Asking your superior for your promotion and more money is probably one of the toughest thing to do. It does not help that Singapore society as a whole is not as open as the west when it comes to being vocal. But with yearly inflation raising faster than your salary increment, you only have 2 choices – ask for a promotion or pay raise or move on to greener pastures.
If you love what you are doing now, you will have to bite the bullet and speak up for what you desire! Here’s what you need to have in place to #ask4it:
1. Evaluate The Financial Health Of Your Organisation
This is really the first common sense question to ask yourself. If the organisation that you are working for can hardly stay afloat, it’s time to perish the thought unless you can help the organisation cut operating cost and enhance productivity!
If you can drive the innovation push and bring your organisation back from red, they cannot possibly deny you or your fellow co-workers of your deserving pay raise.
2. Check Out Typical Salaries In Your Field
Before you make a request for high salary, you should first study how much your peers in the same professional field are earning. You can get this information easily through salary surveys or checking with your profession’s group or association. If they are earning around the same income as you, the chances of you succeeding in a pay adjustment will be significantly lower.
Highlight companies with smarter working practices and a Progressive Wage Model as they have technologies to enhance productivity, training opportunities and more chances for you to climb the pay scale.
Your organisation will then need to either match the new industry salary range or risk losing a significant quantity of its talents (including you) to their competitors.
If your organisation cannot fulfil your career aspirations, it is time to move on to greener pastures.
Now that you have checked your organisation is a good financial position and you are lagging behind your peers in the same industry, it is time to build your case. You will need to effectively sell yourself by making a detailed list of your key accomplishments during the work year. This is also the best time to showcase your list of your relevant skills that will value add your organisation.
If you have not been updating or enhancing your skills, its time to keep a close lookout on the most sought after skills in your area of work or industry and read books or attend courses to update your knowledge in these fields. Continuous training and re-education show potential employers that you take your professional life seriously and give you an edge over the average worker in the job market.
In Budget 2015, the government announced that every Singaporean aged 25 and above will get $500 of SkillsFuture Credit, which will be topped up at regular intervals with no expiry date. So there’s no excuse to avoid upskilling yourself.
4. Decide What Happens If You Get Turned Down?
Before you march in fully prepared, think about what you will do if you get turned down. Ponder through if your boss reasons for decline are valid. If they are, can either you and/or your boss do something about these reasons? If you have the chance to make changes, take action and ask for a raise at a later date. Else its time to move onto greener pastures or a totally new industry if you have the capability to do so.
For the purpose of mobility, NTUC has been actively pushing for employers and government to support second-skilling, which is about allow their employees to learn an alternate skill, even if it’s unrelated to their current job.
While you still have a job, think about how you can develop your favourite second skill to fall back on should you decide to let go of your current job. Instead of drilling deep into your existing scope of work, why not allow yourself to embark on horizontal skilling and be a jack of more than one trade?
Simply pick up classes anywhere on your favourite hobby to explore possible second skills.
5. Set Up an Appointment to Talk to Your Boss
You are all set! Show your boss how serious you are about asking for a raise by requesting for a face to face private meeting. Don’t broach the subject through email, phone or casually by the pantry. Find out what type of boss you have and understand what he likes / dislikes. Make sure you present the information concisely and persuasively. Rehearse the request with someone who can give you a sense of what to expect before the meeting. Don’t let the first time you are asking for a raise be in the actual meeting with your boss!
Good luck and all the best!