Five Mistakes to Avoid when Asking for a Raise

by Mike on September 12, 2014

Five Mistakes to Avoid when Asking for a Raise

What comes to asking for a raise there is one big problem; there are only one or two ways it can go right and about 1000 ways it could go horribly wrong. Sure, the best outcome is that you end up getting more money than you ever thought you would. And yes, you should be very happy getting exactly what it was wanted. Other than that, it could go south very quickly. Other than that, the whole thing could go very quickly

From alienating people above you and possibly being passed over for upcoming promotions, to burning bridges when you have to turn down a counter offer that just doesn’t work for you, the negative outcomes are plentiful and daunting. Even worse, you’re already at a specific rate with your employer, giving you much less leverage.

Knowing these things you can see why it’s so important to go into any meeting about a race well prepared. Rob Hellmann, who is a senior career coach at Five O’clock Club, says that “you’re more likely to get what you want and if you don’t get what you want, you’re more likely to maintain conditions that will help you get want down the road.”

All that being said, below you’ll find five mistakes that you definitely need to avoid when asking for a raise. Avoid them and the outcome should be positive and, worst case scenario, it still won’t be half bad. Enjoy.


Mistake #1: Asking for a raise when the company’s making budget cuts.

If you could see through the eyes of your boss, then you’d know that if the company was making budget cuts, his first reaction to your wanting a raise would probably not be a good one. If your boss has lots of budget cuts that they’re facing, that’s going to be an issue,” says Hellmann. He also suggest that, if you truly believe you’re being underpaid, you could possible do it but you’d better have facts and figures to back up your claim, and you’d better also be good enough at what you do that getting rid of you wouldn’t be an option for the Boss.


Mistake #2: Asking for a raise when your performance has been sub-par.

This one seems like a no-brainer but begs attention anyway. Asking for a raise if you’ve been performing at a low level, haven’t ‘shined’ to the bosses or, even worse, just messed up a deal that lost the company millions (or even thousands) of dollars is not a good idea, for obvious reasons. And if they’re not obvious to you, just take our word for it. You can’t simply ask for a raise just because your favorite hobby is playing the casino slots!


Mistake #3: Asking for a Raise when the Boss is overloaded with work and stressed out.

It’s a fine line sometimes between being a valuable part of the team to becoming another ‘problem’ the boss has to attend to. If he or she is already overwhelmed with work, you asking for more money might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back.  In other words, no scenario has you coming out of that meeting better off than you were before, but the chance of something very bad happening in your career is exponentially higher as well.


Mistake #4: Whining and complaining when you’re asking for a raise.

Ask yourself this question; do you think the boss wants to hear about your problems? If you answer anything there than ‘no’ you may be delusional. If you go into that meeting with a frown on your face, moaning and groaning about work conditions, you inability to pay your bills on the salary you have or, well, whatever, you’re going to find it very hard for them to open up their ears to hear you, let alone make eye contact with you. Making the boss uncomfortable is no way to get what you want, and makes things much more uncomfortable at company picnics too.


Mistake #5: Discussing your personal life when asking for a Raise.

Unless you know your boss on a personal level (which most don’t) never, ever bring personal your problems into the meeting.  If you thought whining and complaining was bad, this is worse. Personal problems should be left at home or, if need be, at your therapists’ office, but never to work. Not only is it bad for your chances, it’s also bad etiquette.


And there you go. 5 Mistakes that you should be very sure to avoid the next time you’re contemplating asking the boss for more moolah.  Best of luck when you do!



 ***Image thanks to bpsusf***

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