I’ve been with my family now for over a year. We didn’t discuss a raise structure when I was hired and I don’t have a contract (now I know better!) I’d like to ask for a raise but I don’t know how.
Tisk. Tisk! It is unnecessary for me to express the importance of a contract, because you are surely feeling the brunt of that now. The only way to gracefully have a conversation about a raise is to be open about it. As always, be intentional about wanting to sit down and have a conversation. Don’t curtail the importance of a conversation by having it “in passing.”
If you haven’t already, you need to clarify for yourself what type of raise structure reflects the nature of the work you have been doing. Do your homework. There are plenty of credible resources out there providing widely used models. Also, be sure to think deeply about why you are asking for a raise. Do you need more money? Has the nature of the work changed in a way that warrants an increase in compensation? Are you unhappy? Happiness is a key component to asking for a raise. Timing is everything, and there is wide agreement on asking for a raise during a time of happiness, not discontent with your job.
Bring these to the negotiation table, and be prepared to settle for what your second best may be. It is important to know your worth, your financial goals, and what you value out of the relationship.
Here is a statement of purpose that may help you get going:
I would like to talk with you about the upcoming year. I think it is important that we design a contract together, capturing some of last year’s experiences to reflect the scope of work. I am reaching a point where I would like to be more thoughtful about planning for a financially stable future and was hoping you would be open to discussing a raise.
I have prepared a few samples of what this looks like from my perspective. I started with a simple “cost of living” model, based off of our area’s increase percentage.
I appreciate you brainstorming with me. I have always felt strongly about our working relationship.
It is important to remember that raises are a normal part of the employer/employee dynamic. They are also just conversations between two people. Stay calm, and remember to close your mouth and listen to the other side when they want to respond. You may be surprised.
Don’t forget to speak to what type of raise is important to you, and why. If you can articulate those goals to your employer, your chances are much higher. I highly recommend ending this conversation with how to describe the raise structure you choose in your new contract.
Kay is a tried and true adventurer who has honed her communication skills through 3 languages, global travel, higher education, and a whole lot of work. She started off as a nanny abroad for a family of 5 that evolved into 9, and gradually strengthened those skills with a bachelor’s in Communication Studies and a master’s in Conflict Resolution.
Kay is an advocate of proactive personal development and intentional communication. Her work in community development and engagement has primed her to dig deep into tough issues, which we find to be relevant to the work we do with our families. Her tenure on the executive board of a large corporation as the Organizational Development Director seasons her to identify and work through tough issues.
Kay is an active listener and an exceptional writer. We believe her to have the ideal skill-set to serve our nannies and families in working through the dynamic and pressing questions they encounter along the way.
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