I know, I know, we’re taught to believe that asking for a raise or negotiating a salary is more terrifying than an encounter with an angler fish. It’s not. Here are four times you absolutely should ask for a raise, barring that you don’t actually suck at your job.
1. When your department is thriving. Even if your entire company as a whole isn’t doing its best, if your department is killing it, that means you and your team are doing something right. Let your boss know that you’re an integral part of the department that’s doing so beautifully and come with concrete evidence (numbers, facts, documentation) that you had a direct role in the department’s success.
2. When you surpassed a company goal. If you run a video site and your goal was 10,000 monthly views and you get 50,000—for five months in a row—you better believe you deserve more dough. You’re getting paid your current amount to get 10,000 and you’re exceeding. Let your bosses know that you’ve earned it, how you’ve earned it, and that you know you’re worth it.
3. When you get another job offer. You’re negotiating from a position of power. Let your bosses know what the other offer is—and if it’s less than or equal to what you’re currently making, conveniently round up. Be clear that you’re willing to walk if you need to in order to get what you need and they’re more likely to give you what you want. However, if the company really is hurting for cash and they can’t fork anything over, you have a big decision to make: Ask if they can sweeten your current pot with more vacation or personal days or a telecommuting option if they can’t offer more actual money.
4. You found a way to save or make your company big bucks. If you saved or earned a ton of money for your company, it’s only fair that some of that revenue should hit your own pocket. Provide documentation of how you did it when you ask for a raise.
5. When you’re asked to train a new employee. If you’re training a new underling or colleague, it means your boss respects you as an authority on whatever it is that you do so well. Get paid accordingly.