You have not received a raise for a long time, and you feel you are entitled to a raise because you helped raise the productivity level and profits of your company. Your second child has just been born, and you need the money for additional expenses.

Here are some suggestions for asking for a raise in an assertive manner.

Research Your Value to Your Company or Organization

Before you ask for a raise, do some research. Estimate what your value is to your company. Base this on the amount of profit you brought into the company or the reduction of a loss to your company. Look at the specific area of operations for which you have responsibility and measure your present productivity against that of a predecessor, if possible.

Use what the cost of a private outside service would be to the company to determine your worth. Depending on your job, you may need to find evidence of improved product performance or customer satisfaction to determine your bottom-line value.

Determine Your Market Value

It's important to determine what your market value is or what you would be worth to other companies in your industry. You can investigate this by going online and searching for what others in positions comparable to yours make. This will give you an accurate measure of your worth and will put you in an excellent negotiating position.
Schedule a Meeting

Schedule a time with your boss to discuss your raise. Tell her that you have something important to talk about and you’d like to set up a meeting to discuss it.

Make sure you have your boss’s attention during the meeting. If she takes other calls or wants to rush to a meeting, ask her to reschedule a time when she can give you her uninterrupted attention.

Don’t Plea, Demand or Give an Ultimatum

It’s best not to plea with your boss for a raise on the grounds of financial need. Don’t plea on the grounds of fairness either. You may get a small raise out of pity but not a large raise.

Also, don’t demand or give an ultimatum to get a raise. This may backfire because your boss may begin to resent you.

State the Facts

When you have her attention, assertively state your case for a raise. Be polite and state the facts.

Tell your boss how much productivity has increased, operating costs have decreased, how much you have saved the company, how efficiency has increased, or whatever measures of your bottom-line contribution to the company has been since you started working or since your last raise. Tell your boss what you have accomplished and any recognition you have received for your accomplishments. Tell her what your worth is in comparable jobs in your industry.

State What You Want

Name a figure you would like to receive. Be realistic but not conservative. Then raise it by at least 50%. This gives you some room to negotiate. Be firm and polite when you tell your boss what you want.

Don’t say, “I know it sounds like a lot of money, but I think I’m worth it.” Don’t be hesitant or uncertain. Just look her in the eye and say, “I’m looking for another $1,000 a month.”

Negotiate Your Raise

Your boss may agree to the amount you ask for or negotiate by offering a smaller amount. You can then counteroffer with an amount in the middle. Continue the negotiations until both you and your boss are satisfied with your raise.

If Your Boss Reacts Negatively

Your boss may instead counter with various responses that are intended to keep you from getting a raise. One strategy is to tell you about all the problems the company is having.

Tell her that you understand the business is experiencing difficulties but that you have personal financial difficulties too. Say it’s not fair to penalize you for the company’s problems, that you give the company your best effort and expect to be fairly compensated. If she persists, suggest that if you don’t get a raise because of the company’s financial difficulties now, that she be willing to discuss a profit-sharing and bonus plan for any increased profit or savings you generate.

Your boss may also say the company’s policy prevents her from giving you a raise. Examples are that you cannot be paid more in your position or that an employee must work at least two years before getting a raise. Discuss the policy with your boss and try to find ways around the policy or come up with reasons why you should be an exception.

Don’t Accept a Token Raise

Your boss may offer a small, token raise or perks such as the use of the company car or a corner office with windows. If you accept the token raise, you will start a compensation pattern that will be difficult to change in the future.

Instead, tell your boss that it is inadequate and repeat the amount you are looking for. If perks are offered, use them to reinforce your claim that you deserve a raise. If the company values you enough to offer you perks, it ought to value you enough to give you a decent raise.

Obtain a Promotion

One of the best ways to get a raise is to obtain a promotion. There are three types of promotion. The first is to move up in the organization to the next level. The second is to expand your job by doing more work with increased responsibility and doing less lower function work.

The third is to create a new job for yourself. If you see a need for something in your company, create a detailed presentation that includes what is lacking and provide a plan for remedying it. Estimate such things as time frames, costs, advantages, and reasonable expectations of profits. Talk with your immediate supervisor to get her support, then go up the chain of command to garner the support of others. Ask your supervisor to accompany you to the meetings if you think her input will help.

Do Not Accept a Promotion Without a Title or Raise

You may be offered a promotion without a raise or title and with the expectation that you will do all the work from your previous position in addition to your new duties. Do not accept this! Ask for a raise that is commensurate with your new position. Tell your boss that a promotion is not really a promotion without a raise; it is giving you more work without a reward.

If you receive a substantial raise, you can wait a while for the change in title. If it’s not forthcoming, tell your boss that you have been doing the work in the new position for some period of time and that you think it is time to make your promotion official.

If your boss wants you to do the work of your new position as well as your old, ask for a meeting to discuss the issue. Work with her to decide on an agreed-upon definition of your new job, one that names the upper-level work as part of the job description but not the lower-level work. Ask your boss to put the job description in writing. If you think it’s not accurate, negotiate the job description.

People with self-confidence use assertiveness to ask for the raise they believe they deserve. They speak firmly and with poise, certain that they have earned a raise and that they are justified to make the request.

Author's Bio: 

Vivian Harte is the co-author of Self-Esteem for Dummies in the Dummies series. She has helped over 12,000 people learn and use assertiveness skills during the last 14 years. She teaches online classes on assertiveness, self-confidence, and teamwork. She has a Bachelors degree in Sociology and a Masters degree in Public Administration. She taught college classes for many years in Tucson, Arizona. She has two grown children who are both successful. She lives in Tucson with her husband, three dogs and two cats.

She offers kits with articles, guided visualizations, and songs as well as online courses, group coaching and 1-on-1 coaching, and you can find out more about these at her website, self-esteem-for-me.com. Discover how to be a stronger and more assertive personality at work by downloading her free kits Develop Assertiveness for Strength! and Self-Confidence in the Workplace.