Why Asking for a Raise May Have the Best Long-Term ROI

Those of us who are building wealth do our best to accumulate assets, and then grow our assets as quickly as possible. But when you think of your largest asset, what comes to mind? Do you think of your home,...

Those of us who are building wealth do our best to accumulate assets, and then grow our assets as quickly as possible. But when you think of your largest asset, what comes to mind? Do you think of your home, your car, or the balance of your 401(k)?

If you’re at the beginning of your career, your biggest asset is you — and your ability to earn an income. If you earn $80,000 a year, and you plan to work for 35 more years, your future salary is valued at close to $1.8 million dollars to you today. And that’s if your salary only keeps pace with inflation. With a promotion and a raise, the number rises.

Asking for a Raise to Get the Best ROI

To supercharge your wealth, you’ll want to do what you can to get the best long term ROI on your assets. And for young professionals working in the corporate world, you’ll get that ROI with growing your income by asking — and getting — a raise.

But according to a recent study by Payscale, over fifty-seven percent of survey respondents say that they have never negotiated for a higher salary. Slightly less women (42 percent) as compared to men (45 percent) negotiate, and younger generations were less likely to negotiate than older generations.

With so much at stake, why do we not ask for a raise? Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed said that their employer gave them a raise before they needed to ask for one.  However, many felt uncomfortable asking (28 percent), and some did not want to appear pushy (19 percent).

As we’ve shown, not getting that raise means losing out on a lot. it’s worth it to work to overcome your reluctance to asking for a raise. Salary negotiation isn’t magic. It’s a skill, and you can learn how to do it.

How to Earn Your Raise

Negotiating your salary doesn’t have to be adversarial. Ultimately, it’s a conversation. And like many important conversations, it’s important to be prepared ahead of time to have a good outcome. Here’s a few tips about how to approach the conversation:

Know Your Number

How much of a raise are you asking for? Look on salary sites like Payscale.com and Glassdoor.com to see if your current salary is in-line with market rates. If you’re being underpaid, this research will be incredibly helpful in your negotiations. With a specific number in mind, you’ll know exactly how much to ask for.

Prepare Your Personal Accomplishment File

Prepare for your conversation by drawing together a list of your accomplishments. The more specific, the better. For example, if you’re in sales, can you prove that you increased the order conversion rate? A raise is earned, not given. You’ll have a better outcome by reminding the company how much you’ve contributed.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Prepare for your negotiation by carefully considering what you’d like to say, and then practicing with a partner. Walk through the entire conversation one step at a time. What will you say? How do you think your boss will respond? It’s not just enough to write it out alone. The conversation is too valuable to wing it!

You’ll want to hit the right tone of being confident, but not aggressive. A partner can help you find the right balance. Remember, successful negotiations happen slowly, and silence is powerful. After you’ve asked for your raise, get comfortable with the silence until your boss (or your practice partner) responds. If you ramble or interrupt, you’re sabotaging yourself.

Find the Right Time

Successful negotiations happen at the right time. If your company is bleeding cash, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be giving anyone a raise — including you. So make sure you starting the conversation at an appropriate time.

Given that your company is in good shape, the best time to negotiate is right after you’ve had a string of successes. Your accomplishments will be top of mind.

Also, you’ll want to make sure you have your boss’s full attention and energy. This isn’t a conversation to have in the midst of daily to dos and tasks. And don’t have the conversation at noon when everyone’s thinking about lunch. Send an email to your boss, and schedule a time where you both can talk without interruption.

Consider an Exit Strategy

If you find repeatedly that your company is not nurturing your growth, it might be time to move on. You deserve to be paid what you’re worth. If your company doesn’t fully appreciate what you have to offer, it’s time to begin job searching to find your next opportunity.

Think About Asking for a Raise — Because You’re Worth It!

As a highly skilled professional, you deserve to be paid what you’re worth. Your financial future depends on it. With careful preparation, asking for a raise can provide the best ROI.