How to Ask for a Raise: 7 Tips and Tricks
You contribute your best effort to the company that you work for, day in and day out. Those efforts positively impact the bottom line, and you know that the work you do is valuable to the overall goals of the business. So, do you think you are being properly compensated for this hard work? Is it time for a raise?
Asking for a raise from your boss can be an intimidating conversation that may be awkward to initiate, especially if your company isn’t just handing out raises. However, asking for a raise is a perfectly normal thing to do, and with the right approach, it doesn’t have to be a difficult discussion. Let’s take a look at a few tips and things to consider when you feel the time has come for you to ask your boss for a raise.
When to Ask for a Raise
Some companies take care of the question of “when” to ask for a raise by tying this consideration into yearly performance reviews. If this is the case, knowing when to ask is just one less thing that you have to consider. However, if this is not the case for you, consider asking for a raise at the end of the fiscal year or around your work anniversary, which are both common times for employees to justify a raise if their company plans to give them one.
Knowing this, it is also helpful to keep in mind when NOT to ask for a raise. This is not a conversation you want to spring on your boss without warning, so don’t ask without first scheduling a meeting and giving them an idea in advance of what you’d like to discuss. You also don’t want to ask when you know that your boss may be in a particularly rushed or distressed headspace. For example, discussing a raise 10 minutes before they have an important meeting is not the best idea. In addition, keep the financial strength of the company in mind when asking; i.e. if your company has initiated spending freezes, or requested tightening of department budgets, an automatic “not right now” is bound to happen instead of waiting for a stronger financial time.
What to Expect When Asking
When you’ve decided to schedule a meeting to talk about increasing your salary, knowing what to expect can help the conversation go smoothly.
Firstly, as we’ve previously discussed, it’s best to give your boss an idea about the conversation that you want to have so that they can be prepared. This way, you can expect the discussion to go as effectively as possible. A good boss knows that an employee asking for a raise is a common and expected thing, so this is not an unusual conversation. If you are prepared – which we will discuss in detail later – and also give your boss time to prepare, you can expect a productive conversation where you get a chance to advocate for yourself and your worth, while also learning about your overall fit within the company.
7 Tips for Asking for a Raise
If you’ve decided to ask for a raise in the near future, we’ve got some bits of information to help you out. Below are 7 tips to keep in mind as you prepare to discuss a raise with your boss:
Understand That it’s a Normal Request
Asking for a raise is a completely normal thing to do, so don’t be worried about coming across as greedy or demanding. As long as you’re asking for a reasonable increase that aligns with your experience, the quality of your work, and what other people in your line of work earn, it will not make you seem money hungry. Part of the reason you have a job in the first place is to make money, and earning raises as you contribute to your company is a natural progression of your career.
Time it Right
As we have discussed, there is a right and a wrong time to ask for a raise. Schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss your salary so that they have ample time to prepare and to help ensure that you are both in the best mindset to talk raises. If your boss seems especially stressed, busy, or preoccupied with other projects, it may be wise to schedule the meeting for another time to make sure that your points are heard and properly considered.
Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
How have you contributed to your company lately? Have you made an especially good impression on a client, completed a large project, and met or exceeded goals that were put in place by yourself or your boss? Document these accomplishments and have them ready to discuss. This way, you have proof of your performance to back up your request for a higher salary. You should be able to provide tangible evidence of your value to the company.
Understand Your Worth
What should someone with your position and your years of experience be earning? It’s time to do some research. Check out job postings for similar positions in your area to see what a typical salary range is to get an idea of fair compensation. You can also consider reaching out to peers in your industry to see if they have any additional information. This information can help as you state your case and specific raise requests to show that what you are asking for is not unusually high or low.
When you know what you are worth and what you could be earning, show some confidence to your boss! Of course, confidence is different than egotism or cockiness. Demonstrating confidence simply means that you are sure of the quality of your work and what that work is worth. This may be difficult to show clearly through nerves, but a good boss who wants to develop their employees will recognize and appreciate the effort to advocate for yourself and your contributions to the company.
Let this conversation act as a chance to show your boss that you genuinely care about and appreciate your job. By starting off the conversation on a positive note, you can create a comfortable atmosphere to foster the discussion while also reaffirming to your boss that you like your job and the company itself. This is a chance to show that you can be diplomatic, professional, and positive at the same time, which will benefit you well beyond the conversation of getting a raise.
It’s possible that your boss won’t have an answer for you right away, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps they need to consult the budget, or they may not have full authority to grant you a raise without first asking someone else that is higher up. Don’t be discouraged if they can’t give you an immediate answer – your boss will appreciate your patience!
Asking for a raise is not always an easy conversation, but if you’ve proven yourself at your company and have established yourself as a valuable employee, don’t be afraid to ask your boss. Remember to be prepared, timely, and confident, and you may find that the discussion is less intimidating than you might have expected.