Show me the $
You’re heart is racing, your palms are sweating, swallowing feels like you have a bolder in your throat — if only you could get those five little words out…Can. I . Have. A. Raise?
We’ve all been through it and know that asking for more money at work is one of the most nerve-wracking, stomach-churning, knee-weakening experiences we have to go through in our professional lives. It’s little wonder most of us would prefer to ask for a lobotomy than a raise. But it doesn’t need to be this way…
To find out how to ask for more mullah I headed to New York City to catch up with workplace champion Tory Johnson. Not only is Tory “Good Morning America’s” go-to gal for career advice, she is also the founder and CEO of Women for Hire, the countries first and most successful female only career expo, so we figured she might have some words of wisdom…boy were we right!
Your career fairy godmother has left the building
Most of us grow up thinking that if we work hard, keeps our heads down and our tails up then eventually someone at work will notice and tap us on the shoulder and offer us a raise. Wrong!
You’re going to have to be your own fairy godmother and make your professional career dreams come true for yourself, and here’s how…
1. Justify your raise
In today’s economy, with so many people losing their jobs, going the extra mile at work is almost expected. Once upon a time just being with the company a certain amount of years justified a pay increase; these days you will only get paid more if you can prove that you deliver more value to the company. Show your boss just how much you are bringing to the business and that a pay increase is still a bargain considering the extra revenue and value you contribute. Tory says that you should ask yourself: What are you really worth? And if it’s what your current salary is paying you to do, focus on stepping up your value before asking for a raise.
2. “No” can mean “Yes”
Sure it hurts when you hear the dreaded “No”, but don’t be disheartened. Find our why your boss has rejected your request and ask him, “what could I do that would turn that ‘no’ into a ‘yes’?” Tory suggests that you shouldn’t take it to heart, but rather use it to open a dialogue about what areas the company is hoping to grow in and how you can be a part of that growth. And before you walk out that room and eat a chocolate block, ask your boss if you can reschedule to discuss this further at a later date. As Tory says, “No” isn’t always a solid no – it could mean “Not Now.”
3. Don’t be afraid of butterflies
Don’t kid yourself, it’s NEVER easy picking up the phone or stepping inside an office and asking for a raise, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still do it. In life, fortune favors the brave, quite literally. If you want to make that fortune you better start working on your courage. To overcome nerves, be sure to prepare in bullet-point form all the reasons why you truly deserve a raise and why it’s not just in your interest, but more importantly, in the best interest of the company. Think about all the reasons why your boss may object and consider if the objections are valid and if you can do something to overcome them. The more prepared you are, the better, but set a timeline for your meeting or you’ll be preparing (read: procrastinating) for years. Remind yourself that while you hope they say yes, it may be the first step in getting a yes down the road.
4. Find a champion
Most people are told to look for a mentor, but Tory suggests getting a champion instead. What’s the difference? A champion not only supports and encourages you as a mentor does, but is in a position to actually help leverage her contacts and political clout to help you get what you seek. Having someone believe in you who is in a position to help you is far more powerful than someone simply cheering from the sidelines.
5. If you want a raise, step up
If you are seen to be taking initiative, moving forward with confidence and commitment, and seeking to be the very best you can be…it’s only a matter of time before you find people to support you. People are attracted to others that have a passion and are making it happen for themselves. If you want others to help you (and give you more money), start by elevating your own efforts. Step up to the plate…after all, they don’t call it a “raise” for nothing!