How to Ask for a Raise

Are you unsure about how to ask for a raise? These tips might help!

Awhile ago we wrote an article on Negotiating a Job Offer (or anything else you want). Now that you’ve had the job awhile you might be feeling that a raise is in order.

The fine art of negotiation is a learned skill–so don’t feel bad if you need to brush up on yours in this department. The majority of us don’t come across too many situations where we have to study this and practice it–but if you do–you might just get what you want.

The following is a list of things that might help you achieve success when you ask for a raise. We are always looking for ways to help our readers and clients, so if you have anything to add to this list, please share in the comments. It is much appreciated.

Tips for Asking for a Raise

You have to ask

This may seem obvious–or not–but if you are waiting around for your boss to notice all the amazing things you are doing, this is not the best strategy. Some employers have a very specific plan laid out for employees that include regular reviews, raises and promotions. However, this is not really the norm for most jobs. Most often, you will have to actually ask for a raise.  If the thought of this makes you sweat, keep reading.

Timing is everything

A good rule of thumb is to wait to ask for a raise until you have worked at a business for at least a year. Even if you are killing it, beating all your sales goals, raking in the new clients, and just running circles around your co-workers.  If the company doesn’t conduct annual reviews, ask for one anyway. This can be a great door opener to broach the subject of a raise. More on that in a minute.

If you have been there more than a year  you are good to go. Another good milestone is a year from the last time you were giving a raise and/or promotion. Stay the course.

Come to the Table Prepared

You will be prepared because you are reading this article. Here are some things to think about and jot down in order to state your case for your well-deserved raise.

  • Outline your accomplishments over the last year
  • Highlight the ways you have gone above and beyond your job duties
  • List projects and initiatives you have been a part of. If these endeavors brought in more revenue, exposure, new clients, new education or team building–point that out too. The more specific you can be the better.
  • Suggest some projects and duties you would like to take on in the coming year

Request Feedback

Even though you are touting all these amazing things you are doing, it is important to remember to also be humble. Give credit where credit is due if other people are a part of your success. Ask for honest feedback of your performance and be prepared to receive it graciously. We all have areas with room for improvement. If you work on these areas and can prove success, it gives you more ammunition for the next time you ask for a raise. Play the long game.

It’s Strictly Business, Sir

Remember that this a professional negotiation and discussion. No matter how well you might know your manager, HR person, boss, etc. don’t bring your personal life into the discussion. Every person on the planet has reasons for wanting or needing more money. The fact that your rent is 2 months late is not their business. Your raise should be awarded strictly on merit and because you deserve it. That is their business!

Come with a Number, Leave with a Raise

Have a number in mind before you submit your request. It can either be a dollar amount or a percent of your currently salary. Do some research beforehand on your industry and your position. Find out what other people in similar positions in your geographical location are making. If you discover that you are underpaid, be extremely gracious in approaching this with your employer. Bring the research to prove it, but be gentle.

Be Professional and Gracious

Regardless of the outcome, follow up with a proper thank you . If you don’t get the outcome you hoped for, be understanding. You can ask for a 6 month review instead of waiting an entire year. You can also discuss ways you can improve or things you can do to facilitate a raise in the future. It is possible that the company doesn’t have available funds for raises or other reasons that have nothing to do with you. If this is the case, keep doing a great job and ask for a 6 month review anyway. That way, everyone knows that you are taking  your career seriously and you want to do right by the company. It will pay off in the long run and you will feel good about yourself, which is priceless.

Good luck and happy negotiating. We are here for you! 

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