How to Ask for a Raise: Tips and Strategies for Success

June 17, 2019

You work hard, you’re dedicated to your company, and you’ve put in substantial time at your current position. Now may be the perfect time to ask for a raise, but actually approaching your boss with the request can be easier said than done.

Here are some tips and strategies for how to ask for a raise at work to earn the compensation that you deserve.

Understand Company Protocol

Whether you work in a corporate high-rise, from home, or in a flexible office space in Manhattan, it’s important to understand how your company approaches raises and promotions. Some companies conduct employee evaluations during a certain month of the year annually or on a more frequent basis. You’ll likely want to time your request optimally so that it will be considered in the most favorable way.

Research the Market Value of Your Position

Before perfecting your strategy for how to ask your boss for a raise, do some research about what other people in a position similar to yours are getting paid. If you are already making significantly more than the market value of your position, you will need to find another angle for your raise pitch. But if your rate of pay is lower than market value, then this can be a powerful selling point for how to ask for a raise.

Practice Your Pitch

Think of your raise pitch as both an informative and persuasive speech that will inform your boss about the market value of your position and your value as an employee, as well as present a compelling case why you are deserving of a raise at this time. At home, in front of a mirror or a friend or family member, practice your pitch with note cards until you become confident and well-spoken enough to approach your boss.

Be Ready for Potential Questions

When you enter the meeting room with your boss, be prepared for potential questions that he or she may ask you in response to your raise request. These questions may involve inquiries as to whether you are ready to take on more responsibility, put in more hours, or begin to manage others in the workplace. Your boss may also ask for specific examples of work you’ve done recently that warrants a raise, so think of some good examples before your meeting.

Emphasize Your Individual Value

When determining how to ask for a raise, it’s important to focus the conversation on why you deserve a raise rather than why you need it. Don’t bring up personal reasons for needing a raise or make the argument that costs in your life are increasing. Instead, talk about what you’ve done on the job that makes you such a valuable asset to the company.

Don’t Get Upset with a “No”

While many raise requests are successful, others result in a resounding “no,” even for the most deserving of employees. Try to not get upset or discouraged if your raise request is rejected because the “no” could be because of reasons out of your control. Perhaps the company is struggling financially or it’s not the best time of the year to increase employee’s salaries. If you’re told no, you can request an interim performance appraisal before your next scheduled review to assess your progress on the job and refocus your career strategy. The process of how to ask your boss for a raise can certainly be intimidating and awkward, but you’ll never know until you ask, so be bold and smart about what you’re worth!

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