Welcome to Episode #1 of Engineering Career TV. The topic for this episode is Asking for a Raise at Work with Confidence.
You can submit questions for the show by clicking here.
Let’s jump into today’s topic which is Asking for a Raise at Work with Confidence?
The topic is based on a question from Kevin, a recent graduate and asks the following:
Q: My question is about how to ask for a raise or bonus. I have been working for a small consulting firm for about a year and half and decided to go ahead and sit for the PE exam in Kentucky (you can do that at this age there). Well, I passed! I feel like I deserve some kind of raise or bonus to reward my hours of studying and ability to actually pass the test even though I still need another 2 years of experience to obtain my license. How should I go about asking for a raise or bonus, how much should I ask for, and how much should I expect? Thank you!
A: Alright Kevin this is a tricky question, because one could make a case that you really haven’t earned your engineering license yet since you have a year and a half of experience still to go. That being said, I don’t think it would be seen as crazy to ask for a raise here. This is what I would recommend.
First of all, you should be learning a lot at this point in your engineering career, so if you are learning a lot from this engineering company there’s value there and you don’t want to damage your relationship with the company this early on.
What I would recommend in this situation is more of an asking approach as opposed to a demanding approach. I might say something to my supervisor like, “I just passed the PE exam, now while I still have to get another year and a half experience before I actually get my license, I was wondering if the company ever rewarded employees for these types of career milestones like passing the PE exam?”
See what kind of response he or she gives you and then you can chart out your next steps. They may say yes and then start the process, or they may say no and then you have to decide what the absolute best next step is going to be for you short and long-term. And if they do say NO, what I would recommend is that you put together an email request that has some data and some back up on why you think you should be rewarded. How does this action benefit the company long-term? I think you can make a case for it, but you just have to be very careful because this is early on with the company for you and you just want to learn as much as possible and not create friction in the workplace.
In the video above, I talk about some more strategies for asking for a raise in any situation.
I hope you found the first episode of Engineering Career TV helpful, remember you can click here and submit your question, and also click here and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see future episodes.
This show is for you and I want you to take advantage of it.
If you would like to discuss issues like this and other engineering career goals and challenges I invite you to join The Engineering Mastermind – an online support community we have created for engineers.
What questions do you have about asking for a raise at work?
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success