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How to Ask for a Raise When You Are Underpaid

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How to ask for a raise when you are underpaid is a brutal question for many reasons. Most critically, inquiring on this matter alone can endanger the career of most people. Ideally, employers should openly discuss a pay raise, especially when the employee asking for a raise puts in the hard work.

How to know if you are underpaid

Employees are underpaid if they do not receive minimum entitlements, like the basic salary, government-imposed benefits, and other compensation components required by law. According to a Pollfish survey, 77% of Americans believe that they are underpaid in their current job. Based on previous trends, the number of dissatisfied employees is rising.

Is it alright to ask for a raise?

There are many reasons why you deserve a pay increase. When your current salary does not justify the weight of your position and job responsibilities, there is nothing wrong with asking for a raise. 

Never feel guilty about wanting more. The right employer should respond reasonably during a salary negotiation.

Best time to ask for a raise

There is no hard and fast rule when asking for a raise. If you, however, decide to ask for higher salaries, ensure that the timing and conditions are right. The request for a raise should feel timely and necessary for an employer. Otherwise, try your luck again in the future.

Worst time to ask for a raise

Bad timing will only ruin a salary discussion. Refrain these scenarios when lobbying for a salary increase:

  • You are only hired for a few months
  • The company is suffering heavy losses
  • The company is undergoing bankruptcy
  • Your boss is in a bad mood

Try consulting a trustworthy manager when requesting a pay increase.

Step-by-step guide on how to ask for a raise when you are underpaid

Underpaid employees have twice more tendency to experience anxiety and depression. Do you think you are not paid fairly? Speak up. Staying underpaid will only ruin your career and the company you are working for in the long run.

Skill Success listed below helpful tips for a salary discussion to boost your chances of a pay increase:

Tip 1: Know your worth

Knowing your worth is a technical process. First, quantify your personal and market value so that your boss will realize your worth. Then, collect company data that reflects your average compensation, experience, training, and other contributions that can be the bases for a potential raise.

Another way to measure the worth of employees is through their relationships. People with networks inside and outside the company are difficult to replace. They hold the essential links that keep companies operative and well-coordinated.

Tip 2: Examine your job title

Determining how to ask for a raise when you are underpaid starts with understanding your job title. A thorough analysis of the job title will help employees realize if their compensation justifies the demands of their job.

You may begin by comparing your salary with the salary of other employees that handle the same position. If you are paid less for the same level or even increased workload, it is only right to ask for a raise. Being paid according to average salaries should not be too much to ask.

Tip 3: Conduct a salary research

Salary research utilizes salary surveys to gather information regarding the average compensation an employer pays for a specific job. The results help those currently employed and looking for a new job figure out a reasonable rate of how much they should be paid.

If you want to be paid more after this research, base your claims on facts and statistics. Collate reliable salary information to make a stronger case before your boss. After all, numbers do not lie. Your research would be fruitful if you could make your employer see the big picture.

For quick and general estimates, visit Glassdoor or Indeed.

Tip 4: Settle within a reasonable salary range

Create reasonable demands based on recorded results. If you have additional responsibilities, justify the raise by imposing a well-calculated increase. Consult how your company computes a pay raise if any.

The higher you set the price, the lower chance your proposal will be successfully completed. The average salary increase is only 3% per year.

Tip 5: Find the perfect timing

The “perfect” timing is a combination of the company’s performance, your performance, the existing circumstances, and the boss’ mood. Make sure to lay all your cards on the table carefully. Then, when the right opportunity comes, do not hold back.

Please know that you can make the “perfect timing” happen. You can plan and set events that may create an ideal situation to discuss your conditions for the raise.

Tip 6: Pitch during or after the annual performance review

Choosing to endorse a salary increase during or after the performance review sets an impeccable timing for workers. At this stage, the executives are more intent on looking into the scorecards of everyone in the company.

If you have a good performance within the last fiscal year, then you would have stellar reviews from superiors. These remarks should create a strong impression that you are deserving of the salaries you are asking for.

Tip 7: Organize your proposal

Whenever asking for a raise, go all out. Besides setting a meeting, create a PowerPoint presentation with appropriate visual aids. Accordingly, presentations with visual aids have a 43% chance of being more persuasive.

You can set a realistic example by providing charts and tables. Help your boss or HR manager realize that you are deserving of the raise you are asking for. Discuss each point with clarity and conviction but avoid taking too much time.

Tip 8: Ask nicely

Asking nicely for a raise prompts an employer or HR manager to respond positively to your request. Most managers prefer workers wanting a raise to be specific, decisive, and, most importantly, nice. When you are asking politely, you are showing a positive character.

A salary raise should remain a humble request. Despite how deserving you think you are, the company heads will always be the final say. Convince them by being on your best behavior.

Tip 9: Prepare for questions and criticisms

Those who ask for a raise have a 39% chance of receiving what they want. But before they can receive the coveted raise, they should display some communication skills. Be ready to answer questions about you deserve a raise.

Companies can sometimes be ruthless when you ask for a raise. Prepare to stand your ground but do not pass up any chances for renegotiations. Discuss every figure thoroughly to open a more meaningful conversation.

Bonus tip: Appease your boss

Getting along with your boss is pivotal when you ask for a raise. After all, they need to know you enough to grant additional pay. To build an even tighter bond, always respect the sanctity of your employer-employee relationship. 

For example, you can display respectful gestures and give simple gifts. To avoid misunderstandings from other colleagues, stay professional and always put company interests first.

No matter how amicable you act toward your boss, sometimes, they are not easy to appease. But, whether they are permanently angry or simply having a bad day, there are studied tips for dealing with a difficult boss.

Recommended courses for you

Skill Success understands the cruciality of salary increases. Our online tools could help you unlock a higher salary. When you are about to ask for a raise, there is a course we would like you to check out. It contains research data and proven practices you can use in the near future.

An employee who engages in salary increase negotiations can earn more than those who do not, even if they have the same job. A 25-year-old who regularly negotiates their $55,000 starting salary may earn $634,000 more in their career than a person who settles for the standard pay.

Learn To Unlock Your Compensation is a webinar helping employees maximize salaries over time. The course has four compact sections you can finish in 47 minutes.

Anyone dissatisfied with their current job pay can take advantage of this course. No amount of online research can top the lessons you will find here.

Go for that raise

No matter how hard you try to ask for a raise, things will not always work in your favor. If your job description and responsibilities no longer fit your salary, perhaps it is a sign to find a new job.

Skill success has career development courses helpful in your job search for a better position. You can finally achieve a new salary package at the level of pay you deserve.

Whether you are aiming for a new job or bigger pay, the first step to success will always begin with yourself. As responsibilities expand, never lose the confidence to conquer each challenge. Continue to boost your self-confidence while building a better career for yourself.

Completing online self-confidence courses might be the easiest way to become an even more competitive person in the digital era. Time to amp your skills to score higher during a performance review in the future. Raise your competencies to achieve much higher pay!

Ready to fully dive into your learning? Join All Access Pass and unlock our entire course library for only $15/month.

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