Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.-Michael Jordan
Money. For a lot of people, it’s an awkward subject, even though it shouldn’t be. As a college student who will be entering the job market soon, I think about money pretty often — usually because I’m wishing I had more of it.
Most Americans seem to feel the same way. The majority of this country is middle class or working class, and most of us would certainly love to have a few extra dollars at the end of the month whether we absolutely need it to put food on the table or we just want to have enough money to go on a nice vacation this year. The thing is, a lot of people are afraid to do one major thing: Ask for more money.
While many people are afraid to ask for more money from bosses or institutions, I would argue that it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. Once you learn how to ask, it’s extremely easy and you’ll often be met with respect for knowing what you’re worth and taking advantage of the resources around you.
3 Times When You Should Ask For More Money
You’re Getting An Internship
Over a month ago I was offered my dream internship in NYC. The internship was paid, but I knew it wasn’t enough to cover the costs of flying to New York, paying for housing, feeding myself, and more.When you’re an intern, the pay is pretty much set in stone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get extra money from somewhere! Since I knew I couldn’t cover the expenses myself, I started scouring my university’s various websites — particularly the financial aid office website and the website for my specific department (the journalism school). I quickly found that there’s lots of grants available for students who plan to intern in other cities during the summer. Most of these grants only require a short application, and the payoff is thousands of dollars. By simply filling out a few forms, I was able to double the amount of pocket money I would have over the course of the summer and I won’t have to worry about running out of cash for food or travel.
If you are currently searching for an internship, will be soon, or know someone in that situation, make sure you’re regularly checking university websites so you can find relevant grants. Having a little extra cash can be the difference between interning at your dream company in Los Angeles or staying home to wait tables.
You Just Got A New Job
I don’t think you should ask for a promotion right after you get hired, but I do think you should make sure that your employer knows your intentions and expectations. A lot of people avoid discussing salaries during the interview process because they don’t want to seem too forward. Personally, I think you should not only ask how much the job pays, but also ask how long it takes the average employee to receive a promotion or a pay increase. Your boss should know that you expect to have upward mobility from your original position and that you intend to do well enough in your job to deserve a raise at some point. If you seem content working at entry level, people will be slower to promote you. At some companies, it isn’t enough to just do a great job every day, you also have to ask the right questions and give off the right vibe. Asking your employer about what you should expect concerning mobility within the company will show that you respect the current position you’re in, but don’t intend to stay there forever.
You’ve Been Working At The Same Company For A While
A lot of people who have been working at the same company for multiple years feel awkward asking for a raise. Maybe you feel like the moment has passed, maybe you feel taken for granted, maybe you can’t figure out the right time. Whatever the reason, you can look online and see how much the average person in your job title makes. If you fall below average and you’re doing a great job consistently, ask for more money!
Of course, asking for a raise is a delicate process. Going into a negotiation meeting with your boss, you should have statistics to back up your claim that you aren’t making as much as others in your field or other reasons why you deserve more money. Some reasons could include increasing living expenses (like increasing housing costs in your area or a baby on the way), your consistent successes at work (maybe you have done really well on some projects in the last several months or you hooked some big clients), or your workload keeps growing and your pay stays the same. If you’ve been working in a specific position for a couple of years and a new hire in that position is offered the same salary…you should probably ask for more.
So, in summary, if you want more money, all you need to do is ask. Chances are, the money is available, but only to those who declare they want it.