Do you feel like it’s high time you started making more money? Are you trying to build up the confidence to initiate a conversation about your compensation?
If so, you may be wondering what to say and how to say it. That’s what one reader asked recently on the Admin Pro Forum:
“Ugh! It looks like if I’m ever going to get more pay, I need to be the one to bring up the issue. I think what I need when I sit down with my manager to start the dialogue is one effective, attention-getting line that will start things on the right foot. What should it be?” — Faye, legal assistant
We connected with three career experts to get their advice on the topic.
First, while what you’re going to say is definitely important, there are other things you need to consider, says Michael Mayher, director of Foremost Consulting. “Planning ahead is important, but the opening line is not as important as the timing,” Mayher says.
You should plan to approach your manager soon after a positive, performance-related event, such as receiving an award or noteworthy recognition, or during your regular, he says.
Before you say anything, you should make a list of your best work and achievements. You need to “be prepared to self-promote,” says Michelle Riklan, founder of Riklan Resources. “Do not assume that your boss is aware of everything that you have achieved. You will need to spell it out.”
That means providing specifics about the challenges you’ve faced, the steps you took to get positive results and the noteworthy effect on the company, Riklan says.
Finally, don’t assume you’re going to ask for a raise, get a “yes” and see more money in your next direct deposit. Even if your boss agrees you should get more money, you may have to do more work before you do, says career counselor Sabrina Ali.
“Offer to submit a short proposal outlining what you’d like plus why so that they can digest your request and meet to talk about it on a date you both agree on to move the process along,” Ali says. Asking for a raise requires preparation and follow-up, so be prepared for more than one conversation.