Is Less Really More? Deciding If (or When) You Should Ask for A Raise

dollar-941246_640Everyone in the work force has likely asked themselves at one point or another, “Am I getting paid what I deserve?”  While this can come across sounding ungrateful or “snooty”, it is a legitimate question.  It’s important to know the general average of what people n your specific position with your qualifications are making at various companies.  Being armed with information like this lets you know if you are falling somewhere above, below, or within the average salary rate for your job.

If you fall above or within that range, there is absolutely no need to rock the boat and risk stirring up trouble by thinking you deserve more from your employer.  However, if you fall below that rate, especially if your salary is majorly lacking in comparison to what others in your field are making, then you face the issue of living with being underemployed, or having to broach the subject with your boss.  Our first piece of advice would be to evaluate yourself, and see if there are ways you could step up your performance at work to stand out to those above you.  By putting in extra work and going above and beyond, you could be orchestrating the final push needed to get your raise without having to go through the awkward conversation with your boss.  If your subtle (or not so subtle) work ethic improvements don’t work though, you might have to approach your superiors for the discussion about your paycheck.

If you have been at your job for an extended period of time, have earned the respect of both your coworkers and your superiors, and have proven yourself to be a valuable employee to the company, it is most certainly fine for you to expect to be paid a competitive salary with others in your same position at other businesses.  If you know for a fact that you are not being paid competitive wages, perhaps it could be beneficial for you to sit down with your boss and let them know that you are not totally satisfied with your current situation and explain why.  It can help to be armed with numbers from various companies that are similar in size and success rate as your current employer.  When approaching your boss with this subject though, remember…

1. Do NOT come in complaining.  Come in prepared for a mature discussion, not a whine session about everything you don’t like about your job and how you “don’t get paid enough.”

2. Consider your timing.  If your company has taken a recent hit in their profit margin, if several employees have quit/had to be let go, etc. it might not be the best time to ask for a raise.  If possible, wait for a successful period when profits are high and you’ll be more likely to score your pay increase.

3. Don’t ask for a ridiculous amount of money.  Again, come armed with competitive rates from other companies.  It doesn’t make sense to double or triple what you’re currently making and expect your boss to take you seriously.  Instead, know what the average pay scale is for your job, and request a reasonable and modest increase to your pay to better match those in your same field.

If you handle the situation carefully and respectfully, most employers will be able to mitigate the situation and settle on a pay scale that is satisfactory to you and to their business budget.  If you are currently seeking employment, or if you have no more ability to move up and get that raise where you are working now, give us a call!  PHR Staffing Solutions provides employees for businesses throughout the greater Lakeland area, and we can help you find a position that meets your needs, and your qualifications.