#1 – You Need to Get Your Boss to Agree to the Idea of a Raise First
I never suggest anyone go in and just ask for a raise. Why? It blind-sides the manager. You are a business-of-one who is selling it’s services to a customer (your employer). Announcing you want a raise is a delicate process that should be handled with care. Think of a time when a service provider you used announced they were raising their rates and you had no say in the matter. How did you feel? Taken advantage of and put on the spot, right? Of course you did. Well, approaching your boss for a raise without first discussing what it would take to earn that raise has the same effect.
The first step is to sit down with your boss and let him know your goal is to earn a raise and you want to know if he could guide you on what you will need to do to get an increase. (I wrote this article on how to get a raise in 60 days that can help you.) You should leave that meeting with some clear goals and timelines you can work towards. Plus, you’ll have buy-in from your boss on the raise.
#2 – Consider the Timing of Your Request – Studies Show Tuesday is Better
The following study shows people are most productive on Tuesday mornings. This means waiting until you can get on your manager’s schedule for a meeting at that time could help you. You want your boss clear-headed and feeling productive. If you focus on meeting at a time where he is more likely to be in a better mood, he may also be more positive and proactive about helping you map out a goal for your raise.
NOTE: I strongly encourage you never set a meeting of this type on a Monday. As the article points out, many people aren’t in good moods on that day. Don’t risk such an important conversation by planning it on a day when your boss might not be in the best frame of mind!
#3 – Raises Are For People Who Justify Their Cost
My last piece of advice is to remind you the only way an employer is going to give you more money is if you prove you are making or saving the company enough cash to justify the cost of the raise. Be prepared! Your job is to alleviate a pain and solve a problem. Preferably, one that’s a real nuisance to your boss. If you can focus on delivering value in way that speaks to the bottom line of the business, you will have a better chance of getting that raise.