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How NOT to ask for a raise

August 02, 2016 08:56 IST

Bringing another employee's salary up to argue on why you need to be paid at par with or more than them is like digging your own grave. 
You risk projecting yourself as a nosey, whiny and petty co-worker.

Although your salary is one of the most important factors that affect your job satisfaction, discussing money with your boss or asking for a raise is an intimidating and stressful experience for most people.

Not only is there the fear of being rejected and facing humiliation, you need to take extra care to say the right things in the right way, because even a small mistake can put you in your boss's bad books.

This makes it important to know exactly what not to do when asking for a raise before you prepare to vocalise your request.

So here's what you should avoid if you are serious about getting that raise:

1. Do not threaten to quit.

Unless you have made up your mind on leaving, do not resort to such an ultimatum.

If you do try your hand at it, be prepared to follow through on your threat if the raise doesn't come through.

Saying that you will leave shows that you are not loyal to your employer, and even if you do manage to get a raise, this will reflect badly on you in the future.

As you have threatened to leave, chances are that your employer has started their search for a replacement and would ask you to leave as soon as they have found one.

2. Do not compare your salary with your co-workers.

Most employers ask their employees to keep their take-home figure confidential.

Bringing another employee's salary up to argue on why you need to be paid at par with or more than them is like digging your own grave.

You risk projecting yourself as a nosey, whiny and petty co-worker. By doing this, you might also flush your relationship with your co-worker down the drain.

Instead of comparing yourself to someone, make a case for a raise based on your merits and accomplishments.

Focus on your strengths, skills and achievements that make you deserve that raise.

3. Do not bring up personal problems.

You may be facing a tough time at home or you might be in a tight situation financially. But if these issues do not relate to your job at all, chances are that your boss will not even pay attention to your request.

We would be living in an ideal world if we were paid as much as we needed to support the lifestyles we want.

Your lifestyle decisions are your choices and your employer is not responsible for them. Instead, talk about the changes you have brought to the organisation. Secure a raise based on merit, not on sympathy.

4. Do not ask at the wrong time

There is no sense in approaching your employer after they have already issued raises.

Companies plan their raises along their year openings, so speak to your boss well before the decision is being made.

Studies say that it is best to time your request at least three weeks or more ahead of the month that your organisation usually issues pay raises.

If your organisation is in a cost-cutting spree or is laying off employees, asking for a raise only makes you look foolish.

Strike only when the time is right or end up coming across as unprofessional.

5. Do not ask for an unrealistic figure.

Research well on the prevailing market rate and your own company's pay structure and come up with a realistic figure.

Do not give your boss a laughable number and shut out all your chances of ever getting a bump in your pay. Citing such a number only reflects on your poor judgement.

You not only damage you chances of getting a raise, this might even affect the work you will be entrusted with post this conversation.

Remember that you should be asking a raise because you have worked for it and you are sure that you deserve it.

Keep your request professional and the conversation positive.

Do not put your job and reputation at risk by turning off your boss by wording your request the wrong way.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Masa Israel Journey/Flickr/Creative Commons

Monty Majeed