There is a time and place that is appropriate when asking for a raise. It is never an easy conversation and many people will avoid it altogether thinking it may have an opposite effect and end up getting them fired. This was not the case for Tyrel Oates who e-mailed his CEO asking for a 10,000 dollar raise for himself and 200,000 other employees and cc’ing them all on his e-mail. Let’s take a look at where he might have gone wrong:
The conversation should be face-to-face: Unless you work remotely, the “Here’s why I deserve a raise” conversation should never come up over e-mail. This is a face-to-face conversation that you need to set up with your boss and be well prepared for. It is okay to write down examples and information you have researched to bring to the conversation, but avoid any and all e-mail conversation involving the matter.
This is between you and your boss, not 200,000 other employees: Don’t let the conversation turn into a crusade for your fellow co-workers. This is about YOUR salary and YOUR hard work. Try to avoid mentioning other co-workers salaries or happiness levels; this is all about you for once!
Don’t go straight to the CEO: This should be a conversation between you and your boss. Don’t see eye-to-eye with your boss? Then try going to his boss if you have a working relationship with him/her as well. Time will tell how things work out for Tyrel Oates and if he gets that raise he asked for, but in the mean time, we recommend NOT e-mailing your CEO.
Be realistic: Visit websites like salary.com and vault.com to get a better idea of what salary you should be making. This is not like buying a car; there shouldn’t be any haggling involved. A typical raise is a 5 to 10 percent increase per year so make sure to make it a reasonable number so your boss doesn’t laugh in your face.
Sometimes the conversation may go your way, and sometimes it may not, the key is to take away something positive from your meeting. It may be that the money just doesn’t exist, but your boss might be willing to compromise. Ask for a title promotion, accept the additional responsibility, and tell your boss you’ll revisit the salary talk in a few months. In the end it is your happiness at stake so make sure to do everything you can to get what you feel you deserve.