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    How Much of a Raise Should I Ask For?

    When you excel in your roles and even take on extra roles at your workplace, it’s natural to start thinking of asking for a decent remuneration. Asking for an amount of money that matches your value to your employer is very vital. Feeling less-appreciated can negatively impact your performance and confidence.

    Negotiating for a pay rise is not a walk in the park. Determining when to meet your boss, the amount to ask for, and how to do it needs careful thought and preparation. If you feel that you deserve a salary rise, don’t shy from raising the issue. Especially if you haven’t had an increase for more than a year.

    How Much of a Raise Should I Ask For?

    • Know the market value for your role by checking it online or by asking coworkers
    • Put together your list of accomplishments and prepare your ask
    • Find a good time to ask your manager
    • Ask your manager in-person
    • Follow-up with other options if your ask for a raise is denied

    Knowing your “market value” is very important in today’s job market. Unless you know how much you should be paid for your skills and experience, you risk earning less for what you deliver. That’s why you should let your employer know the salary you deserve.Do your research and document your findings.

    Below are several ways to find out your market value:

    Checking Salary Scale Websites: You can know your worth by comparing your salaries against other professionals working in a similar role. Use websites such as Payscale and Glassdoor. These websites also allow you to evaluate your salary based on experience, employer, education level and company size.

    The Internet: The Internet has several web sites and blogs that have information on wages. You can use the internet to get the latest market trends and information about the latest compensation statistics.

    Your Bookstores and local library: Here, you can easily find material that lists salary estimates. These estimates can be viewed according to occupation, industry, geographic region and type of employer.

    Employment Recruiters: Find employment recruiters by checking out the Yellow Pages and using the internet. Find recruiters who place people in your field of specialty. Contact them for assistance in knowing your market value. Apart from knowing your market value, a recruiter may also include you in their list of potential candidates if you have the desired qualities.

    Networking: Reach out to friends and colleagues working in a similar industry or field. Ask them about salary levels for a person with your skills and credentials.

    Check Government Salary Figures: The government releases a yearbook that contains details of salaries paid per industry. You can use it as a guide in knowing how much to negotiate for.

    Checking on Job Portals: Search for similar titles with similar roles on job portals. A few examples of these portals are JobsCentral, JobsDB and Adecco. If compensation is mentioned in the job posts, it will give you an idea of your market value and whether you’re underpaid.

    Look for Similar job adverts on newspapers and local dailies: Search for vacancies similar to yours in your local newspaper. If there is, contact the company’s Human Resource manager. Courteously ask what they’d pay someone with your experience and skills. Ask him or her to answer via email if possible for stress-free documentation.

    Check Free Recruiter Salary Reports: Most recruitment agencies create free salary reports. Apart from getting information on salary rates, these reports can be used to get an idea about the current or future job atmosphere.

    Use Your Network: You can also use your social media, personal and professional network. Use these networks to get information about the market value for an individual with your qualifications. If you are lucky, you can get salary estimates from friends with similar experience and qualifications.

    Personal Salary Surveys: Do you know that it’s possible to conduct your own salary survey? You can call companies that hire people with skills similar to your own. Ask for the human resources director and ask for a recommendation regarding how to determine your market value.

    Professional Associations: Check online for names of professional associations that include people in your career field. Reach out to them and ask for salary survey data, which will help you determine your worth.

    Do a Personal Review: Doing a personal review of your certification and skills before negotiating for a raise will also give you an idea of how much you’re are worth. Since we grow and develop our skills from time to time, it’s equally vital for you to keep track of your worth as you grow.

    If you’ve acquired more certifications and skills that bring more value to the company, you should consider finding out your market rate based on the acquired skills and certifications.

    How Much of a Raise Should I Ask for After 1 Year?

    Do not expect a pay raise simply because you haven’t received one in over a year. Some unions may negotiate small, annual raises. But, those raises are an exception. Instead, focus on proving why you deserve a merit-based raise, not a cost of living adjustment.

    Additional Factors that Determine How Much of a Raise to Ask for

    After determining how much you need to earn after doing research, you’ll need to determine your market value. Consider other additional factors like education and experience. Combining these factors with your findings will raise your market rate during negotiation. These factors include:

    Experience: It’s easier to convince your boss for a pay raise when you’re more experienced. More experienced employees have better problem-solving skills and efficiency. Those factors justify the reason for higher pay.

