If you are acting as a caregiver for an elderly person you deserve to be well compensated for your time, experience, and skills. As with any other field, when you decide it's time to bring up a raise with your boss, there are some things you should consider and some preparations to make before you have the big conversation. Proper preparation and planning can help you put your best foot forward and increase your chances of success.

Know the market

Probably the first and foremost thing you should do is spend time researching your field to determine what other caregivers of comparable education and experience are making. Frequently people fail to do this and end up leaving money on the table. If you have taken the time to look into the market for people with your skill set and education, you will be better prepared to negotiate a new salary. Further, you will help put your mind at ease because you will know that you deserve to be paid a certain amount and you should not feel bad asking for the appropriate level of compensation. Finally, doing your research before you approach the boss can pay off in other ways: your boss may very well be impressed with your initiative and may be willing to grant you a larger increase than he or she had otherwise planned.

Know what you bring to the table

Remember that your boss is working with a budget...

In addition to knowing the market rate for people with your education and experience, you should be prepared to show your boss exactly what it is that you contribute to the company. If you have taken on special projects or worked with a particularly difficult patient, don't be afraid to point that out. If you can demonstrate to your boss that you bring unique value to the company he or she will be more likely to grant you a larger raise. Remember that your boss is working with a budget and any raise that he or she grants will need to be justified, either to his or her supervisor or to the company's board of directors. So do your part to give your boss the ammunition he or she needs to justify your pay increase.

List your plans

In addition to presenting your boss with a historical track record of what you have done, be sure to let him or her know what you will be doing in the future in order to maximize your value to the organization. Every little piece of weight you add to your side of the scale improves your chances of landing a larger raise.

Maintain a positive attitude

While your boss probably would like to pay all of his or her employees at the market rate or even higher, sometimes reality interferes with this. Due to circumstances beyond his or her control, remember that there is always the possibility that your boss will not be able to grant you a raise even if he or she wants to. The organization's budget simply may not allow for more spending on payroll at the time. If this is your situation, be sure that you keep a positive attitude. This will help you in a few ways: first, your boss will be more likely to favorably remember your request when the money finally does come in; second, if you decide that it's time to look elsewhere for employment, your current boss can be a very valuable reference for you, so you don't want to spoil that by having a bad attitude.

Summary

Working as a caregiver is a career that is both challenging and rewarding. As a professional caregiver, you deserve to be adequately compensated for your time and expertise. There are a few things you can do in advance to increase your chances of landing that helpful raise. With the proper preparation and presentation of your case, you stand a better chance of getting a "yes" from your boss.

Sources

Messmer, M. (May 1999). How to Ask for a Raise. Strategic Finance 80(11): 12-14. Available at http://search.proquest.com/openview/a411d617e74a0b45d6552e48e4c35053/1?pq-origsite=gscholar. Last visited January 8, 2016.

Forbes.com. (November 5, 2015). How to Ask for a Raise. Available at http://www.forbes.com/sites/rent/2015/11/05/how-to-ask-for-a-raise/. Last visited January 8, 2016.

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