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How to Ask for a Raise and Get One

Posted on by Erin | in Nannies

In an economic climate that’s still somewhat troubling and a highly competitive job market within the private childcare industry, asking for a raise can be a challenging prospect. Even if you’re only looking for a routine cost of living increase, coming to your employers with a request for a raise requires a well thought-out approach and no small measure of finesse. These tips can help you walk away from a meeting with the raise you so sorely need without damaging your relationship with your employers or risking replacement.

Know When to Broach the Subject

There are appropriate times to ask for a raise and times when you aren’t so likely to succeed; the key to successfully obtaining a salary increase is the ability to understand the difference. Requests for a raise after a few months of employment or a less than stellar review aren’t as likely to be as successful as one that’s submitted after a glowing annual review. Before you ask for a salary increase or an overall upgrade to your compensation package, consider the timing of your request. Have you been at your post for a significant amount of time with no mention of a raise? Was your last performance review a positive one overall? Well-timed requests are almost always more successful, so be sure that you’re paying close attention. As a general rule, you probably shouldn’t approach your employers for a raise if you’ve received one since the last contract renewal or performance review.

Have Solid Figures in Hand

It’s important to be well-prepared and equipped with solid figures in hand before you approach your employers for a salary increase. If you’re basing your request on a serious discrepancy between your current rate of pay and that of other area nannies with a comparable skill base

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and experience, you’ll need to be able to show them that discrepancy. Vaguely alluding to a need for more money without a firm stance or even a notion of your financial expectations is just asking to be turned down. Show that you’re committed to the post and very satisfied with the current arrangement, but that you do need a quantifiable increase.

Be Prepared to Justify Your Request

Unless you’re just finishing a performance review in which your employers heaped you with compliments and expressed their satisfaction in glowing terms, you’ll need to arrive to a meeting with them prepared to justify your request for a raise. There’s more to earning a raise than showing up on time and more or less meeting the expectations of your employers; you should be exceeding them. If your list of responsibilities has increased since the last update to your written work agreement but your salary hasn’t changed, don’t be afraid to address those new duties. Provide your employers with specific instances in which you’ve exceeded their standards or with ways that you feel that you’ve earned your raise. Presenting them with a detailed proposal, in writing, will not only give you the opportunity to keep your thoughts straight during the meeting, but also provide your employers with a visual aide.

Make Requests, Not Demands

It’s not unheard of for nannies to continue working for less than they feel they’re worth out of fear that they’ll lose their post altogether. When you approach a reasonable employer with a realistic proposal, however, you’re not likely to lose your job. The danger of finding yourself out of a job comes when you make haughty demands for a raise, not a simple request. Stay positive, professional and very respectful throughout your conversation, even when you feel that it may not be going your way. In the end, your attitude will determine your success, or lack thereof.

Realize That Negotiation is Key

You may have a figure in mind that you feel is fair, but you should also be prepared to negotiate a bit. A rigid attitude or stubborn refusal to accept a penny less than you’re asking for is a good way to fail spectacularly. Furthermore, you should exercise extreme caution when presenting your employers with an ultimatum. When faced with an aggressive nanny who’s threatening to leave if she doesn’t get her way, they may feel that it’s simpler in the long run to call that bluff and find a childcare provider who is more understanding.

Working in someone else’s home, caring for their children and assisting in the running of the household can create some complications in terms of professional and personal boundaries. Still, you must look at your relationship with your employers from a professional standpoint, especially when you’re asking for a raise. Avoid the temptation to take advantage of the more personal aspects of your relationship in an attempt to obtain a raise, as that can be perceived as manipulative behavior. Keep things professional, clear and concise and you’re sure to walk away with a bigger bank account.

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