How To Ask For A Raise

Categories Lifestyle

Six tips for supersizing your salary.

1.Because You’re Worth It

Are you being paid what you’re worth? Could you get more at another company? Be honest with yourself. But if you’re genuinely worth more than you’re getting, start preparing to make that argument to your boss in a respectful and constructive fashion. To do some groundwork, ask other employees, the HR department or even your boss him/herself what criteria is involved with getting a pay boost at your company. Are salary reviews annual? What’s the typical pay increase? Are they tied to individual performance?


2. Know Your Facts & Figures

By which we mean know you much you’re being paid compared with your past salary, your peers and the workforce and economy in general. How long have been working for the company? What salary did you start on? Where are you now? What has the increase in your salary been over that period, both in dollars and as a percentage? How much is that adjusted to inflation and set against comparable peers in the company or industry-wide? Most salary increases aren’t tied to a threat to leaving the company so don’t play that card unless you’re sure you can get a job elsewhere. Instead, salary increases are usually tied to a valued employee’s performance, so be sure you know what you’ve achieved. How have your responsibilities increased? How has your performance improved? Keep or make a list of what you’ve done for your company. Don’t expect your boss to know every sales target you’ve hit or metric you’ve met. You should have that information at your fingertips.

3. Make & Choose Your Time

Choose your timing carefully. Wandering into your boss’s office during a period of stress and saying, “Hey, got a minute to talk about money?” is the worst approach. You want your boss to be calm and to have time to consider what you’re saying. Avoid Monday mornings, Friday afternoons and busy periods. The best approach is to make an appointment with your salary nominated as the subject for discussion. Timing this request for a meeting is also important. Don’t make it before an especially busy period or right before the boss is due to go away for a conference. Consider timing as it relates to your employment.  Something along the lines of “I’ve been here for three years in August and I’d like the chance to discuss my performance and salary before my annual review…” is respectful but also forthright. Doing it in advance of your annual review also gives your employer time to reflect on your request and consult the budget. Don’t be fobbed off with a vague: “Let’s talk about that in a few months”. You need to ensure the boss realises he/she needs to discuss this with you at a specific time in the near future.


4. Be Clear, Confident & Calm

During the meeting, outline your achievements, what you’ve learned about peer salaries, what your salary is and where you believe it should be. Remember the three Cs: clear (because you know your facts and figures), confident (because your performance demonstrates you’re worth it) and calm (because this is a business transaction and the worst the boss can say is no).

5. Have A Number In Mind

Be realistic without undervaluing yourself. If anything, aim a little higher than you’d be prepared to accept because it gives you bargaining space. The discussion can go one of two ways and both have advantages: you can name a new salary when asked, which shows confidence; or you can wait until your boss makes an offer, which might be higher than you’d hoped. Whichever way it goes, be prepared to negotiate, whether it’s the remuneration or extra responsibilities you take on. Also be prepared to wait for a final answer—very few bosses are going to commit to you there and then. But do ask when you can expect a decision.

6. Yes, No or Go

If you get your raise, be grateful and ask when it will commence and how it’ll be confirmed. If your boss says no, don’t let that be the last word. Asking “Can we revisit this in three months?” or “Can we discuss my salary path here?” are both ways to let him/her know this is an ongoing negotiation. Tendering your resignation is also a perfectly valid response, given you’re confident of being paid what you’re worth elsewhere.