“If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I don’t settle for anything less. This goes for almost everything- be it love, life or career. If the majority can do 100% of what’s expected of them, I strive to do 101% most of the time.
This is the reason I speak up and boldly ask for what I deserve. I make the quality of my work speak for itself. If that upsets anybody, I couldn’t care less. If I sound too demanding, I don’t campaign to be liked anyway.
However, there’s always a polite way to ask for what you want- and actually get it.
If you’ve been wanting that promotion or raise for a long time now, the only thing that’s stopping you from getting it is to never speak a word of it at all.
It can be tough to stand up for what you want. People always immediately think of the consequences of their requests. We fear of getting fired or being resented by our bosses if we ask them for something that puts them in a tight spot. Hence, we don’t ask.
We shut our mouths and just wait for the system to take care of it for us just like everyone else does. This situation goes on for a very long time until we become angry, resentful, feeling undervalued, and on the verge of quitting our jobs. Sometimes, some of us just walk out of our jobs when everything is just bursting in the seams.
I used to be that employee until I learned to address these issues pre-emptively and bring them up to the attention of the parties involved. Over the years, I have refined my techniques to effectively get that promotion and salary raise. I crafted requests that had become productive, respectful, positive, and value-driven. All of which elicited the responses they desired.
Opportunities drift by, some of them unexplored by people who are not confident enough to think they deserve better or diligent enough to merit a raise. So how do you convince your boss or anybody to give you what you deserve without offending them?
Make Your Accomplishments Known
As complicated as it may be, you need start learning how to toot your own horn to avoid sitting on the sidelines. Let your boss know about your accomplishments and successes on your projects. The first time I tried this trick was a success, though accomplishing it was rather slightly sneaky.
A client of mine sent me and a colleague a positive feedback, which was quite lengthy via email, thanking us for all the help we contributed to their business and how we made their lives easier. I never told a soul about this, but I sent that feedback casually to my boss through email. Just letting him know how our client was happy about the company’s services.
Although the client addressed the email to me and to a particular colleague, I made it sound as if it was the accomplishment of the agency as a collective to my boss. By the next month, that colleague and I were given the Special Award for Exemplary Performance.
Of course, when tooting your own horn, avoid putting shade on someone and playing the “it’s not fair” card. I had done that a long time ago, and it never reflected quite well on my character.
Ask But Commit to Give More Value
Nowadays, when I ask for a raise, I frame it in a way that benefits the company more than me. This shows how I value the company more than my personal gain. Aside from making my accomplishments known, I do the heavy lifting when it comes to offering more value to the business. I pitch in more skills that I could use to serve the company better, highlighting how one skill can hit the bullesye and saving them more money in the long run. You can draft a project proposal while you’re at it and how that project can benefit the business’ bottom line.
Timing is everything
Threatening your boss to quit if they don’t give you a raise or a promotion as they get off the elevator is obviously the worst way and time to communicate your message. Who wants to be held hostage by their employee?
Ask your boss to meet and speak with you you at their convenience. Putting it in the calendar gives you more time to prepare and your boss will be more receptive of your request. Come prepared with the understanding of the value you bring beyond your current role so that you’ll effectively communicate why you deserve a higher salary or position.
Research the Market
Don’t just barge in and ask for any raise you think you deserve. Do your due diligence and find out what the market is paying for your position. Get as many facts as you can to present to your boss, so you can ask for a raise with confidence and easily eliminate objections.
You’re lucky if you know how much your coworkers are making so you can have a good sense of where you stand in the organisation. However, this is not the type of information you should be presenting to your boss at your big pitch.
Just Ask For It
This is the most important step that almost everybody is afraid to take: Asking for it. Confidence is key. Take note that being confident is different from being rude or aggressive. Always be positive and be open to a little compromise.
Don’t just sulk in one corner if your raise is denied. It hurts to be rejected, but becoming very emotional about the situation only burns bridges. Instead, ask the management what you would need to do in the next three to six months for you to get that coveted raise or promotion. Meet their requirements, get the results, and hold them accountable the next time you discuss the matter.
A raise or a promotion is a very positive change in your life. You should come up with a lot of reasons why you want to have this positive change in your life instead of why you shouldn’t. The world is your oyster, so believe in yourself more. You can practice and start small, laying all the groundwork of what’s to come. The more you do it, the more you can become better at it. Trust me, I’ve been there.
The money is most likely on the table, and with the right attitude and preparation, it’s yours for the taking. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is always ‘no’.