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So, you love everything about where you work: The colleagues, the culture, your work and even *gasps* your boss, although they might be a bit too demanding at times.

The only thing you’d like to improve on is the paycheck you’re bringing home each month. After all, you’ve been there for a few years and you’ve behaved in all the right ways and ticked all the right boxes for a pay raise. (Don’t know what we’re talking about? We’ve got you on that one!)

So how do you breach the topic? We know how awkward money talk can get, especially when you’re asking for more. Even when your own mother asks for 10 dollars back you feel like the walls are caving in with embarrassment.

However, this doesn’t mean you should shy away from the conversation, or wait for your boss to notice just how much you’re killing it at work. They’ll be so busy, noticing you’ve really stepped-up will probably be bottom of their to-do list. So without further ado, here’s our comprehensive guide to getting the paycheck that reflects the work you do.

Pssst! If you’re in the process of switching jobs and you’re trying to negotiate a higher pay, we’ve got you covered too. Check out our tips on How to ask for a pay raise #likeaboss.


1. Time it


Okay we thought we’d start with the basics. This is straightforward but always worth mentioning: If your company seems to be going through a bit of a slump financially, or you notice that colleagues are being let go, now may not be the perfect time to landing that pay increment.  That’s all we have to say on this one, it’s pretty self-explanatory.


2. Scout the competition


YOU might feel the work you’re doing warrants a significant raise of about $1,000 per month but, well, does it really? Do some research before you approach your boss just to find out more about what the general pay is for your job rank.

This won’t just show that you know what you’re talking about, but it will help to justify your claim for deserving that raise – especially if you’re below or just hitting the average. Of course, this also prevents you from suggesting an unrealistic amount that will botch your chances of getting that promotion. Demanding an extra $6,000 a month when the average wage is $3,000 is a little ‘dream big’ don’t you think?


3. Why do you deserve it?


It doesn’t matter what you think you deserve if your boss doesn’t see your worth. So what we suggest doing is giving some concrete examples of how you’ve not only done your job, but added value to the team and company on top of your basic requirements. You could talk about how you played an integral part in increasing the client contention rate to 85 per cent.

Focus your request to why you deserve it and not why you need the raise. And if you know that your boss really loves concrete data, be sure to add in figures to identify key moments where you contributed to the company.


4. Plan for a no


We Singaporeans are no stranger to pragmatism and that’s what we’re preaching here. It’s not enough to go into the meeting thinking that this is anything less than a negotiation. Try thinking of reasons that you might be refused a raise and then think of reasons to refute them.

Be armed with counter arguments if (or when) your boss challenges your request. And pro-tip: Phrase your responses in a way that show you’re not only considering your needs but the company’s too.


5. Thing long-term


Another way to boost your chances is to tell your boss what’s in it for the company if you should get a raise. Don’t just talk about what you’ve done but what you can do to further improve your, and by extension, the company’s performance, which is where the money (and your boss’ mind) is at.

Plus, it’ll show the company you’re a loyal worker worthy of their investment! We’ll admit, this is a little bit ‘extra’, but hey, you’ve gotta do what it takes, right?


6. Don’t throw in the towel!


If you truly are planning on staying in the company, then try not to sabotage your chances, or relationships, by threatening to move or quit. It may sound like a good idea until you’re called out for it. This might also diminish your chances to get further training opportunities should your boss take it the wrong way.

Of course, if you are only after a pay raise and don’t mind actually leaving the job, then by all means, be sure to bring up that sweet offer from the competitor – but be prepared to leave is all we’re saying!


7. Turn that ‘nope’ into hope


So your boss says no. Refuses you flat out and you’re just not ready to move on. Now what? Take a few breaths and don’t be rash. Instead of threatening to quit (if you ever needed a reason, though, we gave you 20!), try requesting for an appraisal. Sometimes your company just might not be doing well enough to justify giving you a raise (read number one). Be proactive in making sure you’re on the radar for when it’s possible. A performance appraisal doesn’t just show your confidence in your skills or your commitment to the company, it may also open doors to other forms of opportunities or rewards. Getting ahead is all in the strategy, ladies!

Most importantly, though, never be afraid to ask for a raise if you think you deserve it. Just as we don’t have time for the men who won’t notice our brilliance, your bosses might fail to recognise your achievements. So go forth and start demanding more, ladies. We’re right behind you.