Wimp’s Guide: Get a bigger piece of the pie…ask your boss for a pay raise

Day after day. Perhaps, year after year. You’ve been meaning to do it. Obsessively thinking about how you will do it and when. Admit it, even if you don’t have one wimp gene in your makeup, asking for a pay raise isn’t as easy as asking for an extra slice of pie at the dinner table.

In fact, 28 percent of the 57 percent of respondents to PayScale’s salary survey who have never negotiated for a higher salary feel exactly the same way. Uncomfortable.

On the other hand, perhaps you are satisfied with your wage. Good for you, better for the boss. Ho hum….Who needs more money anyway? As it turns out, according to PayScale’s salary survey, those who don’t ask, don’t receive.

“Workers who made less than $60,000 annually were less likely than average (43 percent) to ask for more money; workers who made greater than $60,000 annually were more likely than average to negotiate. The $10,000 to $20,000 pay range had the lowest number of respondents who have asked for a raise (30 percent).”

If these eye-opening statistics make you feel more receptive to the idea of a pay raise, heed before you plead. Seriously, don’t ask for a bigger piece until you assess the whole pie—and these 8 things should help you cut it right.


1. You might have 2001 reasons behind your pay raise rationale, but if your company or business is not pulling in the profit, think twice. You wouldn’t ask the captain for a larger, more comfortable room, if you were on a sinking ship. Timing doesn’t have to be perfect, but at least aim to ask for a raise when things are reasonably afloat and, preferably, smooth sailing.


2. Dollars and cents make sense. Know your worth on paper.Prior to the Get the Raise Day, websites like and calculate a salary range based on your location and other variables. Who can argue with a fair going rate for their work? Easy as pie, right?


3. Internet research is important, but don’t forget other avenues. Check with human resource experts, professional associations and additional sources to help hammer down the price; by taking the extra step, you show your boss how serious you are and as far as your concerned, the pie’s—sky’s—the limit! Keep in mind, however, that the typical raise is a 5 to 10 percent increase per year.


4. Prepare your case without singing the blues. You’re tired of moonlighting. You’re tired of eating ramen noodles every night. Keep the personal drama to yourself; most people have deaf ears for that self-pitying choir and no true professional—someone in a supervisory position to boot—wants to hear about your financial challenges. What have you done extra to get that extra buck? How have you added value to the company? Did you land a big client? Start a major media buzz that had new customers pounding down the doors? Think in terms of “Imagine how awful business would be without me around.” Sell your proven abilities.


5. Don’t just prove you are an asset; prove your loyalty to the company. Reliability, trustworthiness…those are the traits that help open up the checkbook.


6. You have your facts. You feel confident. You can do this…just remember, whether you do it in front of a mirror or with a professional mentor, practice makes perfect.


7. This tip is not for the faint-hearted. Obtain a better offer from another company. If the boss doesn’t cave in to that tactic, though, be prepared to leave your job. Of course, you might just want to take the other more lucrative offer and save your wimpy side from going through everything to get a raise.


8. Remember, if you don’t get the raise you want, here’s a thought almost as sweet as pie: You stood by your convictions and knew you were worth the extra effort even though you didn’t get the extra dough.

image credit: The Sydney Morning Herald

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