Here is a primer on how to make sure that you are never short changed. #askforequalpay
1. Don't Ask for a Raise if you are not prepared to defend your argument.
Clarity. Start with that. I expect to be paid x because....? I suggest you should prepare a list of things you should NOT say or bring up.
It is mostly about how you structure your pitch. And research always pays. Its always good to have comparative data handy. And hopefully a performance track record.
2. Answer this. What is your value as an employee?
To the employer, this may be the single most reason for you having a place on the payroll. How have you created value for your employer directly proportional to how difficult it would be for someone else to fill in your shoes. It is always a good idea to demonstrate your strength as a valuable asset. And that would mean convincing your employer that you are worth the investment that is being made in you. Employers retain employees that create their value in the organization.
3. I deserve a raise because my expenses are ballooning............!!
That is the worst argument I have ever heard. You are being paid to do a job. The pay must commensurate with the value you bring to the job at hand and not with how you plan your lifestyle.
However I do come across this as the most used negotiation tactic. It is your employer's purgative to pay for performance and value. It is not your employer's responsibility to balance your home budget.
4. I have worked here for X many years..................!!!
Its quite possible that your employer knows that as well. Time means nothing. The most oft repeated argument for workplace dissatisfaction is that you have been around long enough but haven't seen growth. Being in one employment for a long period of time has no relevance unless you have performed in your job role and created value. If I were you and I knew that my performance reviews leave much desired; I wouldn't start negotiating at this point in time.
5. I have done everything I was supposed to do.............. Where's my money?
Well, you negotiated the current compensation for work you WERE supposed to do. You are getting what you were promised for doing THAT job. If you want a raise; you need to demonstrate how you did MORE. And BETTER. Negotiating your position as a high performer and as one who strives for excellence is a lot better than trying to negotiate a better bargain when you are just about doing your job. An employer makes an investment in your future by giving you a raise. Make your employer believe in your future.
Its always a good idea to check industry data based on geographic location, industry and economic trends before starting to negotiate. An average raise 1-5% is acceptable. You will be a performer par excellence should your trajectory be more lofty. And as they say. May the power be with you.