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2 Things NOT to Say When Asking for a Raise

Today’s post is written by The Raise Lady, Laura Browne.  She is a speaker and corporate trainer specializing in communication and management issues. She is also the author of Raise Rules for Women: How To Make More Money At Work and Why Can’t You Communicate Like Me? How Smart Women Get Results At Work. 

Asking for a salary increase can be stressful. Here are two mistakes to avoid and what you can say instead to get the raise you deserve.

1) I really need a raise so that I can pay my bills.

Your manager doesn’t want to hear that you need money for a new car or a vacation or to save for your child’s college fund. They may be privately sympathetic to your need for more money, but that doesn’t mean they’ll give you a raise.
Instead, focus on the business reasons for the raise request. Talk about the value you’ve brought to the company and how you continue to make money and save money. People get raises based on their perceived value to the company. If your boss sees that you’re an important contributor to the bottom line, you’re more likely to get a raise.

[Related Post: A Practical Guide to Salary Negotiations]

2) I will quit if I don’t get a raise.

Managers hate this. Even if you’re looking for a new job, don’t mention it unless you’re ready to walk out the door that day. Otherwise, you run the risk of your manager calling your bluff and saying you should go somewhere else.
If you really don’t think you’re going to make any more money at your company and you think you will be more valued somewhere else, start looking but don’t threaten you’ll leave.

Here’s what you can do, instead

Talk to your boss and say how much you like your job. Say there is one thing that concerns you, and then mention your salary. Then stop talking. See what your boss says. It’s important to keep this positive and upbeat. If your boss mentions the difficult economic times, agree that could be a concern and turn it around to focus on how you’re helping the company to be more profitable. Don’t argue with your boss, just emphasize your worth. All you want to do is start the conversation and then have follow up meetings.
Another good approach is to ask your boss for suggestions after you mention your salary concern. Ask what else you would need to do to make more money at work. Are there high priority projects you can get assigned to? Is there a problem area you can take on?

Asking for a Raise

It comes down to this, asking for a raise should be treated like any other important work project. A raise request should be handled in an unemotional way. Talk about value to the company and build a business case for your salary increase. It will make it easier for you to prepare and your boss will appreciate your calm and practical approach.

What other mistakes have you made when asking for a raise?

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