How to ask for a Raise – 3 Useful Tips
Do you feel that your salary does not adequately reflect the value you add to your institution? Maybe you are directly responsible for your department’s success or consistently receive great performance reviews. Perhaps you are simply compensated less than junior academics in your field. You might also feel that your daily responsibilities go far beyond your job description. These are all valid reasons to begin a discussion with your superiors regarding compensation.
A less valid reason to ask for a raise would be that you are having difficulty making ends meet financially. Employees are paid for their work in an organization, nothing more. Your employment contract probably doesn’t say your salary will go up if you decide to make a big purchase. However, many employers are willing to consider upping your pay if you make an increasingly positive impact on the organization.
Asking for raise can be daunting. If you are justified in your reasoning, you should approach your supervisor about a possible pay increase. Here are a few tips for success.
1. Gather Evidence of Your Contributions
How can you demonstrate to your superiors that you are worthy of a raise? You need to prove that you’ve made contributions to the institution beyond merely coming to work every day. What were your contributions to research, curricula, campaigns, and other important projects that were extremely valuable to the institution? Do you consistently receive positive evaluations from your students and peers? Have you been asked to represent your institution at events? Find evidence that you have contributed to your employer’s success and added value to your institution. This evidence will help justify your request for higher pay.
Show you invested in your skills: Education doesn’t stop when you’re done with your degree. What other certificates or continuing education have you earned after your start date? Better yet, did it come out of your pocket? Even if your employer paid for additional skills training and education, you have justification to request a raise since your new skills make you a more valuable asset.
2. Research Higher Education Salaries and Raises
When asking for a raise, it’s important to prepare yourself with reputable data from sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s the national average for higher education salaries and raises relative to years of service? It’s important to show that you are knowledgeable about how your situation compares to industry standards.
3. Wait for the Right Moment
Waiting for the right moment to ask for a raise can be tricky. Keep in mind that you should avoid asking for a raise during your performance review or right after a budget meeting. In these situations, your superiors are likely to be under pressure and less willing to listen to your pitch.
Instead, wait until you’ve finished a major project that proves your value to the institution. If you’ve recently been given more responsibilities, this is also an ideal time to ask for a raise.
Be sure to prepare for your discussion by practicing what you’ll say the night before you ask. Have a friend or peer help you roleplay. This way, you’ll be confident and rehearsed by the time you have your meeting.
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