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Do you deserve a raise?

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Almost everyone feels they are underpaid and deserve a raise, but do you know how to have a successful conversation with your boss about increasing your earning power?

Prove it. Just about everyone feels they should be given a raise, so you must go the extra step and prove why you deserve a raise.{{more}} Reasons like you’ve been with the company for a long time are not compelling enough. Think productivity, results, how you have contributed to the organization’s bottom line. Keep a running record of how your efforts make the organization stronger, more profitable and competitive, and use those reasons to build your case. Be very specific.

Timing is crucial. Don’t wait for your annual review or during the Christmas bonus week to request a salary increase. The best time is after a big accomplishment, when your value to the organization is very obvious.

Always have the conversation in a private location and choose a time when your boss is relaxed and not under much pressure. Mondays and Tuesdays are high-pressure days, so little priority will be given to your request.

Increase your chances by asking on a Thursday or Friday.

Don’t get greedy. Always be aware of what your skills and talents would fetch. What is the industry paying? What can your region bear? Talk to colleagues; investigate other companies that are comparable to yours; make sure your facts are solid and then make your request.

Keep it professional. Don’t use personal reasons as justification for a pay increase – having a baby, getting married, illness, paying for your schooling or a recent divorce, are not compelling reasons to ask for a raise.

Consider the ways your skills have helped make the company earn more or saved the company money. Did you help launch a new product?

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If your boss turns you down, ask why. Is it a fiscal problem or does your boss feel you are still not qualified? Ask what you need to do to improve your skills and talents to be eligible for an increase.

Be a confident negotiator. Don’t be shy and this is not the time to get nervous – be diplomatic and self-assured. If your skills really do make a difference in the company, then negotiate.

Give yourself a raise. If after a few unsuccessful attempts to request an increase, consider testing the job market and apply to organizations that will offer a higher paying position. Never threaten to leave hoping your employer would bend under pressure as they just might call your bluff and request your resignation.

n Karen Hinds is an international author, speaker and consultant, and president of Karen Hinds Seminars. Send comments and suggestions to Karen@KarenHindsSeminars.com

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