For the first time, the average U.S. tech salary hit six figures in 2022 after rising 7% year over year. Yet nearly half of workers in this sector, 48%, say they still feel underpaid and overworked. So what can you do if you haven’t yet felt the benefits of the industry raise? Ask and get a raise. Getting paid what you’re worth has as much to do with tactics and arguments as it does with skills.
Here are five ways to ask for and get a raise.
Do your homework
If you left your company and now started a job with a competitor, what would your starting salary be? There are many online resources that can help you determine the average wage for your industry, and the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has an online database that contains the average annual wage for over 800 occupations.
However, when researching your market value, it is important to consider and incorporate factors such as experience and education level, geographic locations, and the industry norm. A co-worker might have dropped out and experienced a huge raise, but did they have expertise that was of value to a competitor? Had they recently completed a project that your company had applied for? Similarly, have you done any of these things? If so, then your market value will increase. Be realistic here.
Choose your timing
If you want to convince your boss that you deserve a higher salary, time it well and do your calculations. Ask for a raise when a project is successfully completed, when you bring a task under budget, or when you secure a big deal for the organization. In other words, when you can directly track your contribution to a financial metric. It’s easier to ask for a 10% raise when you’ve made or saved the company a similar amount.
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You may get along well with your boss and meet outside of work hours, but when it comes to asking for a raise, you need to remain both professional and calm. You’re not entitled to a raise because your rent went up or your car broke down, and adding personal reasons to your argument makes it easier to decline.
When arguing why you deserve a raise, have a list of prepared talking points, all of which are rational, truthful, and can be backed up with facts. Also, keep your comparisons factual and work-based. Sure, you might work harder than Susan in accounting, but not doing the same daily chores as her is like comparing apples and oranges. Stay professional and keep calm.
Think of no as a starting point
Okay, so you can’t get a raise right now, but is there another way to improve your overall compensation package?
Maybe your company can’t increase your monetary compensation, but it can increase the contribution it makes to your 401K? Perhaps they can offer additional paid time off throughout the year. Take the time to review any offers or raises that can be made and see how it affects your personal bottom line. Additional PTO could help reduce childcare or commuting expenses increasing your disposable income,
Think of a no as a starting point for negotiations. They can’t offer me more money, so let’s look at other alternatives that make me feel valued and less likely to look elsewhere for an alternative offer.
Don’t make threats
Especially if you can’t see through them. If you already have a competitor’s offering, be careful how you use it. The majority of companies don’t respond well to threats or ultimatums. So if you want to use another offer as leverage, do so with tact and care. Explain that you have received another offer but are happy with your current position and would like to know if anything can be done to adjust it.
Be ready to resign
And if, after all your hard work, research, and rational arguments, your company refuses to change your package, you may have to quit. This isn’t a petty response, and you won’t do it immediately after your request is denied, but if an employer can’t or won’t recognize your market value and benefits to the company, is it for you?
You know what you’re worth and the value you can bring to an employer, so take that information and find your dream job.
A good starting point is the NextPit Job Board, which is full of vacancies 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.