11 Tips for Asking for a Raise
You love your job. Your boss often compliments you on your work. But it’s been a while since you’ve received a raise. You’d like to talk to your boss about it, but you know it’s not an easy conversation to have.
The topic of money – especially when it comes to asking for a raise – can be a very nerve-racking discussion. But if you believe you are truly worthy, there are some things you can do to make the conversation easier. Use these eleven tips if you think the time is now to discuss your salary with your manager.
- Ask for a raise after you complete a successful project or assignment: You’ve heard the phrase “Strike while the iron is hot,” and that certainly applies when you want to ask for a raise. There may be no better time to ask for a salary increase then when you’ve completed a successful project or assignment. At this time, you are probably front and center in your manager’s mind, and he/she probably can easily see the value you bring to the team and the company.
- Rehearse what you’re going to say: You would not walk into an important meeting with a client unprepared, and the same should go for this important discussion with your boss. You want to be prepared. Be sure you are able to talk about the concrete reasons you believe you deserve a raise.
- Be prepared to answer questions: While ideally, you’d love your boss to say yes immediately to your request, that’s probably not going to happen. They may have questions – so be prepared to answer them. Have facts to back up your talking points.
- Timing is everything: While you know that you should talk to your boss after a time when you’ve experienced success, you should be sensitive to your boss’s schedule, too. If he/she has a big project, seems frazzled or is having a bad day, that may not be the ideal time for a sit-down. Be cognizant of how things are going for your manager and schedule a meeting accordingly.
- Dress the part: Dressing for success is a real thing, and you want to be sure you’re dressing to show this. Make sure you look your best on the day you’ll have this important conversation.
- Avoid email: It can be tempting in this day and age to use email to ask for what you want, but email is not an appropriate way to ask for a raise. This is definitely the time for an in-person conversation.
- Do not use salary comparison as a tool to negotiate: Another thing to avoid is using the knowledge of others’ salaries as a means of negotiating yours. While your friend may have accidentally shared what she makes over lunch, you should not use that information as a reason for your pay increase.
- Avoid ultimatums: Unless you are prepared to follow-through with an ultimatum, using them as a form of negotiating needs to be avoided.
- Focus on why you deserve it versus why you need it: Yes, you may need this raise in order to cover bills, but talking about your personal circumstances with your boss is not the way to go. Discuss your merits.
- Discuss the future: Your boss may want to know that you are committed to the company, so be sure to discuss the future and what you’d like to see your role develop into. This will show your manager that you are in it for the long haul.
- Be prepared to hear the word “no”: While it may not be what you want to hear, you need to be prepared to hear the word “no.” Your boss may not be able to give you an immediate response, or there may be circumstances beyond his/her control. Whatever the case may be, you can always ask if the two of you could revisit this topic in the near future and set a date to talk again.
If you’re ready to ask for a raise, use these tips to help you get what you want. Hopefully, you’ll soon be seeing a bigger paycheck as a means of rewarding your hard work.