    Certifications: Most industries have professional bodies and certifications that enhance an individual’s professional credibility and knowledge. It may not required for some jobs. But it’s good to have certifications because they have a positive influence on your market rate.

    Management Experience: The more people you manage, the higher your market rate. If you don’t manage employees, you can prove your management ability by managing small projects, accounts or customers.

    Education Level: Education also has a drastic effect on your market rate. It will be easier to convince your boss about a salary raise if you acquired an extra qualification. This could be a degree and showing how important it is in your role.

    Work Performance: Work performance can either hurt or help your market rate. Companies prefer promoting a hardworking employees with less experience. They will promote them over average employees with lots of experience. That is why it’s vital to maintain a good performance evaluation.

    Networking: Growing and maintaining a good network is important. This is especially important if you work in a business environment. So if you have loyal customers who prefer buying from you, this will certainly increase your market value.

    Job Scope: When you started, you were given a set of duties that you were expected to perform. But the scope of your job can increase over time. If you’re handling extra job duties to cover two job titles, this will increase your market value.

    The Nature of Your Industry: The nature of your industry also influences your market rate. Your market value will increase/decrease depending on the demand for your services. If you’re in an industry that’s in demand, your market rate will increase because your knowledge and skills will be in demand.

    What Percentage to Ask for as a Raise

    Once you know your market rate, you can easily calculate the percent increase for your requested raise. Simply follow this formula:

    ( Market Rate – Your Current Pay ) / Your Current Pay.

    If your market rate is $45,000, and you earn $40,000, then your percent increase is:  (45000-40000)/40000

    That formula gives you 0.125, or 12.5%. An increase that high may be unlikely. Instead, you could always settle for a smaller amount.

    What is a Reasonable Amount to Ask for a Raise?

    After finding your market rate, and calculating the percent, you’ll have a good sense how underpaid you are. A 20% or a 15% raise may be unlikely. But a 10% or 8% raise is reasonable if you are truly underpaid.

    Approaching Your Manager with Your Research

    After you’ve researched your job’s market rate, your skills and experience will give you a better clue of how much to ask for a raise. Unfortunately, experience limits how much you can ask for when negotiating for a raise.

    After determining your market value, take your employer your research. It’s important because salary facts such as industry/government data are not easily disputed. Backing them up with your accomplishments will give you a strong case for a raise. So bring the data. And reinforce that you want to stay with the organization for a long time.

    When asking for a raise, salary facts from industry and government data are not easily disputed. Click To Tweet

    The Dos and Don’ts when asking for a raise

    Below are some tips you should keep in mind when asking for a raise.

    1. Correct Timing: As for a raise after a big accomplishment. Choosing the time correctly increases the probability of getting a raise. Capitalize on your success, You’ll find yourself in the best position to ask for an increase.

    2. Rehearsing: Write and rehearse your presentation. Don’t just walk into the meeting without preparing your facts and presentation. Brainstorm a list of valid reasons as to why you deserve a salary raise. Write them down. Remember to rehearse. Doing this will keep you composed and ensure a confident delivery.

    3. Dress Appropriately: A decent dress code will show how serious you are with the matter. Spare those few extra minutes to iron your shirt/blouse. Don’t overdress. Above, all, you should look your best for the role.

    4. Avoid asking via Email: As much as talking over email seems convenient, you should ensure that you have a conversation about your salary in-person. This will show how serious you are with the job. Plus, you will be able to gauge your employer’s reaction to your request. Most importantly, it will show you’re serious.

    5. Avoid Supplying Too Much Personal Information: Find a way to craft your salary proposal in a way that validates the reasons why you need an increase in salary. Do not focus on personal reasons for why you desperately need one.

    6. Knowing What’s Within Your Control: After you’ve done your research and figured out how much you are worth, it’s good to understand what’s within your control. Some organizations have very rigid salary factors that cannot be easily modified.

    Remember, you won’t be working for the rest of your life. Get the best out of every working year by earning what you deserve. And, in case your employer is not willing to compensate you with a reasonable rate or benefits, look for a company that will.

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