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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Don’t Let Your Visual Impairment Keep You from Asking for a Pay Raise

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It’s time for your annual work performance appraisal, and you are considering asking your boss for a pay raise. The money talk. It can be uncomfortable, even embarrassing. In some instances, it can be plain awkward and just thinking about it might cause your palms to sweat and your heart to pound.

box gift wrapped in $50 bill

As an individual who is visually impaired, you shouldn’t feel less deserving of a pay raise than your sighted colleagues. You are a hard-working, dedicated employee like them who just happens to be visually impaired. Right? Have you been going to work for the past two years working as hard as you can—glad that you even have a job? Maybe it’s time to consider asking for a pay raise.

Earning an annual raise is not always guaranteed, but if you wait for your supervisor to approach you about the topic, your wallet may never expand. Evaluate your current salary and performance. Once you’ve decided you are deserving of a pay raise, carefully plan how you will ask for a bump in pay beforehand.

Asking for a salary increase in a manner which reflects your professionalism and humility as an employee with vision loss might impact the outcome. Following are some tips for you to consider:

8 Tips to Consider When Asking for a Raise

  1. If your annual performance review is not due, schedule a time to meet with your supervisor about your current salary or wages. This is not a conversation to surprise your supervisor with.

  2. Be aware of your body language and tone of voice while you are meeting with your supervisor. Keep the meeting space to a no-whining and a no-complaining zone. Express an interest in earning more money without appearing greedy or cocky but deserving.

  3. Don’t base your request on "why you need the additional money" such as your troubles paying your mortgage or your student loans piling up. These things don’t relate to your job duties or work performance (unless you’ve let your personal problems negatively impact your performance). A sob story won’t get you a pay raise.

  4. Know your worth and have an amount in mind. Research the salary range others make in your position or the job market. Is your salary keeping up with the cost of living? Did you increase the company’s profits last year? Make sure your expectations for a pay raise are realistic.

  5. If your salary is based on your work performance appraisal, ask if you are eligible for a pay raise. Typically, raises are given to employees who exceed their employer's expectations. Have you gone above and beyond to complete your work duties? Are you paying attention to the details of your work? Be honest with yourself. Do you deserve a pay raise?

  6. Give examples of your performance which validate the additional (not minimum) contributions you have made to your workplace during the past year. State your achievements, your work ethic, and your value to the company, which all demonstrate why you deserve to earn more money.

  7. Be prepared for your supervisor to decline your request for a pay increase. Although you may be naturally disappointed, this is not the time to threaten to quit your job. Instead, ask your supervisor for suggestions on how you can improve your performance. Use the suggestions to stay motivated at work.

  8. A pay raise may not be in your company’s budget this year, but now that you’re on your supervisor’s radar as a deserving candidate, you’ve likely increased your chances of being considered for a raise in the future. Consider asking for rewards (in lieu of a raise) such as a company phone or an extra vacation day. At the end of the day, if you truly feel undervalued as an employee who is visually impaired, it may be time to explore your employment options elsewhere.

While you work to advance in your career as a person who is visually impaired, don’t forget your salary history is equally important as your employment history. If you’ve been making the same salary or hourly wages for several years, it may be indicative your performance at work needs to improve. It may be because you have not asked for a pay raise and complacency has taken over. Whatever the reason, it should not be because you are visually impaired or blind.

Share your positive experiences with asking for a pay raise as a person who is visually impaired by posting a comment. Who knows, you may inspire other readers to have the courage to schedule an appointment with their supervisor.

Money Management Resources for Individuals with Visual Impairment

Money Management

Understanding Paychecks

Interpreting Paystubs

Identifying Money


Topic:
Employment
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