Negotiating a salary hike is no mean task. You don’t want to come across as a greedy goblin nor do you want to lose out on what you think you deserve to get. So what do you do?
Every boss, worker and company is different but when it comes to asking for a raise, there are some universal things which are best to avoid saying. Here are 7 things that you should definitely NOT say to your employer if you are looking for a sizable growth in your salary:
1. I know the timing isn’t great but…
Timing is everything. Imagine this. Your company’s quarterly figures have just been released and the report is dismal. To top it, people around you have been let go and emails on cost-cutting have been doing the rounds from HR. What do you do? You walk into your boss’s office the very next day and trumpet your demand for a pay hike. Do this and you’ll come across as an unprofessional and selfish employee who is out of touch with the prevailing scenario.
2. I haven’t had a raise since…
When you are trying to convince someone about something, it is a bad idea to start by complaining. Instead, try to focus on what you have delivered against your expectations and also where you have delivered beyond expectations. It also makes sense to do adequate research on what the market is paying for existing roles like yours before you blast your way into your boss’s cabin and demand that your emoluments be increased. Highlight your work and achievements without making the other person feel that you are whining.
3. I do the work of four people
This is not something that your employer already doesn’t know. The difference between a good employer and a bad one lies in acknowledging it and giving you your just dues. If your employer really sees you as a valuable resource, they will definitely try to lessen your workload. If not, irrespective of what you say, it won’t work out for you. Even if you have an understanding employer, you need to again build a case for yourself by highlighting your work and the difference you have been making instead of bluntly putting something across like this.
4. I need a raise because I am having personal problems
Taking care of a sick spouse? Having a baby? These are understandably very big problems but unfortunately, they don’t qualify for a pay growth. Personal problems, for all their gravity, actually do not matter in the case of salary increments because they are not related to your work. While bosses can be sympathetic and they are in many cases, personal problems should not be a reason behind a rise in pay and they are not.
5. I just found George makes more money than me
Never ever compare your salary with that of a co-worker. It is the worst possible thing that you can say to your employer when your appraisal is due. Your increment should not be about anyone else but you. When you talk about someone else, you appear as a gossip-monger who goes around prying into the matters of other people. Also, it is quite possible that George was a better negotiator or more qualified than you. What have you done for the company that makes you eligible for a higher salary?
6. I have done everything that was asked of me
When you joined, you had a negotiated agreement and so what you are asking for now is something extra, which was not decided at the time of joining. In such a case, do you think it is a good idea to ask for extra money when you have done just what was expected of you? Raises are for something more or extra you accomplish and they are also to do with your future contribution.
7. If I don’t get a raise, I will quit
Nobody likes to be served ultimatums. And that includes your boss. If you decide to go out all guns blazing, be prepared to live by the gun and die by it. If this approach works for you, great; otherwise, be prepared to stand by your word and look for a new job.
Always focus on what you have accomplished so far for your organization and what you can do in the future when you ask for an appraisal. Approach humbly and take into account the existing circumstances before you broach this topic. Cheers and best of luck. We hope you soon get a satisfactory pay hike.