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How to Ask For a Raise When You Are Underpaid

How to Ask For a Raise When You Are Underpaid

how to ask for a raise when you are underpaid

Realizing that you’re underpaid can be a frustrating experience, but approaching the situation proactively can help you get the raise that you deserve. In this article, we will discuss the steps you need to take in order to effectively ask for a raise when you’re underpaid. It’s important to enter this process armed with research, a clear assessment of your value, and an understanding of your current work situation.

Before you approach your boss, you should do some thorough research on industry benchmarks and salaries for similar positions within your field. This will give you an idea of how much you should be earning and help you make a solid case for why you deserve a raise. Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel nervous about initiating this conversation, but with the right approach and preparation, you’ll have a better chance of achieving your desired outcome.

How to Ask For a Raise When You Are Underpaid: Evaluate Your Current Salary

In order to effectively ask for a raise when you are underpaid, it’s essential to first evaluate your current salary.

Bring Your Supporting Data

Start by collecting the necessary data to support your claim of being underpaid. Research the median salary for your specific job title, experience level, and geographical location. You can use websites such as Payscale or Salary.com to find this information. Additionally, gather any recent performance reviews or notable accomplishments that demonstrate your commitment and contribution to the company.

Compare Industry Standards

Compare your current salary with the industry standards for your position. This can give you a better understanding of where your salary stands in comparison to your peers in the field. You can access industry-specific data from professional associations or by consulting websites like Glassdoor. By knowing how your pay compares to others with similar qualifications, you can make a strong case for a salary adjustment.

Assess Your Own Performance

Evaluating your own performance and contributions to the company is crucial in making your case for a raise. Assess your responsibilities, the projects you’ve been working on, and your overall growth within the company. Be objective and honest about your achievements, as well as your areas for improvement. This self-assessment will help you articulate your value to the organization during the salary negotiation process.

I would also encourage you to very honest with yourself during this time. Consider counter arguments or why your manager would hesitate to give you more money.

Build a Strong Case

Asking for a raise when you’re underpaid requires a well-structured argument. Below are a couple of sub-sections providing useful tips on building your case effectively.

Document Your Accomplishments

Keep a record of your achievements, including successful projects, goals met, and any instances where you’ve gone above and beyond your job responsibilities. This evidence will help you to “make a case” for your pay raise, by showing your worth and added value to the company.

Maintain a document or tracking system where you can store this information, and make sure to update it regularly. When it’s time to discuss your raise, your accomplishments will allow you to present a compelling case for increased compensation.

Highlight Your Skills

Identify the skills that differentiate you from your peers and demonstrate how these skills contribute to the company’s success. It’s crucial to showcase your expertise, especially in areas where you excel or possess unique knowledge. Frame your argument around how your capabilities support your organization’s goals and objectives, thus highlighting your worth.

Consider creating a table to organize and display your skills, along with their corresponding impact on your team or company. This visual aid can be a valuable addition to your discussion and help you in presenting a strong case for a pay raise.

Determine the Raise Amount

Before discussing a raise with your employer, it’s essential to determine the appropriate amount to ask for.

Consider Your Employer’s Budget

Keep in mind that your employer’s budget may impact their ability to grant significant pay increases. Research your company’s financial health, recent layoffs, and any industry fluctuations. This will provide a realistic context for your request and enhance your credibility in negotiations.

Understand the Limitations and What Isn’t Possible

While it’s vital to know your worth, you must also acknowledge that there may be certain limitations. For example, company policies or pay scales may restrict the amount of raise you can receive. Research these considerations and accept that there may be constraints outside of your control.

Set a Realistic Goal

After assessing your employer’s budget and understanding any limitations, it’s time to set a realistic goal for your raise. Use industry resources and salary guides to understand the market value for your role and experience. Consider the following when determining your raise amount:

  • Your current salary compared to the market rate
  • Additional responsibilities you’ve taken on
  • Recent performance and accomplishments
  • Cost of living increases

With a well-reasoned and realistic raise amount in mind, you will be better equipped to discuss your request confidently and effectively with your employer.

Choose the Right Time

Asking for a raise when you are underpaid involves selecting the perfect timing. Your chances of success can be increased by considering your company’s performance and your personal milestones. To maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome, pay attention to the following points:

Company Performance

When considering a raise request, assess the financial health of your company. If your organization is thriving and showing consistent growth, this is a favorable time to discuss your compensation. On the contrary, if your company is struggling financially, it may not be the most suitable time to ask for an increase in pay. Always remember to stay informed about your company’s performance and position in the industry.

