Assessing your value to get a raise

The economy has greatly improved over the last five years. More people are employed and some have even earned good bonuses that supplement their standard salary. Are you getting a good salary for your contributions? Do you deserve more benefits in the workplace?

If you think you deserve a raise or more benefits in your job, then you should do your homework before asking for a raise or additional remuneration. As a valuable and engaged employee, you must be prepared to ask for a raise by planning properly to demonstrate your overall value and to do it at the right time and in the right manner.

Understand your own brand and value

You are your own brand and should get every professional accolade you deserve. However, salary and compensation discussions are often a sensitive and uncomfortable issue for most people because they do not want to appear egotistical and materialistic, or they simply do not want themselves or their bosses to be embarrassed. Therefore, it is important to reflect on how to ask for a raise or promotion you truly deserve.

Begin with a positive mental attitude. Imagine yourself getting a raise that you rightly deserve. Once you have confirmed that you are worth more than you currently earn, then think and speak affirmatively with statements such as, “Promotion and money flow smoothly to me at all times. I deserve a raise and I will receive a raise.” By mentally repeating such positive statements, your mind will automatically think of different ways to enhance your skills and ability to do more so you can receive the well-deserved raise or promotion in due time.

Steps in asking for a raise

Generally there are three basic steps to getting a raise. First, do your homework to make sure you know what the right salary should be for your job in the industry. Second, if you are being underpaid or if you think you truly are worth more than you currently are earning, then role-play asking for a specific amount of raise with a friend that you trust. Third, plan for the right time in order to enhance the probability of success.

When you truly believe that you definitely deserve a raise, then you can use the following steps as a guide:

  1. Assess yourself and your overall value.
  2. Build a case for getting a raise or promotion.
  3. Choose the right time for a meeting with the manager.
  4. Ask for what you deserve.
  5. Set goals for the future.
  6. Be optimistic about the future.
  7. Exceed expectations and follow through.

Regardless of the immediate outcome, realize that a “no” answer today does not mean a “no” answer tomorrow, next month or next year. Circumstances and situations can change in your favor and you can influence decisions toward a raise for you by being a value-creating employee and a good role model in the organization. Always work hard and continue to do an excellent job to energize or impress yourself, your colleagues and your boss by working diligently to create a competitive advantage for your team, department, and company. At all times, try to learn more, do more tasks and energize others to look positively toward the future. Go beyond the requirements of your job description, even when others are unfair and not giving you what you deserve. By having a positive mental attitude and an affirmative physical presence, your leaders and managers will be more likely to notice your performance and contributions to the organization.

Sooner or later they will have to recognize and honor your value-added work in order to reinforce such good behavior throughout the department and organizational culture. If your hard work makes extra revenues and money for the company, then you are enhancing and influencing your own future for getting a raise or promotion. Enhancing the competitiveness of the organization is a great way to guarantee a raise and/or promotion. Start with the ABCs of getting a raise: assess your market value, build a case to get more income by emphasizing your value to the company, and create the right opportunity to ask for a raise without appearing that you are only concerned about money.

The key element of getting a raise that you rightfully deserve is to plan for it, practice asking for it, and then tactfully ask for it. The last step is very important because if you ask, you shall eventually receive. Ask for what you want and then be open to hear what your manager has to say about the raise and promotion. Always aim for the ideal job that you would love to have, and once you get it make sure to do a great job, and make sure that a fair salary will be its natural corollary.

Dr. Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, is professor of management for Nova Southeastern University at the College of Business and Entrepreneurship. He has served as a corporate management development and diversity trainer. He is the author of “Managerial Skills and Practices for Global Leadership” and “Coaching and Performance Management: Developing and Inspiring Leaders” book, published by ILEAD Academy, LLC. Reach him at (954) 262-5045 or [email protected].