How To Ask For A Raise And Get It: 3 Things You Should Do When Requesting A Raise At Work

by Aimee

interviews, reference letters, salary

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Think you deserve a raise? Has it been awhile since your last salary increase? I’m sure you can relate to having a need for more money.

I bet you can also relate to feeling anxious and unsure about how to ask for a raise!

here's how to ask for a raise and get it

Speaking to your boss about a work-related subject is nerve-wrecking enough, am I right?

Asking for a raise can increase that tension and nervousness to overwhelming levels — which is why many employees choose not to ask at all.

Keep in mind though, this seemingly impossible task is much simpler than you might think, as long as you follow a few suggestions.

Take a deep breath (go ahead, I’ll wait…) and get ready to set that meeting with your boss.

Don’t worry, I’m going to equip you with the 3 best tips for requesting a raise.

While it may be a hard task to summon the courage to ask, PayScale indicates that 75% of people who ask for a raise, receive one. With the right preparation, your conversation with your boss can be productive and fruitful. Source


#1 – Do Your Homework

Perhaps the most important thing you can do before asking for a raise is to conduct some research about your workplace first.

If you want to know how to ask your boss for a raise, then you really need to know the company’s history, its current condition, and its future plans in great detail. What’s the “big picture” look like for this company?

The quickest and surest way to receive more money for performing the same task is by altering your employer’s perception of how you fit into the grand scheme of things — make yourself an asset.

Here’s how to gather some of this industry information:

  • Search industry-wide salaries — so you can go in with a reasonable target figure in mind.
  • Consult with your professional network and find out what other companies pay.
  • Meet with your human resources department and ask questions to determine your eligibility for a raise.
  • Check out sites like PayScale and GlassDoor to gather helpful information for determining your worth in the marketplace.

It’s also important to consider how your manager best processes information. Seriously. Stop and think about that for a minute.

Do you know if your boss is data-driven? If they are, then lead with your research and clearly state your request. If you start a discussion about the company’s future and elaborate on your role in its success, then you can almost guarantee a positive response from your employer!

Once you’ve built your case and gathered market data, make sure to present the information concisely and persuasively. Practice asking for a raise with a coach, a mentor, or someone who can give you a sense of what to expect before the meeting with your boss.

Here’s a sample letter requesting a raise to help you get started.


#2 – Keep Your Complaints To Yourself

Before you determine exactly how to ask your boss for a raise, I have a very specific tip for how not to ask for one…

One thing you shouldn’t do is complain. I repeat — do NOT complain.

Never start the conversation with a grievance or threat. And avoid comparing yourself to your colleagues or complaining that you make less than others do.

Here are some other things you shouldn’t do when asking for a raise:

  • Don’t threaten to quit. At best, you’ll turn the conversation adversarial. At worst, you’ll paint yourself into a corner if you don’t get the raise.
  • Don’t bring your bank statement. Many people struggle financially, it’s not a bargaining chip.
  • Don’t talk about needing a vacation or a new car. Your personal necessities are irrelevant to the company’s future.

Similarly, mentioning the fact that your coworker receives the same salary as you, despite displaying a significantly lower effort at the workplace, will probably not work in your favor either. (Remember: Do NOT complain.)

Financial struggles are a common occurrence, and your boss (more than likely) won’t be swayed by your ever-increasing expenses.

Also, be very cautious when it comes to over-sharing about your private life!

Just remember to stay positive and focus on how much you contribute to the company.

Here are some more examples of what not to say when requesting a raise.


#3 – Accentuate The Positive

Instead of focusing on negative issues, focus on your positive, objective achievements. Confidently present facts about your own unique contributions that will bolster your case.

This can really be super helpful when you’re deciding how to ask for a raise.

Here are ways to prove that you’re entitled to receive a raise:

  • Cite any money-saving procedures you’ve implemented since you’ve been in your position.
  • Share results from a project you’ve just overseen or positive customer testimonials you’ve received.
  • Present ways that you will continue to benefit the company.
  • Share any praise you’ve received from other higher ups.

If your boss is like most, they’re very busy and may not be aware of all that you’ve accomplished over the past year or so.

In other words, talk numbers and bring evidence when asking for a raise!

For example, if you have continuously brought in high sales for your company, make sure to not only mention the figures — but also provide tangible proof in the form of recent sales reports.

The bottom line: Asking for a raise shouldn’t be a difficult task, as long as you’ve maintained a positive performance record at your job.

Here’s what to do if you know a co-worker is making more than you.


Denied For A Raise?… Here’s What To Do

Rejection is a reality when it comes to asking for a raise — and it’s something you should be prepared for when you go into a meeting that’s about getting a raise.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Ask what you can do to put yourself in a better position for the next review. (Don’t storm out angry… or quit.)
  • Set career goals for yourself (make sure they’re specific, measurable, and attainable) to keep yourself motivated at work.
  • Keep your options open. (Don’t automatically jump ship. There’s a reason you didn’t get the raise at this point in time — figure out what that reason is and make changes, as necessary.)

Here are 7 things you can do if requesting a raise didn’t work out for you.


Stay positive when asking for a raise

Regardless of the outcome, just knowing how to ask your boss for a raise and taking the chance to ask for one can be a very good learning experience. Even if you don’t get it, the process that you go through when asking for a raise will help you grow — both personally and professionally.