Don’t Just Ask, Earn Your Raise
Seattle’s seemingly ever climbing cost of living has employees across the city wanting and needing their salary to increase to keep financially afloat. According to PayScale.com, the cost of living in Seattle is currently 24 percent higher than the national average, making wage increases highly desired in the Seattle area. Although employers often take the cost of living into consideration, that is not what they rely on when deciding if they should give their employees raises. Putting in the work and showing an employer that you have earned a pay increase is the best way to ensure that you are considered for a raise that will help give you some financial breathing room while living in the Seattle area.
Take on more responsibility: Before scheduling time to talk with your employer about the possibility of a pay raise, you need to demonstrate that you have earned it. You can start by taking on more responsibilities in the workplace and expanding your role within the company. Doing this will make you an integral team member, as well as act as a tool to influence your employer to give you that raise. After all, most employers aren’t going to entertain the idea of a raise if you haven’t shown that you are willing to take on more responsibilities.
Communicate success periodically: Don’t wait until you ask your employer for more money to communicate your successes. Periodically communicating your successes allows them to see the complete span of your progress throughout your time with the company. Also, clear and consistent communication will pave the way to an open conversation regarding wages.
Research your worth: As you are gearing up to ask your employer for a raise, make sure that you follow due diligence and research your worth. Websites such as PayScale.com, Salary.com and Glassdoor.com can help you to determine what the market value is for your position and location. Use these resources to calculate a number that you can approach your employer with, and use that number to begin negotiations. Since areas like Seattle are notorious for their high cost of living, you will want to shoot for the higher end of the range that you researched to account for this higher cost of living.
Practice, practice, practice: Practice may not make perfect, but it does create a prepared employee. Just like practicing for a job interview helps you to organize your thoughts so that you can speak confidently and concisely during an interview, practicing for your meeting with your employer to discuss a raise will help you to figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it. Not only will it help you to enter the conversation with confidence, but your preparation will impress your employer by demonstrating your level of commitment to excelling in the company.
Schedule appropriately: Although this may seem obvious, it can make or break your shot at a raise: schedule your meeting during a time that is not busy for your company or industry. Give your employer a chance to see what you can do during the busy season, and use the off season to discuss a raise. This will give them the time to focus on your request instead of fitting you in to a hectic schedule and not having the time to consider giving you a raise.
Earned, not needed: When you do sit down with your employer, explain why you believe that you have earned the raise rather than complaining about why you need the raise. Although your employer can sympathize with the cost of living skyrocketing (and it is certainly worth mentioning), they can’t give you a raise simply because your rent is more expensive. Give them reasons that you deserve a raise by discussing how you have impacted the company and increased production.
Resist ultimatums: A common mistake that employees use to negotiate a raise is giving their employer an ultimatum. Resist the urge to give them the choice between giving you a raise or losing a valued employee. Instead, focus on your positive attributes and contributions to build a solid case for a raise.
Move forward: If your employer decides to give you a raise, congrats! If not, you will be faced with a difficult decision to either ask your employer for advice on how to advance within the company and move forward or seek new employment that meets your monetary needs. Make sure that no matter what you choose, you move forward without resentment and with class.