Five Tips When Approaching Your Boss About a Raise

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It’s sweaty palm time: you’re going to ask your boss for a raise.  Today I’ll offer five tips to help you put your best foot forward.

#1.  Understand your worth in the marketplace.  Any number of websites can give you an idea of what your job’s likely to earn in your community at your size organization.  Salary.com and payscale.com are a couple resources, but also seek out recruiters and staffing companies for their input on what jobs like yours are earning in your area.

Talk with your co-workers and with former co-workers who do your job.  The game plan is to know what’s typical so you are well-informed and prepared when sitting down with your boss.

#2.   Show why you deserve a raise.  Make a list of your recent and past achievements. Ideally, support them with numbers just like you’d quantify your achievements on a resume.

Maybe you’ve taken on additional duties. Remember, your goal here is to demonstrate bang for their buck. Show them how you’ve added value to the organization.

#3.   Timing is important:  strike while the iron’s hot. Did you just finish a big project or have some sort of achievement? Chances are better for getting a raise when your achievement is fresh in everyone’s mind.

Schedule a time for your meeting with the boss so no one will be rushed. Stay away from Mondays. Be mindful of your manager’s stressful times. For example, don’t try to meet your boss in finance when the payroll deadline looms.

Keep in mind the company’s typical timeframe for giving raises, if they have one.  You’d ideally want your request to coincide with their typical salary bumps.

#4.   Avoid coming across as needy. The fact you need a raise to meet your financial obligations isn’t the employer’s concern and does not justify a raise. Your argument for a raise must be based on the value you add to the organization, not your inability to manage your finances.

#5.   No employer wants to face an ultimatum. Your threats to quit or to accept another company’s existing offer might help you get more money today, but you may be let go once your employer finds your replacement.

Think about it. Threatening to leave creates an disruption for your boss and the department. The boss might throw money your way to stop a sudden inconvenience, but only long enough to buy them time to find a suitable replacement in their timeframe, not the timeframe you’d just pushed on them.

Do your best to be confident, non-confrontational and prepared. I hope these tips have given you some confidence as you make your case. Their answer could still end up being “no,” but if you don’t ask, you may never get that raise you deserve.  Good luck!

Job Center Spotlight-Rapid City

Each week we have been spotlighting our Job Centers. This week we are spotlighting our Job Center at 611 Lindbergh Ave. Rapid City, SD.  Our Job Centers are a great free employment resource for our community to use to search and apply for jobs, improve computer skills and access community resources. Our Job Center Representative, Meggan and Employment Specialist, Lisa are willing to help you reach your employment goals. Let’s learn more about Meggan and Lisa.

Meggan

  1. What do you wish you knew more about?
  • The stars
  1. What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
  • Driving through the Black Hills
  1. What is the most interesting place you have been?
  • Redwood National Forest

Lisa

  1. What do you wish you knew more about?
  • Non-work: I wish I knew how to speak the Hebrew language.
  • Work: I wish I knew how to speak the Lakota language.
  1. What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
  • Right now in this weather the perfect weekend would be: in a cozy log cabin in the mountains, with a roasty toasty fire going, having everything you need to have a fun weekend (family, movies, food, hot cocoa, electricity, warm blankets), surrounded by beautiful tall trees, and watching the big snowflakes come down, and still being able to see the sunshine.
  1.  What is the most interesting place you have been?
  • Crazy Horse Mountain in the Black Hills is one of my very most favorite places.

 

Situational and Behavioral Interview Questions

More and more, employers are shifting from the traditional interview to a more behavioral-based format.  Today I’ll explore behavioral and situational questions.  I’ll define them, let you know why they’re being asked, list several examples, and finally offer some tips for handling them effectively.

People often confuse these two types of questions, but they actually have different definitions.

With behavioral questions, the interviewer is asking you to share a time when something happened and how you dealt with it.  This makes sense, since how you behaved in the past is a pretty fair indicator of how you’d handle the situation in the future.  If employers have already identified the types of behavior they seek in a future employee, why not get right to the point of understanding your past behavior?

With situational questions, the interviewer provides a hypothetical scenario, then asks what you’d do in that situation.  They want to understand your problem solving thought process.

The reason candidates often use the two terms interchangeably lies in the fact that we try to answer them in the same way – ideally by sharing our past experiences (behavioral) even if the question posed was a hypothetical one (situational).

