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4 Things You Should Never Say When Asking For A Raise

4 Things You Should Never Say When Asking For A Raise

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Maybe you like your job, but you’re just not where you want to be financially. What do you do? Apply for a position with a different company? Or approach your boss and ask for a salary increase?

The ability to negotiate a salary increase can place you in a better financial position: extra money can help you qualify for mortgage loans or refinancing; if you’re trying to build a rainy day fund, a raise can jump start these efforts.

However, it’s important to research and know your value before approaching your boss. In other words, you can only approach the conversation with a fair number in mind – based on your experience and the average salaries in your area. Of course, it isn’t enough to only research your value. You need to know the best ways to approach your boss.

Here are four things you should never say when asking for a raise:

1. Don’t Threaten To Quit

Some employees think they can get the upper hand by threatening to quit their jobs. However, this isn’t recommended, even if you’re prepared to follow through with the threat. Remember, the goal is to get on your supervisor’s good side, not tick him off.

If you approach the meeting with an abrupt or aggressive attitude, your boss may not respond favorably – he may actually call your bluff.

A better approach is to explain how much you enjoy your work. Let your boss know that you’re interested in growing with the company. Next, state your argument for a salary increase. Be professional and keep your negotiations brief.

2. Don’t Mention A Co-Worker’s Salary

If you learn that a co-worker in a similar position earns more than you, don’t mention this when speaking with your employer. There may be valid reasons why your co-worker earns more. Maybe he has an advanced degree, or maybe he took additional courses to improve his skill set. Then again, maybe he has more experience than you. Don’t immediately assume that your employer is giving you the short end of the stick.

Rather than bring up a co-worker’s salary you could say, “I’m been researching the going rate for this position, and the average salary for workers with my education and experience is _____. I feel that I’ve been doing a great job and would like to discuss increasing my salary.”

3. Don’t Choose The Wrong Time

Don’t ask your employer for a raise out the blue, and you certainly shouldn’t ask during a meeting on an unrelated topic.

Once you’ve completed your research, schedule an appointment to meet with your boss privately. Additionally, prepare for this meeting by practicing responses. In all likelihood, your boss will question why you want a salary increase. The way you answer this question can determine the outcome.

Prior to this meeting, compile a list of all your accomplishments during the last 12 months. When your boss questions your reasons, be ready to run down this list and mention any other selling points. For example, you can mention any classes you’ve recently taken, and if it’s been years since your last raise, bring this to your supervisor’s attention.

4. Don’t Whine About Your Personal Problems

Do you have debt? Do you need to complete repairs around your house? Was your spouse laid off? These are all valid reasons to negotiate a salary increase. Understand, however, that your personal problems are not your supervisor’s problems.

He no doubt will empathize or sympathize with your situation, but you shouldn’t expect him to automatically fix your problems by increasing your salary. Not that you shouldn’t ask for a higher salary, but keep the focus on your performance.

You could say, “In the past ___ months I’ve taken on several new responsibilities (list them), and I know that you were satisfied with many of my suggestions and changes.”

Getting paid your worth can improve job satisfaction. And if you’re already completing assignments outside your job description, why not take a chance and approach your boss? He just might comply with your request.


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Amanda Green Amanda is a freelance writer who most often writes about personal finance, business, and career. You can read more finance writing by Amanda at paidtwice.com