If it seems like everything is costing a little (a lot) more, you’re right. In fact, households in the Mountain West are paying an extra $500 each month for expenses over the previous year, according to a March 2022 report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. Mainly due to home and rental prices, inflation in Utah and the surrounding states is the highest in the nation — 9% compared to the 7.5% national average.

With your dollars being stretched, and not much change in sight, it makes sense to start thinking about a larger paycheck. But how do you convince your employer to agree? KSL Jobs offers suggestions on how to negotiate a raise. 

Plan Ahead 

Lobbying for a pay increase can begin long before you formally talk with your supervisor. Start laying the groundwork now. During one-on-one meetings, bring up the topic. After talking about a successful project, for example, you could say, “I’m really enjoying being able to contribute. In the future, I’d like to discuss what I can do to advance here.” If your manager seems receptive, feel comfortable planning for a serious discussion later. If the reaction is tepid, it’s probably better to hold off for a while.

Evaluate

Unfortunately, simply wanting a bigger paycheck is not usually enough to justify one. Before heading to your supervisor’s office, consider if your performance is worth a raise. Employers who are satisfied with your efforts — or even better, impressed — are much more likely to agree. So, set aside your fears of honest introspection and do a self evaluation.

 

  • Have you reached performance goals? List specifics and data showing your success.
  • Are those who rely on you satisfied with your work? Create a folder of positive feedback.
  • Are you a team player when needed? Note your part in collaborations.
  • What are you doing well? Write down your accomplishments.
  • Where could you improve? Are you working on it? Detail progress you’ve made.

 

Employers want to invest in and retain employees who are clearly helping the company succeed, so highlight the ways you are that person. 

Be Strategic

Besides waiting until your supervisor is in a good mood, is there an ideal time to ask for a raise? Generally speaking, it’s best to wait at least one year since your last pay increase. There may be exceptions, though. For example, if your job responsibilities have changed significantly in recent months, it may be appropriate to ask sooner.

There is another factor to consider: How is the business faring? Has it been adversely affected by inflation in Utah as well? If the business is not meeting its goals financially, pay hikes may be the last thing on management’s mind. However, if goals are being met and the company is growing, they may be open to your request.

Get Real

When negotiating for a bigger paycheck, have realistic expectations. What is the average pay range for your position in Utah? Are your wages far below or above that? Comparing your salary with someone in California or New York will likely bring disappointment. Moreover, many local companies may not be able to afford those higher wages. Do a check of what the salary range in your industry is here, and ask accordingly. 

Hint: Saying you want to be paid “more” is a bit vague. Bring a specific number to the table so your employer knows what you’re looking for. 

Prove It

Just as when you applied for the job, come armed with data to show you are a valuable member of the company.

 

  • Are you a good employee? Compile a file of compliments or commendations you’ve received.
  • What jobs have you done well? Prepare a list of specific accomplishments to back up your claim.
  • How will you contribute in the future? Share ideas on how you can improve sales, bring in more clients, etc.
  • What’s in it for your employer? Consider why they would want to give you a raise. Are you worth investing in?

 

Make sure your manager knows you’re negotiating for more pay because you have earned it, not simply because you’re trying to deal with inflation in Utah. 

Show Time

When you feel prepared, take a deep breath and step into the ring, er, your supervisor’s office. Remember, demanding more money is not how to get a raise. And you certainly aren’t there to beg. Instead, you are two adults negotiating a deal that will make both of you happy. 

Keep your presentation clear and to the point. Briefly discuss how you have contributed to the team, and perhaps why you enjoy working there. Be sure to include how you are committed to the organization and will continue to help in its success. This tells the employer why you are valuable. 

Then add, “I feel I have performed well. Would you consider looking at my salary to see if the company could increase it to X dollars?” Seeing your contributions will help your manager recognize your work, and thus be more willing to reciprocate.

Success

Asking for higher pay isn’t difficult once you learn how to negotiate a raise; it just takes some evaluating and planning. Putting a little extra time into your effort will be worth it when you can show you’ve earned it. Visit KSL Jobs to check on salaries for similar positions in your industry. Then follow these guidelines to improve the chances of increasing your paycheck.