Columns > Asking For A Raise

Asking For A Raise - CS

Kristen Castillo - Creators Syndicate

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A guide to asking for more pay

Kristen Castillo

Distributed by Auspac Media – word count 800

      It's a discussion no one wants to have. Still, asking your boss for a raise can be important to your career and your finances, too.

      "For many of us, even in the best of times, this is a difficult conversation," says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide." "The stress is multiplied exponentially in this still very challenging economy."

      Workplace communications expert Donna Flagg, who is the author of "Surviving Dreaded Conversations," says asking for a raise is one of the top three dreaded conversations. The others? Firing someone and having to make someone aware of personal habit or hygiene offenses. 

      Your best strategy is to do your research, gather your confidence and make your pitch.

      "You can't worry about being told, 'No,'" says Ginny Clarke, founder, president and CEO of Talent Optimization Partners, LLC, a talent and career management firm.

      She recommends an employee tell the boss, "This is why I want to be a part of your group. Try to have a rationale and know the company's limits," says Clarke, who is also the author of "Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work."

      That means if your salary range is between $40,000 and $47,000, make sure your request falls in that range.

      Know what you're worth. Gather salary info from recruiters, LinkedIn networking groups and websites, such as

      Make your request when the company is financially doing well, when you have good reviews and results, after you've taken on new responsibilities or after you've exceeded your boss' expectations.


How to Ask

      It's best to make an appointment with your boss to discuss your salary, rather than catching your supervisor off guard.

      When you do meet with the boss, Ask, "how feasible is it to get a bump in my salary?" says Flagg, who advises telling the boss why you love the company and don't intend to leave.

      Let your boss know you're worth the raise.

      "The way to be most convincing is to provide facts, figures and success stories because there's no way to be challenged on information that's indisputable," says Flagg.

      If a colleague or a project manager praises you, ask that person to send a note to your boss. That way your boss will feel like he's hearing good things about you from others, not just you.

      You also need to know exactly how much money you want and how the company will benefit from paying you more. If you don't get a financial raise, you could ask for other types of compensation.

      "It could also be additional vacation, flex time, sponsorship for an executive MBA or membership in professional associations or clubs, to list just a few options," says Cohen. 


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