Making Your Case for a Raise During Uncertain Times

You’ve been putting in longer hours – even more than your coworkers.

You’re picking up extra slack for others in your department and covering for sick employees.

You’ve taken on more responsibility in recent months.

And you think it’s time you received a pay raise.

Asking your boss for more money during the best of times is an uncomfortable proposition. But while the economy is so uncertain, you may wonder if you should even broach the subject.

At the end of the day, however, it’s up to you to advocate for yourself. If you believe you deserve a raise, here’s how to ask for one the right way:

Do Your Homework

Before you request more money, make sure it’s warranted. Compensation is a sensitive subject in most organizations; as an employee, it can be challenging to tell if you’re being paid fairly or not. In this post, we review various indicators to help you evaluate your salary and determine if your pay is competitive – or if you truly deserve more.

Gather Information to Make Your Case

You may feel you deserve a raise, but the best way to get one is by providing proof. Put together a list of the following, and use them when making your request:

  • Testimonials/recommendations from coworkers or supervisors about your exceptional job performance and attitude.
  • Measurable results: Have you exceeded your production goals? Outperformed others in the same role? Created new solutions or processes to increase efficiency, minimize rework, or sell more? Objective measurements of your accomplishments are extremely valuable in making your case for a raise.
  • New responsibilities you’ve taken on or skills/certifications you’ve acquired.
  • Market pay data you gathered.

Approach the Subject Gracefully

Schedule time with your boss for a private conversation, and let them know that you want to discuss your compensation (so they’re prepared and in the right frame of mind). Make sure to lead with, “I know this might be an awkward conversation to have during a pandemic, but I’d like to talk to you about my (achievements, extra responsibilities, successes, etc.).”

Don’t Expect a “Yes”

Unless your company’s business increased during the pandemic, they might not have the financial resources to approve your request. However, remember that “no” during a pandemic doesn’t mean, “never.”

Have a Plan B

If a raise is not possible, negotiate for something else:

  • Salary review in six months.
  • Additional PTO
  • Flexible work hours or other perks

Get the Timing Right

Timing is everything when asking for a raise, especially now. Make your case immediately after a performance review, after you were given new responsibilities or had a major success.

Related posts:

Evaluating Your Salary: Are You Being Paid Fairly?

Want a Year-End Raise? Do This.

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