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InquisitiveSage's avatar

What is the sweet spot when asking for a raise?

Asked by InquisitiveSage (61points) March 12th, 2016

My first review is coming up soon! I recently graduated from college and started work as an engineer.

My entire team is filled with hard workers, but I feel that I have already taken on roles and responsibilities outside of my own. I have many examples of how I have directly impacted the bottom line and even taken on a supervisory role for certain projects. My manager also put me in charge of a specific process where I am responsible for giving tasks and assignments to my coworkers. I am not meaning to sound arrogant, but instead prefacing this question by explaining that I am not just asking for a raise at my first review out of the blue. I really have been working above and beyond my role and expectations and have already done a lot for the company that I feel would warrant a raise.

My question is what is the correct amount to ask for raise wise? As a company baseline, one of my coworkers who has been with the company for around 2 years received an 8 percent raise after his first year and experienced another raise with a promotion a couple of months ago and will probably receive another with reviews from our manager coming up.

I currently make around 70K and would really like to make around 80K. This would be around a 14% raise. I am scared that this would be asking too much. I do feel I’ve earned a raise, but I don’t really know how much. I am fresh out of college and really don’t know how raises and salary negotiation work.

What is too much or too little? How do I ask?

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5 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Nothing is easier than grading yourself…that said my advice would be to not ask for a raise this early in the game. A review is a golden opportunity to “listen” to what your supervisor has to comment on your performance and if they feel you are the cream that has risen to the top then your stellar performance should be acknowledged by a raise and if and only if they feel you are deserving.

Making 70K right out of college tells me you are in a very competitive line of work and if the company you are working for does not value your work ethic and production at the level you expect…then I would put feelers out and have another option/offer in your back pocket before you ask for a raise. Again your expectations may not rise to the level of your employers perception of your contribution to the company.

Good luck and I hope you make 6 figures before you are 25.

Jaxk's avatar

I would second what @Cruiser said but there are a lot of vaibles that come into play. How well is the company doing? what is your pay in relation to your peers? Typically a company will provide salary increase guidelines during the budget process and if you get more, someone else gets less. Knowing where you stand from your bosses point of view is critical and it doesn’t always conform to your own evaluation.

zenvelo's avatar

Do you know what the range is for your salary grade? Your manager can’t recommend a raise out of your grade range, and probably won’t want to give you a raise too high where there is no room for a raise later.

If you know the range, shoot for 75th percentile.

InquisitiveSage's avatar

@Cruiser That is very true. Grading myself is something I hate doing because I don’t want to ever grade myself too highly, but then I don’t want to grade myself too low for fear that it could influence someone else’s opinion. I appreciate that wish of 6 figures! I wish! That is the goal haha! And I totally agree that listening should be my prime objective! Thank you for the help!

@Jaxk The company is doing very well. As far as my peers, I was told that I was started with the highest salary allowable by HR for my role. I am just unsure of what the actual complete range is. As far as my boss’s opinion. He is always telling me I am a leader and doing very well among the group. I hope that I am able to get a good increase!

@zenvelo Unfortunately I don’t know the range. Is it acceptable to ask HR for the information? How does one go about getting that info? Thank you

Jaxk's avatar

@InquisitiveSage – If the company is doing well, that improves your chances of a good raise. If you are at the top of your salary range and/or one of the highest paid, that reduces your chances. You can compare your salary to industry averages at sites like this? That may give you an idea of where you stand. You can always google salaries by job descrition to get more.

Just a note. When I got out of the service I took a job as a field engineer. I didn’t know it at the time but the salary I negotiated made me the highest paid field engineer in the company. For the nex few years I got glowing revues and low raises while they moved me back into the normal salary range. Not trying to sound negative, just realistic. If you know what the job is worth with the salary averages. you can better understand your options.

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