As with just about everything you’ve done for your career as a neurodiagnostic technologist, asking for a raise works best with advance preparation. You want to receive consistent pay increases during your career, so you should always be laying the groundwork that will allow you to successfully ask for your next pay bump.

Here are five tips to help you do that:

1.     Set goals. Your goals should include both plans for improving your skills as a healthcare professional as well as advancing within your organization. Share these goals with your supervisor, then ask for feedback to help you refine your goals and identify steps you can take to achieve them. Go in with a plan, and don’t expect your supervisor to do all the work for you. Instead, be open to suggestions and criticism of your plan – it’s a great way to show that you are a team player and can be flexible.

2.     Communicate your successes. Make sure the people who can make decisions about your career are aware of your accomplishments. If you’ve had the conversation above, you’ve set yourself up to share your wins in a very positive way. A quick note that reads, “Thank you for helping me clarify the steps needed to achieve a, b, c, d, and e. Because of your help, I was able to w, x, y, and z. It feels like a big win and I appreciate your willingness to help me get there.” This approach communicates your success but doesn’t come off as a brag. Even so, when you ask for a raise or promotion, your supervisor will be familiar with your accomplishments because of this communication.

3.     Explain why you deserve a raise. Don’t ask for a pay bump because you need more income, as true as that may be. For every increase in rent or tuition bill for your child, you have a colleague who is saving for a down payment or planning a wedding. Everyone has a reason they “need” more money – it doesn’t set you apart. Ask for a raise because you deserve it based on the value you add to the organization – your skills, accomplishments, and leadership abilities.

4.     Know your worth. If you ask for an additional $10,000 per year, but people in your position don’t normally make more than $4,000 over your current salary, you will not come off favorably. Study employment trends for your job description in your geographic location. Look at salaries on sites like Indeed and PayScale to see how you compare. Understand that the average annual raise for private industry was 3.1 percent in 2019, but for hospitals it was only 2.2 percent. Use these numbers, paired with what those in your position normally make and the demand for those with your skills, to decide how much to ask for. And be specific! Columbia Business School found that precise, rather than rounded, salary requests are viewed more favorably.

5.     Practice your pitch. When the time comes to ask for your raise, rehearse what you are going to say. Ask a friend to help you perfect your delivery and anticipate any questions your supervisor may have. Knowing exactly what you will say and preparing for anticipated questions will help you stay calm and appear more confident in your meeting – two characteristics any boss will be pleased to see.

As you can see, much of this preparation for asking for a raise will help you find success in your career in other ways, too – setting goals, building relationships with your supervisors, and understanding where you add value to the organization. Focusing on these concepts and communicating them clearly will help you get a better raise and do a better job.