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Mar. 01, 2017

How to Get the Raise You Deserve

According to Gallup, 59 percent of Americans are not satisfied with the amount of money they earn. Being underpaid weighs heavily on performance. With stagnant wages, inflation, and the rising cost of living in Hawaii, being underpaid doesn’t just affect your ability to live a stress-free life at home, it can also cloud your judgement and hamper your productivity at work. If you think it’s time for an increase in pay, here are a few steps you can take to get the raise you deserve.

Document your success

Write out the ways you have improved throughout the year. Focus on the positive changes you have instilled in your department and the company. Document projects you have undertaken and how you’ve expanded in your role.

It’s best not to use circumstances beyond the company’s control to justify your request for a raise. Everyone feels the increasing costs of rent, daycare, and food, and while these are understandable personal reasons for a raise, they aren’t seen as a professional justification.

Know your company procedures

Corporate environments are often highly structured in how they allocate raises. Some allocate a percentage of salary increases per year for each department, while others tie increases to annual reviews. Smaller companies might not have a formalized process.

If you’re unsure of how your company determines raises, talk to an HR representative, or speak with a supervisor. The more you know about how decisions are made to allocate increases in pay, the more likely you are to be successful in your request.

Convince your boss first

Your boss often has less power to give you a raise than you might imagine. However, selling your direct supervisors on your worthiness for a raise is of utmost importance because they will often need to lobby on your behalf to upper management.

Carefully time your request

Make sure things are going well for the company before you ask for a raise. It’s a terrible time to ask for a raise after your company has lost a big client or there has been a great deal of turnover.

If you know your company ties compensation increases with annual reviews, don’t hesitate to raise some concerns well ahead of the review process. If you only raise the concern during your annual review, the window of opportunity to make improvements and express a desire for an increase in pay may have already passed.

Know your worth

Have a well-sourced number for what your compensation should be by taking a look at the Department of Labor’s pay scale information. Since it can be difficult to find accurate information for certain industries and positions in Hawaii, press your professional network outside the office to inquire about market rates for someone in a similar position.

Once you have a number, determine whether or not to share it with management. Requesting too much money might make you seem out of touch, while requesting too little could prevent you from taking home a bigger paycheck.

Negotiating compensation can be an emotionally taxing experience. But by turning inaction and worry into positive forward movement with research and planning, the raise you deserve becomes that much more attainable. And remember, keeping your options open can give you the confidence you need to know that your skills are valued in the marketplace.

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