit you financially. 

Do not threaten to quit.  Check out other companies to see what they are paying their employees, maybe switching will give you the raise you desire.

Do you have any tips that you would like to share? We invite you to comment in the box below.