Personal Milestones

Take stock of your accomplishments and contributions to the company before approaching your boss for a raise. Have you recently completed a significant project, exceeded sales targets, or brought in new clients? These personal milestones can serve as strong evidence that supports your request for a higher salary.

Keep track of your achievements and leverage them during your conversation with your manager. Demonstrating your added value to the company can not only make your case for a raise more compelling but also showcase your commitment to your role and the organization.

By carefully considering both your company’s performance and your individual accomplishments, you can significantly improve the chances of successfully negotiating a raise when you are underpaid.[source]

Prepare for the Conversation

Before you approach your boss to ask for a raise, take some time to prepare yourself and gather all necessary information to present a strong case for your request.

Plan Your Key Points

Identify the key points you want to address during the conversation, such as the data supporting your position that you are underpaid, your accomplishments and contributions to the company, and your market research regarding current industry salary standards. This will help you stay focused and organized during the conversation, increasing your chances of success. Additionally, rehearse what you will say to your boss and practice presenting your case clearly and concisely.

Anticipate Possible Objections

Think about what concerns or objections your boss may have and prepare responses for them in advance. For example, if you think your employer might argue that the company is experiencing financial difficulties, be prepared with a reasonable counter-argument such as offering to discuss alternative compensation options, like more vacation time or flexible hours.

Staying calm and collected during the conversation will make it easier for your boss to consider your request seriously. Remember, asking for a raise is a normal part of professional life, and you have every right to advocate for yourself and your financial well-being.

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Conduct the Meeting

Once you have done your research and prepared your arguments, it’s time to meet with your supervisor to discuss your pay. Remember, this is an important meeting that requires a professional and confident approach.

Maintain Professionalism

When you enter the meeting, make sure to have a positive and respectful attitude. Greet your supervisor, and thank them for taking the time to meet with you. It’s essential to be courteous and maintain professionalism throughout the conversation. Avoid displaying any negative emotions, such as frustration or anger, as this may undermine your request.

Outline Your Request

Begin by briefly summarizing the purpose of the meeting – discussing your current compensation. You can mention that, after conducting research, you found that you are underpaid compared to industry standards or compared to your colleagues in similar roles.(Payscale)

Next, highlight your achievements, accomplishments, and the value you bring to the company. It can be helpful to have a list of specific examples to demonstrate your contributions. Explain why these achievements justify a salary increase.

Once you have made a compelling case for a raise, provide a specific figure or percentage by which you believe your salary should be increased. You can base this number on your research and knowledge of industry standards.(Career Sidekick)

Finally, be prepared to answer any questions your supervisor might have and to negotiate if necessary. It’s crucial to stay open to feedback and any counter arguments they may present.

Follow Up

Now that you’ve prepared and presented your case for a raise, it’s crucial to follow up on the outcomes of the discussion. This section offers guidance on how to proceed after your meeting with your manager.

Request Feedback

After your meeting, it’s essential to continue the conversation and maintain open communication with your manager. Politely request feedback about your performance and the points raised during the discussion. By doing so, you show that you’re open to learning and willing to improve. Additionally, asking for feedback demonstrates your genuine interest in the company’s success and helps build relationships with superiors.

For example, you could say, “Thank you for your time and consideration during our meeting. Could you please provide feedback on the points we discussed, as well as any areas for improvement?” This approach not only keeps the dialogue open but also provides invaluable insights into your manager’s perspective.

Negotiate if Necessary

If your manager offers a counterproposal or suggests a lower raise than what you initially requested, it’s essential to remain open to negotiation. Evaluate the offer, considering factors such as the current market value for your role and your performance within the company.

Present a well-reasoned counter argument if you feel the offer is inadequate or unfair. For instance, you could say, “I appreciate your offer, but based on the research I’ve conducted on industry pay standards and the specific achievements I’ve brought to the company, I believe a higher raise is justified.”

Remember to stay confident, professional, and composed during the negotiation process. Recognize that finding a mutually agreeable solution may involve some compromise on both sides. Ultimately, your goal is to convey your value to the company while working towards a satisfactory outcome for both parties.

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