When To Ask For A Raise

With the recent economic downfall, fewer people have been getting raises, but now that economists have declared the official end to the recession, now may be the appropriate time to ask for a pay increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and salaries in the spring of 2011 increased by 0.4 percent and benefits increased by 1.3 percent, which is an improvement compared to spring 2010. As long as you handle the negotiation professionally and do your research, a raise could be within reach if your company has the budget.

when-to-ask-for-a-raiseDo Your Research
Assess your chances of getting a raise and any selling points you could you to your advantage before asking for one.
• Figure out the current market rate for someone in your job position so you can determine a realistic number to shoot for.
• Research whether or not your company is meeting its financial goals. If prospects are looking a bit lackluster, chances are your request won't be approved.
• Attempt to discreetly gather information about whether or not anyone else in your company has been getting salary increases.
• Evaluate your reputation with the company. If you're indispensable to the company, you may have a better chance of success. 

Pick A Good Time
When you ask is important and could impact how your supervisors view you.
• Asking for a raise during a period of lay-offs will show supervisors that you're not invested in the company's progress as a unit.
• Wait until you have been at the company for a significant amount of time - don't ask too early. 
• Ask for an increase when you're working hard and completing projects on time. That way, you'll have solid examples of why you deserve the boost.

Phrasing Your Request
How you ask definitely affects whether or not you'll be successful, so prepare your question beforehand.
• Highlight your knowledge of the company's situation, showing that you've been paying attention to what's happening.
• Use specific examples of your contributions that have made a positive impact on the company.
• Use market data to back up your request if it's appropriate.
• If a raise isn't possible, ask how you can improve your operations and lay the groundwork for future advancements.

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