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You’ve been at your job for a while and you’ve been working hard — isn’t it time to talk about a raise? Talking to your boss about a salary increase can be intimidating, and no one likes to be rejected. What if you finally work up the courage to ask for a raise, only to be told no? This fear may cause you to doubt yourself and you may end up putting off negotiating a salary that you really do deserve.
Stop letting your fear hold you back. Here are seven sure signs that you should, in fact, be asking for a raise.
1. You’re a Loyal Employee
Don’t ask for a raise after only a few months of working at the job. Your salary has already been negotiated. But if you’ve been working for at least a year, then you have a better chance of receiving a pay increase. With a year’s work, you’ll have a better record of performance you can draw attention to when talking with your boss.
2. Co-Workers Have Received Raises
Salary isn’t a topic generally discussed openly among co-workers, but sometimes you may hear through the office rumor mill that other employees are getting raises. If you’re at the same level and do similar work, then that’s a pretty good sign that you too should ask for a raise.
Keep in mind to not mention the names of your employees who received raises — as in, don’t pull the whole “he got a raise so I should too” card. When asking for a raise, the focus needs to be only on you and your work. You need to remind your boss why you are a good investment and valuable to the company.
3. Your Company is Thriving
Asking for a raise is all about timing. If your company is doing well or just had a huge success, it might be time to test your luck — especially if you played a part in helping with that success. Your boss may recognize how hard you worked to benefit the company, and it’s perfectly fine to ask to be rewarded for putting in that winning work.
4. You Acquired a New Skill
Maybe you took a course or went to school while working. You’ve gained a new skill or graduated with a degree and have added to your resume. Does the skill or degree set you apart from other employees? If so, it’s time to talk about that raise.
If you have training or skills that your co-workers don’t, or if you have an advanced degree and no one else in your office does, then you’re in a good place to negotiate a salary bump. Your new resume proves that you are a skilled top-performer.
5. Your Work Ethic has Improved
Did you start the job fumbling around in the dark confused, and then by a year turn into a girl boss? You shouldn’t necessarily expect a raise after a year, unless promised one, but maybe once you figured it out, you started taking on more responsibility and have started taking charge more at work. If your job duties have changed, become more difficult, or you’re working more, your salary should reflect that.
6. You Have Another Job Offer
If you feel it’s time for a salary increase and have been offered a position elsewhere, you can use this as leverage. You have a good chance of being granted that raise if your company is afraid of losing you as an employee. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be cocky or pushy when talking to your boss. Instead, you should focus on your stellar performance and let your work history speak for itself — and then let your boss know you’ve been offered another position with more pay.
But here’s the catch: you have to be willing to actually take that other job. If you aren’t honest and prepared to take the other position, you are at fault for creating an unhealthy work environment with management. If you’re caught bluffing, you can say goodbye to any future raises.
7. Your Boss is in a Good Mood
If your boss is happy with what you’ve been doing for the company, ask for a raise. That being said, it’s important to pay attention to your boss’s mood. If the company has had setbacks or a lot of mistakes have been made and your boss is not in a great mood, it’s not the best time to ask for a raise. This can backfire and just add more stress to the stress your boss is already experiencing.