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5 Questions to Ask Yourself before Asking for Pay Raise


Just when should you ask for a raise? Or better question would probably be, “how” should you ask for a raise? 

At any point in your career, you would need to ask for a raise, but too often you find yourself doubting that intention. From over 160,000 employees surveyed by Payscale, almost two-thirds have never asked for a raise. But those who took the plunge and asked for more money, about 70 percent reported receiving some type of increase after they asked for a raise. That said, fewer people have asked than you would assume, but if you do ask, it is very likely you will get something. 

Asking for a raise does not only require courage to tell your boss that you want more financial compensation or benefits, but it does need some qualifications. Here are a set of questions you should ask yourself to know whether you are worth more and to tell if now is a good time to ask for a raise. 

“Am I already overqualified in my position?” 

Management looks at distinguishing veteran employees from probationaries. It follows therefore that tenure in the company is important to determine your level of commitment to your line of work and to the organisation as a whole. Sometimes the idea of asking for a raise is qualified by the number of years in the company. However, unless you have entirely overfilled or overqualified your position, then even a 5-year period might not still be enough. 

See also: 3 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

“Is the company streamlining?” 

Streamlining usually happens when the company is in the process of transition or merger where work contributions by individual employees are among the many things being carefully evaluated. Asking for a raise at this point in time might not be welcomed by the management. If it is evident that the company is in this transitional period then the proactive approach is to make your performance level recognizable and find ways to muster multi-tasking abilities in order to ensure job security and avoid being laid off at this critical time. 

“Am I under promising but over delivering?” 

Surely, this is one way to impress management. While this work principle calls for the best effort by some employees where they are simply meeting expectations, to others this requires less effort. In this case, you can assure yourself that the management is not blind to these personal achievements and there might no longer be a need to echo them through formal discussion of a rate increase. Over delivering work or exceeding your manager’s expectation speaks well of “overfilling” your current position and thus deserve merit for a raise approval. 

“How will your department or team function with less contribution from you?” 

Does your work contribute critically or just so-so? Will your team function just as well without you in the picture or not? This question helps assert your participation at work, always making sure that as a team member your contribution is highly relevant. If, as an employee, you are unable to give yourself a straight positive answer then it could mean that you might not be performing at par as well. 

“Am I ready to take on additional responsibilities?” 

There’s no such thing as “free lunch”. This means that while management is ready to give you a raise, you might as well expect additional responsibilities to come with it, as a form of a bargain. Welcome or not, taking on greater responsibilities hints to the management that you take it as part of your professional growth and not just because it naturally comes with it. 

Typically, the risk of asking for more pay is worth the reward, especially when you consider that you have the qualification needed. One thing to remember when asking for a raise is that you should not force your own ideas. A raise does not always have to be about the bottom line. When negotiating a salary, you should consider variables like better benefits, the ability to work from home, more personal time or even a more flexible daily schedule. Give this a thought and consider the above questions to ensure your effort does not go to waste. 

Read also: You Should Consider These Before Agreeing to Counteroffers



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