Workplace expert offers help for that the sometimes-awkward task of asking for a raise

Posted April 26, 2021 6:00 a.m. EDT
Updated April 26, 2021 6:38 a.m. EDT

— You think you deserve a raise, but you are a bit fearful to ask for it. You’re not alone.

"Unfortunately, a lot of people still feel that nervousness around being able to ask for things that they likely deserve," said workplace expert Joel Patterson with "The Vested Group."

He recommends, before popping the question, consider the timing of your request for a bigger paycheck. For example, the pandemic may not have been a great time to ask for a raise. Find out if your company is thriving or struggling.

"If they are not in a position to be able to support your request, you’re not likely to get it," said Patterson.

Some employees are under contract but have never paid much attention to language or stipulations contained in that contract. Patterson suggests checking to see, "Are you able to contractually, within that agreement, ask for one? Or are they even able to give you one?"

Do your research. Check online resources about the industry you are part of.

"In certain industries, specifically technology, people who work in health care, other industries, they are actually doing quite well," said Patterson.

You may still not be able to achieve that hike in pay unless you are prepared to promote your successes while with the company. Patterson would ask, what are your wins? How did you help your company prosper?

"Very specific examples will help build a case that will be hard to turn down," he added.

Also, he emphasizes, don’t base your case for a raise on financial problems that you may be having. He says that approach is likely to fail.

You may deserve a raise, but consider your position. "Don’t go in with an ultimatum unless you are willing for them to call your bluff," said Patterson.

In that case, he says, make sure you have a back up plan that keeps you employed.

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