MINNEAPOLIS — It's a discussion that rarely comes easily: asking your boss for a raise. But Leonard Lang, owner of Beard Avenue Coaching, says you shouldn't shy away from it.
"Don’t be afraid to ask for it," Lang said. "If you do it professionally, asking for something that you feel you’ve earned and continue to provide good value, then go ahead and do it."
Lang, who has been career coaching for 25 years, has a few pointers to navigate the conversation. He says negotiations boil down to a few broad areas.
First, know your worth within the field.
"What’s the larger picture? What are people getting for what you offer?" he said.
Lang suggests utilizing sites like Payscale, Glassdoor, and Salary.com to get an idea of what the industry generally pays for your position. Then get ready to communicate your value in relation to what you find out.
"What is your brand? What is it that you have to bring to the table that nobody else is bringing to the table?" Lang said. "It tends to be more of a soft-skill thing, [such as] 'I’m the go-to guy here. I’m the person that people come to when they really don’t know how things work at the company here, because I’ve been here awhile.' Or, 'I’m the person who’s a great liaison between the tech and the non-tech people who don’t seem to understand each other.'"
Next, consider your company's vision, and the timing.
"Know the company... is it a good time to be asking for a raise?" Lang said.
There could be factors out of your control, such as your company going through an acquisition. Especially in cases where factors are out of your control, Lang said if you don't get the number you're looking for, try to not take it personally.
Lastly, communicate what you've accomplished within the company and what you plan to accomplish in the years ahead.
"Whatever it is that you’ve done, whether it’s quantitative or qualitative, you want to have that at the ready to say, 'This is what I’ve accomplished,'" Lang said. "Lead that into this is what more you can do to accomplish as a department in the next year. So that you’re talking into how you’re benefitting them and you’ve got credibility from the proof of what you’ve done before."