When should I ask for a raise?
February 2, 2011 10:17 AM   Subscribe

My company doesn't do yearly reviews so when should I ask for a raise?

I'm currently in my mid-twenties and I make decent money as an IT consultant. My current salary is $80k with yearly bonuses between $40k-$45k (before tax). Our bonuses are determined by hours worked, so in reality you can decide what you're making total for the year. At the $40k-$45k level I've probably maxed myself out as far as hours go without losing my sanity. Since my company's policy is that we have a big part in determining what we make in the end, they do not provide annual reviews or salary adjustments.

I should mention I've been with my company for just about a year now. What brought this all up is that I've recently be contacted by some other IT consulting firms offering my more, even double in one case. Some consultants have asked for raises sooner, some have waited longer.

So when is it acceptable to bring to the table that I would like a raise? Every year? Every 18 months? I am very happy in my career and I barely have any bills so I'm not struggling by any means. I just do not want to undervalue myself or be undervalued by my company compared to others in my field.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, now. You're a year in, and you're getting offers? Yeah, now's a great time. Keep in mind that if you mention the other offers, you must be prepared to actually take one of them.

My company gives bonuses at the end of the year, but I've asked for them any time I felt that my responsibilities had increased greatly or I was starting to feel grumbly. Each time, they gave me what I wanted. It sounds like you're starting to get grumbly.
posted by punchtothehead at 10:26 AM on February 2, 2011

Yearly raises - Jan/Feb or on your anniversary date is pretty much standard. I would go in prepared - list of accomplishments, roadmap for why you deserve a raise, new things you've taken on, etc.

If you're denied, accept it but make it very clear you expect a list of things and a discussion on what it will take to get a raise in the future and when a follow up discussion can be held - 6-12 months. Get it in writing and then get the stuff on it done. If they won't tell you, get another job and walk.
posted by iamabot at 10:27 AM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Find out when the beginning of the financial year is. Now find out when the budget for that year is being set. A few weeks before that process starts, ask for a meeting with your boss and make it clear youd like to discuss your salary in that meeting.

Go into that meeting knowing what you want. If you would be willing to leave the company, then take printouts of your offers to emphasise your market worth.

If you dont get offered what you want, work out if you're happy with what you were offered - and whether you'd continue to be happy if that salary stayed the same for another 12 months.

If you are, then stay. Otherwise, leave. In the beginning of your career don't be surprised if your biggest salary increase come from jumping ship and taking opportunities at other companies when they come along.

Good luck!
posted by Simon_ at 10:33 AM on February 2, 2011

Would you be happy working at the other company? Are the working conditions better? Would you seriously consider working there?

If it seems you're likely to make a move, negotiate with the potential new employer and get an offer. Take the offer back to your current employer. If the new offer is significantly higher than your current salary package, and it's a firm offer, mention the numbers.

However, communicate that you want to stay, and see what they can offer you. It might not be doubling your salary, and it might be more like a COL increase, but they can only do what they can do.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:39 AM on February 2, 2011

Agree with some of the other answers - you can use the bigger offers to leverage a raise.

Agree with the guy who said make sure to ask 3-4 weeks before the next year budget is finalized. Not having available budget could stop your boss from giving you a raise that they want to give you.

I once got advice from an HR person - write a formal job description for yourself. This can help you clearly define the things you do that merit pay beyond what you were originally hired to do. Accomplishments are nice, but thats what bonus is for. Your future value to the company can be defined by your job description.
posted by ben242 at 10:50 AM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

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