Is It Time to Ask for a Raise?

Millions of Americans feel that they are not fairly compensated, so pay raises and livable wage have been hot-button issues recently. With the effects of the recession slowly subsiding it may be time to ask yourself an important question: “Should I be asking for a pay raise?

The wages of average American workers have been stagnant for many years. Fortunately, with the U.S. coming out of the recession, employees have been seeing gradual increases to their paycheck. According to a 2015 survey, some employees are expected to receive a base pay raise this year ranging from 1 percent to 4.6 percent. Of course, this isn’t enough and not every employee will see a benefit in their paycheck. This is why masses of people have started the minimum wage debate.

“Fight for $15” activists have been making the case that the U.S. should increase the federal minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25. Many states have already taken action—California and New York will have a $15 minimum wage by 2022. While there has been some debate on how effective this may be, it has definitely put the sometimes uncomfortable topics of wage gaps and equal pay center stage.

If you’re in need of a raise, it’s important to get the timing and wording right. Fortunately, the advice listed below can help.

Now When to Ask

Obviously, advocating for an increase in pay works best when the company is flourishing. Also when your department is expanding, or when you’re being offered a higher paying job from another company. You should also ask for a raise when your workload increases or when your job performance exceeds expectations. When other members of your department are getting raises you should try to negotiate for a higher salary.

Be Prepared

Before you ask for a raise be sure that you’re well prepared for the negotiation. Review your company’s policies on pay increases. Reflect on the accomplishments you’ve made on the job (be sure to include statistics). Lastly, talk to your boss about what you hope to bring to the company in the future. This will impress them and hopefully boost your chances.

Whether you decide to ask for a raise today or tomorrow, may these pointers help tip the scale in your favor!