How to Ask for a Raise: 5 Tips for Success
If you believe that you deserve a higher salary for your hard work, consider these two options: asking for a raise or finding a new job with greater pay. Each of these career options opens doors to new job opportunities but might also bring on new concerns.
If you think you can grow within your current place of employment and you’re happy there, you should consider asking for a raise rather than looking for a new job offer. Before asking your manager for a raise, you need to know how to negotiate and present your case to get the best results.
Many employees and job seekers find salary negotiation uncomfortable and intimidating. They are supposed to justify their raise and showcase their skills. So, how does one do this? Here are some tips on how to initiate the conversation and prepare your request before asking your employer or boss for that raise.
1. Research Salary Trends
What’s an appropriate amount to ask for a raise? You should have an idea of how much you need to request going into the conversation. Every job is specific and has a market value that corresponds to it. Typically, this value falls within a particular pay range.
You will have to research salary trends to determine the proper range for your position. There are many salary tools and websites that provide salary information based on the job title and other factors. Your experience, qualifications, and education will also have an impact on your pay rate.
Look for the national salary trends. Select the place (metro area, country, or state) where you work to find salary data – pay particular attention to a pay rate – for your state or city. This will help you comprehend the actual monetary worth of your labor and come up with a realistic percent raise.
2. Gather All the Praises and Positive Notes You Have Earned Since the Previous Performance Evaluation
It is a good idea to create a folder in your e-mail account and/or on your computer where you will store notes and any positive feedback from your manager, clients, and coworkers. This is especially true for projects where you’ve been commended for doing a good job.
For that reason, you should consider conducting self-evaluations regularly. Thus, you will have regular reviews of your work besides formal performance reviews or annual reviews. This will increase your chances of earning a raise in the future.
Although self-evaluation is informal, it’s essential since this allows employees to track their accomplishments. They should take the time to review their work each week and record any excellent work they did in the last 7 days.
List any achievements from the past year or month. Explain how each accomplishment has positively influenced the entire company and your department. For instance, you may say, “I generated 6,000 leads in the past 12 months, which resulted in a sale increase and revenue of $68,000.”
3. Choose the Best Time to Ask for a Rise
Are you ready to approach your boss? Don’t rush! Pick your timing carefully. If the company is going through a major change, it is best to wait, for example.
When choosing the right time, try to discover when the fiscal budget planning of your company takes place. This will ensure that you don’t ask for the impossible. Here are some suitable occasions to discuss pay increases:
- After completing a significant project or garnering rave reviews for an important high-profile job.
- When your boss is happy and in a good mood. Never ask for a raise during hectic or stressful periods.
- When showing excellent work. Request a raise if your workload has recently increased or if you have just been given supervisory responsibilities over other workers.
- If you have just won over a significant client, take advantage of it to make the request, especially if your manager is pleased with you.
- After an annual performance review. The end of the fiscal year is also considered a good time to ask because this is the time when pay increases are expected.
4. Know What You’re Going to Say
You have just selected the right time and have set a meeting date. Before the meeting with your manager, you need to know what you will say. How do you ask for a raise? What words should you use?
After rehearsing your script and starting with an opener, you should follow up with specifics. Start a discussion by saying something like: “I am looking forward to continuing to work and grow with your company, so I want to discuss my salary with you.” or “I am enjoying the work and my role is going pretty well, but it’s been X years/months since my current salary has been determined, so I would like to talk about my pay.”
Be sure to mention the expected salary figure. You also need to describe how you’ve arrived at this conclusion. Say something like: “In my opinion, I deserve a raise because I have become more valuable and productive since the last salary increase.”
It is essential to include all of your accomplishments and positive reviews to justify the salary raise. Here’s how to act:
- Be clear
- Express enthusiasm
- Be confident
- Express gratitude
- Be specific
Extra tip: Throughout raise conversation with your manager, do not use any word that undermines your position like think, feel, believe, just, might, and only. These words may give the impression that you lack confidence. If you seem uncertain, your boss can start acting insecure as well. Be clear and confident by asking for a rise with strong words.
5. Be Prepared for Questions and Thank Your Manager
You should anticipate that your boss will carefully consider your request for a raise if you’ve proved that you merit it. Your manager will likely ask you a few follow-up questions, so be ready for this. He will probably inquire about the salary research and/or your accomplishments.
Pay close attention to the way your manager handles your request and listen to him carefully. Whenever you experience intimidation during the conversation, go back to arguments and evidence to support your position.
If you’re facing great resistance all the time, you may reduce the amount a bit. Remember that a raise isn’t possible on every occasion. However, you can still discuss other compensation elements like flexible hours or vacation time.
Be ready for rejection when asking for a rise. If this happens, you should try to find out why you have been rejected. No matter if your request is accepted or rejected, thank your boss for his time.
Related: What Is a Career Assessment?
In Conclusion: What Should You Do Following the Request or Conversation?
It’s imperative that you maintain your professionalism and improve your performance after a conversation with your manager, thereby justifying the desired pay. In addition, you might be required to agree to new responsibilities that go hand in hand with your raise, such as new deliverables, higher performance standards, new superiors, or more coworkers to manage.
Your request can be rejected if there is simply no space in the budget for pay raises. That’s why your request might not be accepted. If this occurs, you should aim to recover from a failed conversation in a graceful manner. Be honest with yourself and determine if a rejected request is reason enough to search for a new job.