I recently read an article on LinkedIn about a lady who had been working as a secretary at a company for a number of years. I imagined it took years of pep talking herself but she finally plucked up the courage to ask for a raise. This ultimately resulted in her being let go.
Unfortunately, her asking for a raise caused her manager to consider her worth to the company. While she was a good general secretary the company had evolved since she had started and now required a number of specialist secretaries in order to run more effectively. While I don’t agree that she should have been let go (as I’m sure she could have been placed within another area of the business more suitable to her skill set), it did make me think.
A lot of us will work for a company for years and years doing no more than what is required of the role and automatically assume we are entitled to a pay rise. Long term service and loyalty is an excellent and quite rare trait nowadays and should most definitely rewarded. In fact, I haven’t worked at a company that doesn’t offer some kind of reward for this. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should be paid more than what is required of the role.
This works both ways. If you’re in a role where you may, for example, consistently stay late, go above and beyond to ensure the work is finished, bring your all to a project etc., but are being paid the same as the person who just turns up, does the bare minimum, and goes home then you should also question this.
My point is, before asking for a raise, sit down and think. What do I bring to the role? What have I done that most my colleagues have not or cannot? Am I confident in my skills and abilities? Am I valued or under-valued? Am I open to negotiations? Can I offer examples of times I have gone above and beyond if required? Am I willing to up-skill or complete further training?
Understand this differs from asking for a promotion as we are talking about a pay increase for effectively doing the same job that you’re currently doing. I would never deter anybody from asking for what they felt they were worth. In fact I encourage it and if done the right way, it is likely your manager will respect you for it regardless of whether they agree or not.
I hope you’re able to assess your workplace worth and get the salary you deserve. And remember when approaching your manager, as with everything in life, “Preparation is the key to success.”