Some examples of behavioral questions might include:

Tell me about time when you overcame a challenge… about a time you reached a goal… about how you worked as part of a team… about how you’ve handled conflict.

So how should you answer behavioral questions?  Remember, they’re asking you to recall a time when…

Think of S.A.R. – scenario/situation, actions, results.  Briefly describe the problem or challenge.  Outline the steps you undertook to address the problem.  Lastly, let them know how things turned out, ideally quantifying your answer with dollar amounts, percentages, etc.

Some examples of situational questions might include:

What would you do if you were given an assignment and you knew there’d be no way you could get it done on time?  What would you do if you saw another employee stealing or otherwise violating company policy?  How would you respond to criticism you felt was unwarranted?

How should you answer situational questions?  Remember, they’re providing a hypothetical and asking how you’d deal with it.

If you’ve actually encountered their hypothetical scenario in your past, then answer the same as you would when addressing a behavioral question.  If you haven’t encountered their scenario, then let them know you don’t recall having dealt with that exact situation, but relay a S.A.R. from something similar.  If you have nothing similar with which to compare it, then talk about how you’d envision addressing the issue.

Many employers still conduct traditional interviews where the focus in on standard questions like your strengths/weaknesses, goals, describing your past jobs and why you left.

Yet for those behavioral interviews, you’ll also need to be prepared.  I hope today has given you a bit of a game plan on how to handle them with more confidence.  Good luck!

Our Job Centers are a great free resource to use for interview preparation. We have 4 Job Center locations in Sioux City, IA, Storm Lake, IA, Sioux Falls, SD, and Rapid City, SD. Our Job Center hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-noon.

Job Center Spotlight-Sioux Falls

Each week we are going to spotlight one of our job centers. This week we are spotlighting our Job Center at 3400 S. Norton Ave. Sioux Falls, SD.  Our Job Centers are a great free employment resource for our community to use to search and apply for jobs, improve computer skills and access community resources. Our Job Center Representatives, Eduardo and Taylor are willing to help you reach your employment goals. Let’s learn more about Eduardo and Taylor!

Eduardo

  • Are you a dog or cat person (or both or neither)?
    • Cat
  • What is the best vacation you ever had?
    • Orlando Universal Studios with my family
  • What fictional place would you like to visit?
    • Singing Towers of Darillium (Doctor Who)

Taylor

  • Are you a dog or cat person (or both or neither)?
    • I am most definitely a cat person! I love them.
  • What is the best vacation you ever had?
    • Best vacation I ever took would be the Black Hills every summer of my life with my family. The Black Hills are the BEST!!!
  • What fictional place would you like to visit?
    • A fictional place I would like to visit would be Hogwarts and Hogsmeade Village from the Harry Potter series.

Come visit Eduardo and Taylor and our Job Center in Sioux Falls, SD. The Job Center hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-noon.

A Welcoming Environment at Goodwill Job Center

After living in Liberia, Mark came to the United States in 2011 looking for better opportunities in life. He spent seven years in Charlotte, NC before moving to Sioux Falls in January 2018.

As any transition, this move came with many challenges. One of those challenges included finding employment. Mark was fortunate to have family and friends to help accommodate his new life in Sioux Falls.

It was one of those family members that told Mark about the Goodwill Job Center. On his first visit to the Job Center he found a welcoming environment, formed new relationships, and found resources about the employers and job opportunities in the area.

Many doors opened for Mark. It wasn’t just a job what Mark found, but the possibility to accomplish his dreams of better opportunities in life through a well-paid job.

Mark is currently working in the Sioux Falls School District. When Mark was asked about what the most important thing he found in the Job Center he answered, “You make jobs available to me. I am always welcome in the Job Center.”

When you make a monetary donation, donate goods, or shop in our stores you are helping support our Job Centers and help individuals like Mark, gain access to employment resources in the community. Our Goodwill Job Centers link job seekers to staff and technology to search and apply for jobs, improve computer skills and access community resources. Each Job Center employs trained staff who look forward to working with you to reach your employment goals. Our Job Center locations are in Sioux City, IA, Storm Lake, IA, Rapid City, SD, and Sioux Falls, SD. The hours of our Job Centers are Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm.