One of the most painfully uncomfortable moments in your professional career would be when you are negotiating your pay with your employer, or worse, asking for a raise. You know you work hard, you know you deserve more, but it is still always awkward to start this conversation. And, if you are a woman, chances are that you may not even get a raise even if you ask for one. A 2016 study done by the Cass Business School, Warwick University and University of Wisconsin revealed that women were 25 percent less likely than men to get a hike in pay when they asked for it.
Image : shutterstock
According to a recent survey conducted by Payscale, out of 30,000 workers, 57 percent said that they never asked for a raise, the top reasons being that 38 percent got a raise without asking for it and 28 percent found it too uncomfortable to ask. So there is still some hope, you see, and here are a few ways to sidestep the uncomfortable act of asking for a raise and still manage to get one that you deserve. And, yes, it does involve working hard as there are no free lunches in this world.
Become an expert in your field
This doesn’t mean that you should know every little detail about everything in your field (although that may seem impossible, if you manage to do it, then nothing like it!). Instead, equip yourself with knowledge about the most important and technical aspects of your field. You should be the go-to person on a specific topic and you should have skills that are unique and indispensable. It works even better if you yourself reach out anticipating a potential problem and prevent it from happening. No firm likes to pay for human mistakes, so if you spot one before it is committed and save costs, it is likely that your boss will remember you for a long time to come.
Bring in new customers/clients
You need not have to be in the sales department to attract customers or clients to your firm. This will work better if, in fact, you are not in the sales department. If you go out of your way to bring in new business to the firm, it will surely get appreciated. Only with new clients can your company grow, and if you can manage to drive in money for your company, chances are that you will be rewarded for doing so. Another way to add similar value in terms of money is by cutting significant costs by consistently bagging discounts from suppliers or by reducing hiring time and costs by referring a competent acquaintance for a vacancy. The idea is simple – create value, cut costs and help the firm grow.
Find a mentor who will endorse you
A mentor can help you in many ways within the organisation. They can guide you through with their own experiences, they can evaluate your performance and identify pitfalls and, most importantly, they can appreciate your progress and endorse them to your boss. Develop a good relationship with a mentor and transform them into advocates who can speak about you on your behalf to those in power. If the mentor is in a position that is capable of creating a change or works closely with someone in such a position, you wouldn’t have to wait too long for that raise to come your way.
Take up things no one wants to do
There are always tasks at work that no one wants to be assigned. Maybe they are too risky to be a part of, maybe they are too pointless to invest your time, or maybe they might ask for more than the regular amount of time and dedication. Be it something as simple as organising an event to setting up business in a challenging location, take up what others find too challenging or too silly. Such an effort will never go unnoticed as you are going the extra mile for the company’s sake.
Know how to please your boss
No, we are not asking you to be your boss’s sidekick or a yes-person, but it will help if you have cordial relations with your boss and tweak your professional etiquette to keep them happy. Give due and a bit more credit to them whenever required or show gratitude for the guidance they have imparted to you. A happy boss would always want you to continue on their team for ever. This will lead him to recommend you voluntarily for promotions and raises.
However, remember that this is not a blueprint of how to get a raise. The final decision on who gets a raise depends on a number of factors like the financial standing of the company, the economic environment at that time and so on, some of which are out of our control. These are only guidelines that you can follow to strengthen your chances at securing that well-deserved raise.