Some advice on asking for a raise

I am looking for advice on how to ask for a raise. I have found out that I am making less than other people in the same position.

Dear Working Wise: I am looking for advice on how to ask for a raise. I have found out that I am making less than other people in the same position.

I love my job and the company I work for — I don’t want to leave, but I also want to be treated fairly. What should I do? — Fair Wage Wanted

Dear Fair Wage Wanted: No one likes to feel like they are being taken advantage of.

I can’t advise you if you should or should not ask for a raise — only you can decide.

The recession has made asking for a raise difficult — many companies have asked their staff to accept wage freezes and rollbacks this year.

You know your situation best. If you decide you want to proceed and ask for a raise, here are some tips that will help you strengthen your case.

1. Research wages

Find out how your compensation compares to the industry standard. You can do this by talking to other staff, people who work in similar positions in similar companies, and checking with professional associations that conduct salary surveys.

You can also check the 2009 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, which covers more than 400 occupations, at www.alis.alberta./caWageinfo.

2. Build a business case

Raises are given to top performers, not those who “meet expectations.”

How have you lowered costs, increased profits, quality and customer satisfaction, or contributed more than other staff? How will you contribute more to the organization in the future?

Your future contributions are more compelling to your boss than your past ones.

Showing that you have more to offer affirms your commitment to the company, how you will contribute to the bottom line and drives home the message that they want to keep you around. Building a strong business case will help convince both you and your boss that you deserve a raise.

3. Determine how much you want

Use your research to decide how much you want and be prepared with alternatives. If your boss says that he/she can’t afford the raise you’re asking for, ask for a smaller raise, more vacation time, health or retirement benefits, paid parking, training, a company car, stock options, a better job title, etc.

4. Wait for the right time

The best times to ask for a raise are after you’ve received a great performance review, after you’ve just completed a large successful project, or at the beginning of a new fiscal year. Many employers have scheduled pay increments and will not consider any pay adjustments outside these schedules. If your timing is off, you might want to meet with your boss to talk about what you need to do to earn the highest possible raise or bonus.

5. Schedule a meeting

Schedule a meeting with your boss and be sure he understands that you are asking for a raise. Your boss will need to do some research as well to see if she can fit your raise into the budget and what paperwork is required. If you surprise your boss, you’ll probably be told “No,” or “We’ll see.”

6. How to ask

Don’t ask for a raise because you need it — ask for it because you deserve it. Bring your research on wages, past accomplishments and future contributions with you.

Don’t threaten to quit or say you’ve got another job offer. Keep the conversation friendly, positive and constructive. You are a valuable member of the team with big ideas for the future and your compensation has fallen behind your contributions.

7. Handling “Yes”

Thank your boss and show that you appreciate the raise, but don’t go overboard. You were not begging for a raise, you deserved it.

Don’t tell your co-workers that you got a raise. Your boss will not welcome a long line of staff at his/her door asking for a raise for the sole reason that you got one.

8. Handling “No”

If your boss says “No,” continue to be friendly and positive. Tell him/her that you understand and offer your alternatives (e.g., smaller raise, paid parking, etc.)

Ask how you can earn a raise in the future and ask for specific achievements so you can bring these up at your next review. Ask if you can meet again in six months for another salary review and keep your performance level high so you can continue to justify your worth.

Good luck!

Working Wise is compiled weekly by Charles Strachey, a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. Work-related questions can be sent to him at Working Wise is provided for general information only. Help with specific situations is available through Alberta Employment Standards by calling 1-877-427-3731.

Just Posted

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

VIDEO: Central Albertans learn about Icelandic poet at Stephansson House

Harvest Fair and Quilt Show hosted at Stephansson House in Spruce View Sunday

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Wildfire moves closer to Glacier National Park’s scenic road

MISSOULA, Mont. — A wildfire in Montana’s Glacier National Park is forcing… Continue reading

Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Couillard march in Montreal’s Pride parade

MONTREAL — Thousands of cheering spectators lined the streets of Montreal on… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

In the wake of deadly flooding in the Indian state of Kerala,… Continue reading

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month