By Brady Silva, (’09, MA ’11), Senior Research Manager at Bellomy, Winston-Salem, NC

What happens if you get additional, significant responsibilities added to your plate at work but no mention of a raise in salary? Or, perhaps you discover that other coworkers in the same job role make more money than you do. Whether you feel like you’re not being paid adequately for the work that you do, or you feel as though you deserve a salary increase after several years in your current position, asking your supervisor or your organization’s management for a raise can feel intimidating and uncomfortable. Below, Wake Forest alumna Brady Silva (’09, MA ’11) shares three useful tips on asking for the salary that you deserve.

Timing isn’t everything, but it matters.

Brady Silva head shot photo

Brady Silva (’09, MA ’11)

Don’t use “perfect timing” as an excuse to keep putting off the conversation, but do consider it when you ask to have a conversation with your manager about your salary. A particularly stressful time at the company will not work in your favor. Don’t wait until it’s your regularly scheduled review. Having the conversation early enough beforehand allows your manager to move the request through the proper channels and also creates a natural “check-in” to bring the topic up again if you haven’t heard anything.

Show your math.

To the extent possible, research average salaries among positions like yours. In many industries, finding reliable salary data is nearly impossible but asking peers in similar roles and utilizing resources like GlassDoor can give you a ballpark range.

In some industries, you may have better access to numbers related to your account, responsibilities, and billings (if applicable). Create a spreadsheet noting the accounts, services, or programs that you work on and the value they bring to the company, monetarily or otherwise. This exercise will not only help you demonstrate your worth but will also prepare you for the salary conversation and show your manager you’ve put serious thought into your request.

Know your role (and the one above yours).

Use job descriptions for your current role and the one directly above yours to highlight your responsibilities. Focus on your own abilities and discuss how you are meeting (or going beyond) your current job description and identify a few tasks of the next level’s description that you are already doing or are learning. Share any praises or accolades from clients or colleagues that you might have. You may also have previous performance reviews that can be used to measure your growth against. Finally, if self-reviews are not already part of your job requirements, conduct an honest review of your work and how you are meeting and/or exceeding expectations.

Go into the meeting with confidence in your value and the data to back it up. Good luck!

Want more tips and resources for salary negotiation and tricky work/money situations? Check out these career advice pieces from The Muse!