She Spends Guide to Getting That Raise: Part Three, Popping the Question

Welcome to part three of our guide to getting that raise! This week we're discussing the actual ask, and what to do afterward. We'd love for you to share how you do it on social media - tag us on Instagram or Twitter, or use the hashtag #howshesaves. If you’ve missed previous newsletters, check out part one and part two

The execution of an ask - and subsequent negotiation - are vital steps in the process of getting a raise. While you may feel nervous ahead of your meeting with your boss, it’s vital that you portray an aura of calm in the meeting. Take a few deep breaths before you enter the meeting room, and maybe even give yourself a little pep talk. You got this!

Once inside, make sure to display positive and open body language. Feel free to chit chat with your boss - check in with how they’re doing and what they’ve been working on. Showing genuine interest is key!

Then, the actual ask. You have a loose script prepared, so this part should come easy, 

"I wanted to meet with you to talk about my compensation. I've been with the company for x amount of time, and in that time period, I achieved the following." Then, you list a few very specific examples of the ways you went above and beyond at your company. Follow with the ask. "I want to ask for x amount of money. I did research on the current market rate for this sort of position. Based on that research, I think it's a reasonable ask."

Be sure to share how much you enjoy working at your company. Perhaps even pivot to the future by saying, “Looking ahead, I’d like to do x for the company,” implying that a raise could help you to get there. 

What happens next depends on how your boss responds. If they say yes immediately, be sure to thank them and follow up with a thank you email that lays out the terms of your agreement in writing. Then, celebrate!

If they ask for some time to think on it, accept that response. Again, follow up with a quick thank you via email and be sure to follow up once the allotted time has passed. 

If they complain that budget constraints limit the amount of money they can offer you, it’s time to go to your backup asks. Ask for more time off, a title change or education programs, all while displaying how these will cost them less money overall. Again, follow up with a thank you note via email that includes the terms of your agreement. It’s important to have this all in writing!

If they respond with a flat out “no,” there are a few things you should do. First, ask for genuine feedback. If that feedback is legitimate, take it to heart and work over the following months to correct some of the problems your boss sees in you. 

You can also request a review in a few months. If you’re meeting pre-defined goals by then, your boss may be more open to offering you a raise. 

If the feedback is less-than-helpful, it may be time to consider looking for a new job. Taking on a new job at a new company is often the fastest - and most effective - way to increase your earning power. 

- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #17