For the first time, U.S. tech wages will reach six figures by 2022 after a 7 percent year-over-year increase. But almost half of those working in the sector, 48% to be exact, say they still feel underpaid and overworked. So what can you do if you haven’t yet benefited from the sector’s wage increase? Ask for and get a raise. Getting paid what you deserve is as much a strategy and argument as meeting talent.
There are five ways to ask for and get a raise.
If you left your company and now worked for a competitor, what would your starting salary be? There are many online resources to help you find the average salary for your sector, and the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has an online database of annual average salaries for more than 800 occupations.
However, when researching your market value, be sure to look at and include factors such as experience and education levels, geographic locations, and industry norms. A co-worker may have jumped ship and faced a higher salary problem, but did they have specialized knowledge that would be valuable to a competitor? Did your company recently complete a project? Likewise, have you done any of these things? If you have it, your market value will increase. See the truth here.
Choose your time
If you want to convince your boss that you deserve a higher salary, choose your time well and do the math. Asking for a raise should be when a project is successfully completed, a job is brought under budget, or something big is achieved for the company. In other words, when you can directly track your contribution to a financial person. It’s easy to ask for a 10% pay increase if you make or keep the company the same amount.
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Make it professional
You may have a good relationship with your boss and communicate outside of work hours, but you need to be professional and calm when it comes to asking for a raise. You are not entitled to a raise because your rent has gone up or your car has broken down, and including personal reasons in your argument will make it easier to get denied.
When making an argument for why you deserve a raise, list prepared talking points, each of which is reasonable, true, and supported by facts. Also, keep your comparison realistic and work-based. Sure, you might work harder than Susan in accounts, but if you don’t do the same day-to-day tasks as her, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Keep it professional and calm.
No. Think of it as a starting point
Okay, so you might not get a raise right now, but is there another way to improve your overall compensation package?
Maybe your company can’t increase your financial compensation, but it can increase your contribution to your 401K? They may offer additional paid time off during the year. Take the time to research potential discounts or raises and see how it affects your personal bottom line. Additional PTO can help reduce childcare or transportation costs, which can increase your disposable income.
No. Think of it as a jumping off point for negotiations. You can’t offer me more money, so let’s look at other options, to make me feel loved and less likely to look for an alternative offer elsewhere.
Don’t make threats
Especially if you can’t see them. If you have an offer from your competitor, be careful how you use it. Most companies don’t respond well to threats or threats, so if you want to use another offer as leverage, do it tactfully and carefully. Explain that you’ve received another offer, but you’re happy with your current role and want to know if there’s a good fit for it.
Prepare to resign
And if after all your hard work research and rational arguments your company refuses to change your package then you may have to leave. This response is not out of pettiness and it’s not something you do right after your application is rejected, but is it right for you if the employer can’t or won’t accept your market value and the benefits you bring to the company?
You know what you’re worth and what value you bring to an employer, so take that information and find your dream job.
A good place to start is the NextPit Job Board, which is full of open positions in all sectors and levels.
This article was written by Aisling O’Toole and is part of a collaboration between NextPit and Jobbio. Find out more about the partnership between NextPit and Jobbio here.