First, understand that you are not alone when it comes to fear of rejection, fear of being fired, or a feeling of not being good enough – many people shy away from negotiating a higher salary.
Second, know that when www.salary.com surveyed employers, posing the question, “What percent of employers fire people for asking for a raise?” — the response was zero. The lesson here is – step forward and ask for the pay raise! If you don’t ask, you don’t get the raise.
Third, there is a right and wrong way to ask and timing is everything. So put yourself in your supervisor’s shoes and evaluate your chances of getting a pay raise—and then improve upon them.
- Self-assess: Are you on the A-team, or do you need to be more in the limelight? Does your supervisor truly know about the tangible ways you’ve contributed to the organization? And, importantly, how critical are you to your division? Team? Unless you have a well-established track record of success, you may appear to be overreaching.
- Understand your value: If your self-assessment is positive, and you are ready to move ahead, then join and use Glassdoor.com statistics to research and determine industry pay ranges for similarly situated individuals. What are employers paying people with credentials and experience like yours?
- Provide proof of your value: Have you expanded a market, launched a new product, boosted sales, or increased social media reach? Document your contributions to the organization’s bottom line in writing. Have this ready for your supervisor and keep it updated monthly.
- Timing is everything: Request a pay raise at the time of year when your organization and supervisor conduct evaluations of employees and pay. Even if you have been with the organization less than a year, step forward.
- Prepare alternative asks: If your company cannot provide a pay raise, suggest mutually beneficial alternatives including unpaid time off, extra vacation, 4-day work weeks, or flexible working hours.
- Change employment: Leaving may provide a 10-20% salary increase, compared to the average 3% pay raise. According to experts, to maximize your talent, it’s best to change employment every 5 years if possible.
- Obtain a competing offer: Be willing to switch jobs if your current employer can’t or won’t provide a pay raise or match a competing job offer. Be sure it’s what you want because you can use this tactic only once per employer.
- Consider a side hustle: One-third (1/3) of U.S. Americans have multiple jobs, so find revenue-producing opportunity to consume your free time by driving a rideshare, doing yardwork or gardening, or doing design work. Research your local area for opportunities to make cash on the side.
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.