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How to Ask for Above the Minimum Wage

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Negotiating successfully is a task that requires some time and effort. When negotiating for an increase in wages above minimum wage, you must be prepared to persuade your boss into believing you are worth more money and that you bring something to the organization that most others cannot or will not. One thing to remember when asking for higher wages: you won't earn more if you do not ask.

Research how much other companies are paying for your position. Review classified ads in your area for similar positions and experience. Ask co-workers who have been at the company longer if they can disclose how quickly they received a raise, if possible. Some companies prohibit employees from discussing wages earned. Determine the amount above the minimum wage that you would like to earn. Be careful not to ask for more than what is standard unless you are exceptional so you are not turned down without your boss considering your request.

Create a list of accomplishments you have made with the company. If this is a new position, list accomplishments made with your previous employer. List the things you have done and what benefit you believe the company has made from your contributions. List the reasons you believe you contribute more to the company than most other employees. When writing your lists, be careful not to come across as being too good for the company. You want to showcase what you have to offer and what you have already brought to the company, but don't appear as if you are bragging.

Practice asking for additional money with a friend or co-worker. Have the other person review your notes to see if she has any input. Avoid using personal issues as a reason for the raise. Your goal is to show that you bring enough to the company to warrant a higher wage.

Ask your boss if you can speak to him and try to schedule a time. You should not plan on taking more than a few minutes of his time. Arrange a time at the beginning of the day when he is fresh and may be more open. Asking at the end of a business day is often a time when everyone is tired from a long day. This is not conducive to getting a raise.

Tell him you appreciate the time and that you wish to discuss earning a higher wage. Explain your reasons. Do not drag the conversation on. Lay your points on the line and tell him the amount you wish to earn. Explain why you think you are worth this money and what you plan to bring to the position. If you are denied the raise, be polite. Ask your boss what you can do in the future to earn a raise and take that advice with you as you move forward.


Living in Denver, Lynndee Marooney has been writing finance and credit-related articles, guides, manuals and e-books for private companies since 1995. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Bachelor of Science in finance from the University of Maryland. She enjoys counseling clients who are experiencing financial difficulties.

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