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Do I Deserve A Raise?
October 25, 2016

By Mary Barefoot,

So you’re thinking about asking for a raise. Good for you! But first, ask yourself before you end up rejected and feeling defeated: do I deserve a raise? That’s a loaded question, one that can’t simply be understood unless you understand the context of asking for a raise. Here are a few other questions to consider before you take a deep breath and head for your manager’s office.

Are professionals in my line of work being paid more than me?

Quick answer, yes! Someone somewhere is making more money than you, doing your exact same job. It’s the truth. Looking at agricultural employee compensation for almost 10 years now, I can tell you that not everyone is making the same thing. In fact, sometimes I am surprised to see the variation that exist within our industry or even within the same company.

However, not every employee deserves a raise based on the most recent salary data. I know from an employee’s perspective, it seems like an easy problem to resolve. The internet says your salary should be this much and you want to make at least that much, preferably more. After all, you are worth a lot to the company and are obviously irreplaceable. While this may be true, companies usually put a lot of effort into compensation and utilize tools to ensure that you are being fairly paid. Companies must take into account many variables, like location, performance, years of experience, company size, the scope of the role, etcetera that translate into a final number.

So do you deserve a raise? The answer is maybe; if based on the data you are underpaid considering the standards of other professionals within similar size and scope.

Has anyone noticed how hard I am working?

Sure, people notice you stay late, but they’ll notice you even more if you are delivering results. Employers will often reward employees with an increase if they are working beyond what they are reasonably expected to do. While companies may not always be able to reward this type of behavior due to budget constraints, when possible, they will pay for performance. This means that star players who exceed the norm get the most reward and status quo doesn’t get as much. It’s also not about working harder but rather smarter. Logging long hours or filling your day with unlimited tasks does not automatically equal extra pay.

One thing you must ask yourself, am I working hard to benefit my employer? We are all guilty of doing things that we want to take on that are not the priorities of our employer and will never be compensated for. Where we can excel is working to truly increase our employers value which will increase our value as employees.

Do they know how much more I’ve taken on?

They may have forgotten that the reason you are doing your own filing is because Barb was fired two years ago and the temp they hired to help out quit after two weeks. Filing may not be noteworthy enough but sometimes additional duties coupled with proven performance in a role may be grounds for more green. Due to the ever-changing workplace employees are constantly taking on new responsibilities as companies merge, grow and contract, people come and go. This usually means that you’ll have a project or two thrown in your lap over the years. But don’t expect extra work outside of your original job description to qualify for a raise. Remember that disclaimer “and other duties as assigned.” As an employee gains confidence in their role they are assigned more, then new projects, and extra projects.  This type of professional growth is worth more to you than just dollars and cents. Though at some point your growth and experience will warrant a bump in pay. If you are diligent with the projects you are entrusted with, even the small ones, you may be deserving of that next pay level.

So, now do you think you deserve a raise? Then go ahead and head to your manager’s office. You can do it!

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