10 Things To Never Say When Asking For A Raise Or When You Get One
Asking for a raise is never exactly comfortable given that money tends to be a taboo conversation topic. While it may seem awkward, being prepared for the scenario is essential, and remembering things you shouldn't say when asking for a raise certainly helps the process go a little more smoothly.
According to U.S. News, almost 60 percent of workers don't ask for a raise at all. While there could be a lot of factors involved (i.e. your company might not have enough money), requesting higher income shouldn't be something you're afraid to do because simply because it's uncomfortable. If you go into a meeting about your pay 100 percent prepared, then it's good to know the things you should avoid saying. That way you don't have to worry about saying the wrong thing. By being particular with your words, you can better your chances of receiving more money. To understand exactly what someone shouldn't say when asking for a raise, I talked with Cary Siegel, author of Why Didn't They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By. Siegel as directly managed over 100 people (plus indirectly managed over thousands) in his career. And because 44 percent of people receive raises when they ask for one, Siegel also informed me what not to say when you actually do get a raise.
What Not To Say When You're Asking For A Raise
1. "I'm leaving if you don't give me a raise."
While threatening to leave your job might seem like a good idea because your boss might actually take you seriously, it might do more harm in the long run. "This rarely works and puts you in a bad spot. If you don't get one, you better not be bluffing. If you do get one, your boss may have developed some ill will towards you. They may not trust you anymore and will most likely start looking for a replacement (since once someone threatens to leave, there is a high likelihood they will in the next year)," says Siegel
2. "I'm better than a coworker or someone in another department."
Even though you (and your boss) might know this to be true, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to be flaunting this information when you're asking for a raise. "Don't compare yourself to others. Stand on your own achievements and accomplishments. Besides, you have no idea what your boss's perception of your co-worker is," says Siegel.
3. "I can do your job."
"Full frontal assaults on the boss never work. You'll be surprised at how often this approach is used," says Siegel. Your boss is your superior for a reason. The last thing they want to hear when you're asking for more money is how you can do their job. Instead, focus on your skills and show them proof why you deserve this raise.
4. "This company needs me more than I need it."
If you want to jump on the arrogant train, saying this phrase will send you straight to fire island. "This one never works and only results in friction between you and your boss (and anyone else who hears it)," says Siegel
5. "I need a raise because my expenses are high."
"This is just one statement that uses personal circumstances when asking for a raise. It could be more specific like my wife is sick or I need a bigger house. Believe it or not, this is often used. And it is totally irrelevant. You may think it helps because your boss will feel sorry for you. A boss may sympathize with you, but it won't help in your quest for a raise. As a matter of fact, it makes you look immature. Many young/inexperienced workers actually use this tact early in their career. And I've actually had several seasoned veterans try the same ploy," says Siegel.
Even though you may have a lot going on in your personal life, this doesn't mean it has anything to do with your body of work. Sometimes in life (and especially when asking for a raise), you might want to keep those two worlds separate.
What Not To Say When You Do Get A Raise
6. "I deserve it."
Yes, you probably worked your butt off to get a raise, but that doesn't give you the right to receive a higher pay automatically. If your boss gives you more money, just shake their hand and thank them. "Be humble when you receive your raise. Even if you deserve it, don't say it. People dislike arrogance and showing it at any time at the workplace does you a disservice. And, importantly, show your gratitude," says Siegel.
7. "I don't deserve it."
"You deserve the raise, but when you act as if you don't deserve it, your boss will either believe you're being phony, or worse, will think twice when it's the next time to give raises," says Siegel. While being arrogant is not the route you want to take when asking or receiving a raise, you definitely don't want to undermine yourself, either. Take pride in how hard you worked to get this raise, and don't make you boss think otherwise. According to Time, senior executive director of HR consulting company Robert Half Paul McDonald said, “It’s common for people to tie their self-worth with their salary."
8. "It barely covers my increased expenses."
"How you spend your money (or overspend) is not a consideration. Nor should it be brought up. Never, ever say this when you are getting a pay raise," says Siegel. Now that you have received your raise, the last thing you want to do is nit pick at it. Instead of criticizing the amount you've been given, try to be grateful that you've received one. While you may have been hoping for more money, you don't want to be immature to the whole situation by complaining about it.
9. "After taxes, it's not that much."
Taxes are truly a pain in the butt. It might seem like you're getting a lot of money, but in reality, taxes are taking a good chunk of your raise. But even if that is the case, you need to try not to be greedy while negotiating your raise. "Again, be grateful. I can't begin to tell you how many people say that even when they are getting significant raises," says Siegel.
10. "No, thank you."
If you're offered a raise, but know that you're leaving for another job, it's best to be upfront with your boss instead of just telling them that you don't want the offer. "I had one person say that because they knew they were leaving the company and resigned the next week," says Siegel. If you expect direct communication from them, it's the right thing to do to provide it as well.
Asking for a raise is never easy: You need to make sure you have enough proof to show you earned your raise while not getting personal about the situation. While you know you deserve a raise, try not to say these phrases so you have a better chance of receiving one.