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How to Ask for a Raise (and Get It)

Every employee wants more money, but getting a significant salary increase requires planning. It's an effort that pays for itself and then some. Want a bigger paycheck for your next job? Then you must ask for a raise while in your current job. The more money you make now, the more you can command in the future.Here are some tips on how to ask for a raise (and get it).

Research First

Find out who makes the salary decisions in your company, and start planning three months in advance. Accurately assess your job accomplishments for the last 12 months. Show your manager how you have contributed to the company's bottom line. Provide facts and stats. Research salary levels for similar job titles, workloads and industries.

Assertiveness Pays Off

It's important to be assertive when asking for a raise. Be professional, positive, honest and direct with your manger. Employees who are too aggressive, who demand a raise or give ultimatums, stand a chance of getting fired. The opposite of this is being passive, of expecting to get a raise simply because you do your job. Take the initiative and strike just the right balance.

Practice Your Pitch

According to Forbes, practicing what you are going to say to your manager builds confidence. You can rehearse with a family member, friend or coach. It's also a good way to practice handling the objections your manger may confront you with. Prepare answers for objections such as "We have no budget for a raise" or "It's not the right time for a salary review." Come up with strong, logical answers to possible objections.

Conducting the Meeting

Schedule a salary review meeting with your manager. Let them know what the meeting is about. It's best to choose a time when things aren't hectic. Even better is to choose a time when things are going well in the company. At the meeting, focus on your accomplishments, your value to the company and your work ethic. A written list of your successful projects and their results should be used for reference. Make a copy for your manager. Request a raise based on your job performance and how it has contributed to he overall benefit of the company. Make it clear that you understand your worth as an employee.

What Not to Say

When discussing a salary increase, don't mention your debts, expenses or bills. Don't expect a raise based on financial need. Avoid looking desperate. Instead focus on the value your skills and job performance bring to the company. Asking for too much money also reduces your chances of getting a raise. Research, research, research before walking into the meeting.

Getting the Raise

If you manager denies your raise, all is not lost. During your meeting you can discuss your professional goals and aspirations and get feedback about your job performance and how you can improve. Ask for a re-evaluation in a few months. During this time, try to take on more responsibilities. Keep track of work-related accomplishments and learn to subtly self-promote. If you can show how your performance impacts the company, you have a better chance of getting that raise.