The construction industry is not necessarily known for its high wages and advancement opportunities. However, you have put in the time, exceeded expectations, and you want to be compensated fairly. So, when it comes to having that all-important conversation, make sure that you are setting yourself up for success and not making these three all too common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not being strategic about timing

While this first mistake is extremely common, the good news is that it is incredibly easy to address. When asking for a promotion or raise, you need to think about the optimal time. Do not have this conversation before lunch or at the end of the workday – these are times when your manager has something else on his or her mind, and the request will probably not be well received. The best time to ask is before a weekend. Of course, this will depend on the project’s schedule since you may not be on a Monday–Friday work schedule.

And – hopefully, this should go unsaid – do not make this mistake of asking if you have recently been reprimanded or made an error. The best time is right after receiving some praise for your work ethic or a job well done.

Mistake #2: Focusing on the wrong reasons

The amount of time that you have been working with your construction company is not a good enough reason to get a bump in salary or a new job title. Sure, you can use this to support your case, but it should not be your sole reason. Another justification often cited and will not do you any favors is your personal expenses or cost of living – your boss does not care about this. Instead, it would be best if you were focusing on your merit and the value you bring to the company.

Many people also go into this conversation completely unprepared – do not forget to do your research. You should know the national average for your job title, skill set, and professional background. Keep in mind that this can vary by region, so be sure to take this into consideration. There are several online resources that can give you this information.

Mistake #3: Acting unprofessional

Wanting a raise is not an excuse for acting like a brown noser. Your boss will see right through this, and – let me be the first to tell you – it is not a good look. In general, this entire process should be handled professionally. That means not letting emotions take hold of the conversation. There should be no complaining, and at the same time, you should not come across as bragging or being pretentious when stating your case. And, above all, do not give an ultimatum or threaten to leave if you do not get what you want. If you do, the chances are that you will not be in your position for long – and not because you got that promotion you wanted.


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