My annual review is coming up next month, and I want to ask for a raise. I’ve been a loyal and hardworking employee for three years, and I know I deserve more than just a cost-of-living adjustment. Since I work in a large company, I fear that I may get lost in the system. How can I make a good case?
The first rule to remember is that you don’t get a raise, you earn one. Nothing works better than showing your boss how you have improved her department’s — and the company’s — bottom line. And doing a little homework prior to your review will help it run smoothly; prepare a one-page summary that highlights your top four or five accomplishments and their results — the more statistics and percentages, the better.
Don’t just list the slam dunks that improved profits or productivity; also include examples of how you handled routine responsibilities and how you made the best of less-than-optimal situations.
Once the meeting is scheduled, be sure to thank your boss for the opportunity to talk with her, and inform her that you’re preparing a summary of highlights that should help with setting goals for the next few months. Send your boss the summary about 10 days before your review.
The next step is the actual review. Once you’ve discussed your summary, tell your boss you feel that your accomplishments warrant a raise. Use the same negotiating rules that you would use to negotiate a salary for a new job: Always know your market value, and always let your boss name a number first. (You can do this by being the first to ask: “What did you have in mind?”)
Remember, you don’t have to wait for your scheduled review to ask for a raise. A major change in your work responsibilities is another good reason. And if you don’t get the raise you hoped for, try asking for more vacation or other benefits. Good luck.