- Asking for a raise can be an uncomfortable experience but a necessary step to getting ahead in your career and reaching financial stability.
- Do your research on your market value and be considerate of what’s going on internally before approaching your boss.
- To stay on top of your finances, check out the Discover Free Credit Scorecard.
Asking for a raise can be uncomfortable, but it’s an important part of setting yourself up for a lifetime of financial success. Earning a solid income allows you to cover your expenses, put money in the bank, make timely loan payments, and even splurge a bit here and there.
It’s rare to ask for a raise more than once a year, so you want to make your request matter when you do. Here are a few tips to keep in mind next time you’re thinking about asking for a well-deserved salary boost.
1. Research, practice, and prepare
One of the most important things you can do when asking for a raise is to come in well prepared to make a case for what you want and why.
"Do your homework and get comparative market information before requesting a raise so that you can articulate how you compare to others in the market and why the raise is warranted," says Robin Pinkley, the Janet and Craig Duchossois-endowed professor of management and organizations at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.
Make sure you have a number in mind, and a strong case to back it up. Your justification might include your skill set, experience level, and a list of the benefits and contributions you bring to your company.
"Don’t assume that your boss or HR keep track of your contributions," Pinkley says. "Make sure that you keep track of the value you have made to the organization and be prepared to talk about this and the contributions you plan to continue to bring in the coming year and beyond."
2. Know that things might get uncomfortable
Be prepared for tough questions and to feel a bit uncomfortable or insecure at times. If your request for a raise is denied, remember that you can still negotiate, but you’ll want to do so in a smart way.
"Try to create a window by asking questions about the reason for the no," Pinkley suggests, as the reasons for the no will give you insight into how you can negotiate or ask again in the future. "In all cases, the why behind the no is as important as the no itself."
3. Consider timing
Timing matters, so you’ll want to avoid being impulsive about asking for a raise. Instead, consider your recent performance and keep your organization’s finances in mind.
"Plan a meeting with your boss well in advance of the performance review so that your boss can consider your salary increase request before budget decisions are made," Pinkley says.
4. Don’t let fear get the best of you
Asking for a raise can be an awkward and intimidating experience, and many avoid it. In fact, nearly 60% of respondents in a PayScale salary survey said they’ve never negotiated for a salary increase. That can set you back in the long run.
"If other’s at your same level with your same title are paid more because they have negotiated their salary, the organization and the market as a whole will assume that the higher salary means that they have outperformed you, whether this is true or not," Pinkley says.
Allowing your salary to fall behind can have a lasting effect on the amount you make over time, yearly salary increases, the market perception of your worth, and your career advancement.
It’s important to keep in mind how big a role a raise can play in your financial life. If all this talk of finances has you curious about your credit score, consider checking out Discover Free Credit Scorecard, which is available even if you’re not a cardmember. It’s easy to use and even gives you key factors of what’s helping your score and what’s hurting it. You can log in monthly to view your Scorecard, so you know where you stand. Coupled with that raise you’ve been working on, this all brings you another step closer to a financially healthy future.
To learn more visit Discover.com/free-credit-score.
This post was created by Insider Studios with Discover.
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