It’s no secret that millions of Americans are toiling away at their respective workplaces for less than they’re worth.
Earlier this year, the Kansas City Federal Reserve found that despite the recent robust economy and lower unemployment rate, a large number of workers hadn’t gotten raises in the past 12 months, even with profits at many companies at record highs.
Want to make more money at your job? Here’s how to ask for a raise, according to money expert Clark Howard.
Want more money for your work? Clark says here’s the perfect way to ask for a raise
Clark says not to fall for the “lame corporate mentality” that they’re doing you a favor by hiring and retaining you. Many employees have been trapped in this thinking for years and years. You’ll NEVER get a substantial raise that way.
The key to asking for a raise: Negotiation
Clark says you have two choices when you believe you should be earning more money but it’s not being offered: “You can either say ‘OK,’ or you can learn how to be a better negotiator.”
Being a better negotiator doesn’t mean bargaining like you’re talking to a car dealer, it means knowing — and being willing to demonstrate — your worth.
“If you feel like your experience, skills and effort should get you a larger paycheck, then the key is to go outside your employer,” Clark says.
While you don’t want to be impulsive, you do want to prove that you have what it takes to make it outside of your current job. What stops many workers is that they begin to negotiate — with themselves.
“Which is what you’re doing if you don’t go see if there’s more green across the street: Better benefits, a better money path,” Clark says.
Here are some ways you can clearly demonstrate that you deserve a pay raise:
3 things you should keep in mind before you ask for a raise
- Always keep your cool: Don’t get a reputation as someone who challenges employees or higher-ups. “Don’t ever become confrontational with your employer,” Clark says.
- Get a mentor: Ask an experienced colleague what you can do to become more valuable. Ask if training is possible. “People love being asked for information, they don’t like being confronted or challenged.”
- Do the math: Research salaries and wages for your specific occupation and present them to your boss. If you’re underpaid, the numbers should clearly show that.
Finally, Clark says the #1 way is to get a raise is to ask this question: “How can I be more valuable to this company?”
He adds: “You’re not saying, ‘How do I get more money out of you?’ Not, ‘How do I make more money?’ But, ‘How do I make more money for you?’ People respect that, because it shows that you’re trying to be more relevant, more valuable.”