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How to ask for a salary raise?

If you’re thinking about salary raise, it must be because you believe you’ve been doing a superb job. If that’s the case, don’t hold it in and end up feeling frustrated because you are afraid of approaching your employer for a raise. There’s always a decent way to ask for a salary raise without rocking the boat between you and your employer.
Identify your leverage
Most of the times it’s extremely hard to ask for a raise unless you have leverage. This could be another job offer or extending your job tasks beyond your job description or even being promoted to a higher position that initially has the same salary.
Bear in mind that using the “better job offer” card can be a double edged sword; never use it unless you actually have a better job offer that you are willing to take if the salary negotiation with your boss failed. Be ready to walk that plank!
Know your company’s policies
Read the employee handbook (and company intranet, if you have one), or better yet, talk to someone in Human Resources. Here are some things you should figure out:
Does your company require annual performance reviews to determine your salary?
Do salaries advance according to a fixed schedule or rank?
Who can make the decision (or ask for it to be made)?
Expect only what you can get
Don’t make the mistake of making unreasonable expectations. Your company might be already suffering from financial setbacks due to the bad economy or any other reasons. If that’s the case, wait until it’s appropriate. Timing is everything when you ask for a salary raise. However, this doesn't mean that you should use this as an excuse to delay asking for a raise indefinitely.
Find out your market worth
For most jobs, there’s an international standard rate that can be measured based on the nature of the job and the number of years of experience. You can use PayScaleto know your international rate but keep your eyes and ears open for local rates as it can be very different.
Even though you didn’t give your employer an unrealistic figure, expect them to bargain even if they are actually convinced so be prepared to compromise. That doesn’t mean you should use the traditional sense of bargaining by suggesting an unreasonable amount
Don't take it personal
Expect that your request can be rejected. Don’t allow it to spoil your attitude as your employer probably feels they have made the right decision.  Having a bad attitude will give your employer more reason to not give you a raise in the future and might even jeopardize your job. Once you receive an answer to your request, be as gracious as possible. Don't walk out of the room and slam the door.Instead ask your boss what you can do differently. This demonstrates your willingness to improve and that you still have the company’s best interest at heart.
Your boss will see you as a go-getter and will probably keep your raise request in mind for the next season.
Consider looking for another job
If you have thought this through and believe you deserve to be in a better position, you should probably start looking for another job. But don’t be impatient; you might want to wait it out and see if you can get that salary raise in the near future.
If you're looking for a much higher salary than your company is willing to pay; maybe it's better to apply for a different position or a similar one somewhere else.
Do you know any other tactic to ask for a salary raise? Please share with us!
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