If you are thinking about asking for a raise, there are certain milestones that you should hit to increase the chances of your negotiations going well.
Asking for a raise too soon, or without a track record of performance, can damage your credibility.
Use these 5 critical milestones to determine if you’re ready to ask for a raise at work.
1: You have worked for more than six months. Asking for a raise too quickly after starting your job looks bad, and you might damage your reputation permanently if you do. Before six months, you probably haven’t had enough time to prove yourself as a hard-working employee.
2: You’ve passed your first performance review. If your company enforces performance reviews, then any time after your first review might be a good time to ask for a raise (assuming that your performance review was positive, of course). It’s very possible that the review itself triggered a raise. If it did, then wait at least 6 to 8 months before asking for another one.
3: You have a consistent track record of good work. This might go without saying, but a strong record of consistently good work will strengthen your argument for a raise. Use your track record during negotiations as evidence of your value to the organization, and be prepared to point to concrete examples of your work.
4: You are performing duties outside of your job description. It is common for staff members to do jobs that don’t fit neatly into the position they were hired to do. If this is you, then it’s appropriate to ask that your salary more closely matches your day-to-day job responsibilities.
5: You have a conversational rapport with your manager. The discussion of a raise will go much smoother after you have developed a healthy rapport with your manager. For example, does your manager implicitly trust you? Can you talk with your manager about anything without the discussion being awkward? If yes, then the doors are open for a talk about a raise.
Optional: You were promoted without a raise. If you were promoted without a subsequent boost to your compensation, then asking for a raise might be appropriate. Reputable companies should be willing to compensate their staff commensurate with their job responsibilities, and promotions certainly fit that criteria in most cases.
Remember, showing evidence and documentation of your achievements will be key to getting the “yes” to your raise request. If you saved the company money by creating a more efficient process, that’s good evidence. Or, if you consistently turn in high-quality, error-free work, using that achievement will help during your negotiation.
Lastly, asking for a raise in a professional manner shows that you are an advocate for yourself. Provided that you are realistic and objective during the discussion, even if your manager says no, he or she will know that you are proactive and serious.