How To Ask For A Raise

Raise your hand if you want to earn more money at your day job.

Hey everyone, my name is Megan and this is The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.  Glad you’re here this week.

I wanted to talk about something that is a little different than the normal focus of the Bootstrap Boutique and that is because most of us, when we start new businesses, we still have a day job, we do not typically just quit your job, cold turkey, and jump into a side business and hope to make some sort of full time income from it.

So something that you need to do if you have a day job, at some point in your career, is ask for a raise.

I know, I know, that makes people incredibly uncomfortable.  But it is so important that if you have earned more that if you have earned more money in your job, that you advocate for yourself to get it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra money to help fund that side business?

At some point, its a conversation you are going to have to have with your boss.  What I want to do today is help you make sure that you are ready to have that conversation.  So, there are a few things that you need to think about before you just go in, sit down in front of your boss and say, “Hey, give me some more money.”

The first thing I want you to think about is did you actually earn the raise? If you just show up, clock in and watch the clock until five and go home, you didn’t earn a raise.  And you’re not going to get one.

But if you earned the raise over the course of the year, if you provided more value to the company than what you took home in your paycheck, then you should be able to make a case for why you deserve more money.

Here’s what I want you to do.

I want you to make it really easy for your boss to say yes.

How do you do that? Well, there’s a couple of things you need to do.

First you need to make sure that you are setting realistic goals.  And meeting them.  Or better, exceeding them.  So these goals need to be actionable and you need to be able to show that you met or exceeded them through the course of the year.  There should be some sort of number tied to them.  Did you save the company money, did you earn the company money, did you increase efficiencies in a process? I don’t know what your job is but there’s probably a million different ways that you can do things over the course of a year that are going to set you up to be able to say, yes, I met the goals that I set for myself at the end of last year.

Here’s another way that is kind of overlooked when it comes to making it easy for your boss to say yes.

You’ve got to get to them before the budget is set for next year.

And this one is a little tricky because not every company works on a calendar year for their fiscal budget so they may be setting budgets for the next operating year now, or it could have already happened, which puts you in kind of a bad place.

When your boss knows that you should earn more money then they can budget that in, but once the budget is set they probably only have a certain number of dollars that they can put towards salary increases for that year.  You want to make sure that you have this conversation with them before budget time or their hands might actually be tied until next year.

You also should ideally have this conversation before your annual performance review.  Because a lot of times and in many companies, that is when your boss tells you what raise you got for the year.

If you don’t want to be the two or three percent cost of living adjustment raise, you’re looking for a five, a ten a fifteen percent raise, if you wait until your performance review you’re too late if that’s the way your company operates.

It’s really important that you tell your boss about all the great things that you’re doing for the company through the course of the year.

Don’t make them rely on their memory of how great you are, you need to make sure that you are reminding them constantly how much value you bring to an organization.

The last thing about this meeting that you’re going to have with your boss is that it really needs to be face to face.

Most people don’t work remotely like I do where I can’t have that conversation face to face, but for most people you can actually get some face time with your boss and this is a conversation that you want to have eyeball to eyeball so you know that they are looking at you, they are listening to you, they are not you know on the computer checking email or thinking about their vacation or something like that.  This is something you want their full attention for.

That can be kind of scary too so something that can really help with getting you in the right mindset to have this conversation is called the Power Pose, and there’s an awesome Ted Talk, I will link to it down in the video description.

Go watch that.

Basically the Power Pose is Wonder Woman, the way she stands in the comic books, you know.  Shoulders back, hands on hips, chest out just very assertive and forceful.

And if you go stand like that, even if you go do it in the bathroom stall or in your office and you shut the door, I mean it’s already kind of awkward, you probably don’t want people watching you and thinking, “What is she doing?”  Just go somewhere where nobody can see you and do that for three for four minutes, you will feel better.

You will feel ready to take on the world. And all you have to do is ask for a raise.

Just a couple of tips to wrap up on how to ask for a raise.  Here’s what I want you to do.  I want you to be really bold in your ask.  So say you’re looking for a ten thousand dollar raise.

Here’s what you do.

First you’re going to prime the pump a little bit, you are going to let your boss know that you would like to have a salary conversation soon.  You don’t want to just dump it in their lap in the middle of your weekly one on one.

Next, when you have the meeting and the boss knows its coming, you just want to be very bold in saying.  Tell them what you want, don’t make them try to guess.  So if you need a ten thousand dollar raise, if you earned a ten thousand dollar raise, you need to say, “Hey, I earned a ten thousand dollar raise.  Here’s why I believe that’s true.”  Make your case.

The next part is the hardest part.  So you just made your case, right?

Shut up.

Just stop talking.

Just stop.

If you’ve ever heard the saying in negotiations that he who speaks first looses, that is true in this case.

Because you don’t want to say, “I need ten thousand dollars” and then be quiet.  And its quiet.  And its awkward.  To fill the space you say, “but I’d take seven.”  Because guess what you just got?  Not ten.

Now we all live in the real world and we know that’s not going to happen immediately, so you’re probably going to need to follow up.

If you’re getting signals from your boss that this is just not in the cards this year then you need to make sure that you are really clear on what you need to be doing for the next year to make sure that there’s more money coming your way.

Maybe your performance wasn’t as good as you thought it was, maybe you were focused on the wrong things and not doing what you needed to do to make your bosses life easier.  Whatever it is, you’ve got to figure that out and go back to the drawing board.

But if you’ve met your goals if you’re focused on the right things, if you’re a rockstar performer at your company, then yeah, you should be able to ask for a raise and get it successfully following these tips.

Alright guys, that’s what I’ve got for you this week.  I hope that was helpful, let me know if you asked for a raise successfully because you earned it, and you got it.  I want to hear those stories.  Also, if this kind of information is helpful for you, let me know that in the comments below also or you can hit me up at twitter, I’m @megloftin and I will talk to you next Wednesday.  Take care! Bye guys!

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