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Welcome to the People-First Culture Podcast with me, Michel Falcon, where I share lessons I’ve learned and those of others on how to build a more purposeful business and career.
These are five things that you need to consider if you are going to prepare yourself to successfully get a raise this year. The first time that I ever asked for a raise was in 2009, and I failed miserably at it. The answer was no. From that moment, I told myself, “Well, I better figure out how to properly ask for a raise so that the next time I actually hear yes.” These are the five things that I’ve learned.
The first takes self-awareness. Do you deserve a raise for the right reasons? If you work within an organization that has high meritocracy, or in other words, it’s really performance driven, well, there are two things that won’t get you a raise. And this is not an argument that is a strength of yours. One, tenure. The second would be for doing your job. Before you consider asking for a raise, do some deep reflection and ask, “Have I done more than the minimum? And what are three to five examples of things that I did well that would strengthen my argument to successfully get a raise?”
The second is to ask yourself, “Do I believe my company is in a good financial position to ask for a raise?” I wouldn’t recommend asking for a raise after there was a round of layoffs. However, if your company has communicated they have hit their revenue numbers, they’re hit their profitability numbers, they appear to be growing, or if they raised a round of capital recently, then perhaps that would be a good time to ask for a raise.
The third is give context to your manager and set up a meeting. What I did incorrectly in 2009 was I just asked my manager for a coffee, gave no context at all, caught him off guard by asking for a raise. And there were other reasons why I heard. No, but instead, don’t do what I did. Do this: Set up a meeting. Give context in why you’re asking for this meeting. And you can leave it as simple as, “I would like to talk to you about my performance.” That will help your manager read in between the lines and prepare him or her to be ready for this conversation, which likely will be about you asking for a raise.
The fourth thing you need to do is get to the point. Your manager should know within the first 10 seconds of sitting down with you that you are in fact asking for a raise. You could say something like this: “Patrick, the reason I asked to sit down with you today was to talk about my performance and ask you for a raise of X amount. The reason that I believe that I have earned this is because of,” one, two, three, four, and five. Remember step one, I told you to reflect and ask yourself, “Why would I deserve those raise?” This is when you recite those things.
And the fifth is if you hear, yes, congratulations, you should be absolutely proud of yourself. But then get back to work because you want that next raise. Go out, celebrate for a little bit, and then get back to work. Enjoy that success. And I’m certain you’ve deserved that raise, so congratulations.
If you hear or no humbly say, “I understand,” to your manager on the spot when you’re meeting with them, but follow that up confidently by saying, “What do you need to see from me to be able to qualify for that raise?” Then, after they’ve recited a few things, say, “When can we have this conversation again?” You’re asking them the what? What do I need to do? And then you’re holding them accountable to the when? When can I speak to you again about this? A phenomenal manager will know what you need to do without preparation, and a phenomenal manager will also have the integrity to stick to the deadline or the timeframe that they said they would have this conversation with you again.
Those are five things that I would recommend that you do this year before asking for a raise. Everything that I share is tried, tested, and true. I don’t recommend things that I haven’t personally had success with in my career. Go out and share this with a friend, a family member, a colleague who you think could use this education. Leave a comment if I can answer anything for you. Good luck this year. And I hope you all make more money this year than you ever have before.