How To Ask For a Raise at Work

Asking for a raise can be intimidating if it isn’t something you’ve done before.

But getting over your doubts or concerns and learning how to ask properly can have a huge immediate payoff! Thousands of dollars potentially.

And even better… it can also help you earn more money throughout your entire career. It’s a proven fact that people who ask for raises earn more!

Congrats on taking the initiative to learn this important skill. I’m going to walk you through exactly how to ask for a raise at work.

Reasons you can use to ask for a raise:

You want a good valid business reason when asking for your raise. That’s the most compelling argument you can make. And it will help you remain professional in the eyes of your boss.

Getting a short term bump in pay is worthless if your boss thinks you’re whiny or unprofessional.

So these tips are designed to preserve your professional image while asking for a raise in a way that’s likely to succeed. Here’s how:

You want to go into the meeting with your boss armed with facts. Don’t just say you think you deserve a raise. Prove it.

Here are some good examples of reasons you can use when asking your boss for a raise. Try to think if any of these might apply to you:

  • You’ve been in your role for more than a year with the same pay.
  • Your skill or productivity has increased but your salary has not.
  • You’ve taken on additional responsibilities since starting this role, but your pay has stayed the same.
  • The team has hired newer people that you’re helping to train. Or you’ve taken on some other leadership responsibilities.

You can also ask your boss for a raised based on market data. Try to do some research online, or through your network. Do you have colleagues in other companies? Find out what those companies are paying for your skillset. That will give you an idea if you’re underpaid in your current role.

Is this the only way to do it?

I’ve seen other ways work. I’ve seen new coworkers ask for more money to pay for gas because their new commute is longer. And other ridiculous reasons. But I think asking based on this type of thing seems cheap and petty. Unprofessional.

I’d suggest you keep your personal life out of it.

You might get a temporary bump in pay even with reasons like this. Especially if the company is scared of losing you in the short term. But the damage it’ll do to your reputation isn’t worth it.

Everyone should be able to come up with at least one business reason to justify wanting more money, so that’s what I recommend.

How to ask for a raise at work:

After doing some thinking, you should be able to come up with at least one reason why you deserve to be better paid. It’s time to actually sit in front of your boss and ask him/her for a raise.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Request a meeting.

Send an email, ask face to face, whatever you normally do to communicate to set something like this up. You don’t need to mention the topic ahead of time. Just say that you’d like to find a time to discuss something.

The key is to set up a dedicated meeting for this. Don’t ask for a raise at the end of a different meeting or discussion.

Your pay is important, it deserves its own meeting time.

Step 2: Present your argument.

Be upfront with your boss in the meeting. Say something like this:

“Thanks for meeting with me. I wanted to discuss compensation. I believe that ________ (present your argument here). I enjoy my work here but was hoping to have my pay increased because of the reason I mentioned. Is this something we can look into or have a dialogue about?”

Get specific with your reason. Here’s one of the examples from above:

  • Your skill or productivity has increased but your salary has not.

Don’t just repeat this word-for-word. How much were you producing when you started in your job? Compare that to now. Show how much you’ve progressed and how much more valuable you are to the company now. Increased value = increased pay. That’s why different people are paid differently in your company, and that’s how you can earn more.

This advice is exactly what I’d follow myself when asking for a raise. It’s straight-forward. It’s professional. And it’ll either build or maintain your relationship with your boss (it’ll probably build respect if you follow these steps.)

As a final note, use common sense. Don’t ask for a promotion or a raise at work if you got one a couple of months ago. Or if you were just hired.

If you decide you’re not ready for a raise, you can use this article as a guide for how to position yourself in the future. Want to earn more? Take on more responsibility, perform better, and you’re setting yourself up for a very convincing argument when you ask for a raise down the road.

Have you tried this method or other methods in the past? What has worked for you? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

 

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Leave a Comment:

2 comments
Nick Hughes says November 1, 2015

The best thing is to go in with a salary negotiation strategy, know your worth against key skills (research) and be prepared to compromise a little to allow for budgets. The employer will obviously want something in exchange. It may also not be necessarily salary that people can negotiate on – remember, it is pay and benefits. Extra holiday, private healthcare, company car and pension entitlements are benefits that can be negotiated on instead of pay. Do your research, have a strategy and have a favourable bargaining position.

Reply
    Biron Clark says November 2, 2015

    I agree! being prepared to compromise is important. And knowing how much you’re willing to compromise. Knowing how important money is to you vs. other factors. In most cases, it’s foolish to walk away from an amazing job offer over a disagreement of 2k or 5k per year. But sometimes money is a #1 priority in your life.

    Reply
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