Negotiating a pay raise is rarely easy. Like it or not, in order to properly manage your career, you need to become comfortable with it. Rarely will you have a company match your value with your salary. It is all up to you.
Anyone can walk into their boss's office and ask for a raise. But it you want them to actually consider your request, you need to come to the table with solid facts. You should know the going rate for your position as well as what type of profits the company and your department have seen this year.
If you are thinking about approaching your boss about a raise, one of the first things to think about is why. Also give thought to whether that reasoning is justification enough for your boss to go to his boss to push for it. Reasons like "my cost of living has gone up" or " I have been here for a year now" are not good enough reasons. You need to provide results focused reasoning. Have you continually gone above your sales quota or are you doing twice the workload while also producing quality results? These types of reasons are how you will achieve that raise.
If your boss does not agree to a salary raise for whatever reason, it's important to have a backup plan. Give thought to what else you can negotiate. This can be in the form of additional benefits that are not tied to the budget such as working from home, extra vacation days or perhaps classes you can take to further your professional development.
It may not be quite time for your annual review when you ask for a raise but you do want to make sure the timing is still right. Try and pick a time when you have done well on a project or when you have taken on additional responsibilities. Having some accomplishments to showcase will bode positively for you with the boss.
Even if you may have a single number in mind, studies show it behooves you to use a range starting with the number you do want. For example, if you want a $5k increase per year in your salary, ask for a $5k-$7k increase. By doing this, you come across as being flexible, than if you were to just present a single figure.
Approaching your boss about a pay increase can certainly get you feeling flustered. In order to ease the situation, know exactly what you are going to say and take time to practice it in advance. It would also be helpful to role play with someone so you can address your boss's potential reaction and any follow up questions. The more preparation you do prior to your meeting, the higher your chances are of presenting a solid argument.
When going in to negotiate a raise, it is important you look polished and professional. Take the time to iron your blouse or put on a tie. You don't want to look like you’re trying too hard but as they say, dress for the job you want, not the job you have.