As a nation, why are we all so awkward when it comes to chatting about money?
In a culture where we are classed as having 'notions' if we so much as buy a new car or go on more than one holiday a year, the subject of money has been a taboo in Irish society for years. That is all well and good; however, it doesn't serve us well when it comes to asking for a raise. Yes, you heard correctly, asking your employer for more money.
Despite what Irish culture would lead you to believe, asking for a raise is normal and is expected of you. A salary increase is an opportunity for recognition that you're now contributing at a higher level than when your initial salary was set. A raise isn't a favour or a gift that you should be ashamed of asking for. It is a way for employers to pay you a fair salary which reflects your market value and keep you around in the company.
That being said, asking for what you deserve can still be a daunting process. However, with just some simple tips, it doesn't have to be. Here is the best way to ask for a raise.
Timing is key
Before you decide to ask for a raise, check your timing is right. Firstly, look at how long you have been with your company. Most companies won't consider an increase until you have been working there for 12 months, while some might consider it after six months. Do some research into what is the norm in your workplace. Secondly, if you have a yearly or quarterly review coming up, this is an excellent time to chat about the possibility of a raise.
Don't ask for a raise over email
This may seem like common sense, but by god, you would be surprised. If you don't have a review coming up anytime soon, you may need to schedule a time to discuss your raise at a different time. Simply, email your boss and ask can you sit down and chat through your performance to date and your salary. By being transparent, you and your boss will be on the same page before sitting down to talk through.
Practice makes perfect
It may seem silly to practice your pitch beforehand, but it will make a huge difference when you sit down with your boss. Write down all of your recent accomplishments and added value you bring to the company and get comfortable saying them out loud. This will help you sound confident in your ability and hopefully help ease any nerves.
Focus on why you deserve a raise, not why you need it
We obviously all need extra money to make life a little easier for us. However, when it comes to asking for a raise, this is not what you should be focusing on. Similarly, if you know a colleague is getting paid more than you, don't use this as a reason to validate getting a raise – it's not a good look. Instead, focus on you and why you deserve a pay increase based on your performance to date.
Do your research
Make sure to do your research before requesting a raise. According to the CSO, the average salary was increased by 3.5% in 2019 and raises rarely go above this. Additionally, ensure you do your research into the average salary for your role and location, as you don't want to sell yourself short. Similarly, asking for a figure way above the average may show you haven't done your research correctly.
Be prepared to hear no
Despite your best efforts, sometimes your request for a raise may be declined for various reasons. Be prepared to hear no and have a plan in place if this happens. Ask your boss for clearly defined goals that you can work towards and suggest an interim performance review where you can discuss your salary again. Don't let no get you down and instead use it as an opportunity to grow and prove yourself in your company.