Higher Salaries 101: How to Ask for a Raise (And Get It!)


Unfortunately, working more than you are paid for is the stigma under which many of us spend our entire lives. Feeling nervous, shaky, and unsure of yourself can hold you back from the significant career growth you deserve.

But the truth is, if you’ve been doing great work and taking on more responsibility, asking for higher pay is often a necessary step toward career growth and financial stability.

With the right knowledge and preparation, you can confidently navigate the process and feel empowered. This guide discusses various effective ways to consider when asking for a raise to help you come out on top.

When Should You Ask for a Raise?

Ideally, you can ask for a raise if you have worked for a year at the company. But if you feel like you’re being underpaid compared to other people in similar roles at competing companies, you can ask for a raise after six to eight months with a strong case.

Evaluating your performance is the most important factor in deciding if now is a good time to request a raise. Have you consistently done great work, gone above and beyond, and impacted the team? If so, asking for a raise is justifiable.

Most companies follow a yearly cycle, so it might be easier for them to approve the raise if you can time your request to align with their budgeting period. If you are unsure about the amount of raise you should ask for, use a salary increase calculator to find out.

How to Ask for a Raise

How to Ask for a Raise

It’s normal to feel nervous when asking for a raise. But here are five ways you can ask for a raise, and get it!

Choose the Right Time

There are certain moments when it’s in your best interest to ask for more money:

  • When you just accomplished something big and noteworthy: If you can demonstrate that your hard work and dedication have paid off, it makes sense to take advantage of the momentum.
  • When there has been a change of leadership: A new boss may be more open to hearing your pitch if they are eager to make a good first impression.
  • When the company is booming: If business is good and profits are up, there’s a better chance your employer will be more willing to negotiate.
  • When your boss is not stressed over work: Asking for more money when your boss is overwhelmed can be seen as inappropriate and untimely. Observe their mood and the work atmosphere to know when the timing is right.
  • When it’s time for an annual performance review: This may be your chance to prove your worth, so come prepared with a concrete list of accomplishments to support your request.

Research Salary Trends

Knowing your industry’s salary trends can help you make an informed case for why you deserve more money. Look into salary surveys, job listing websites, and trade publications to get the latest information. It’s also worth asking colleagues and friends what they’re earning. That way, you can determine how much your peers make in similar positions.

Prepare Your Case

Explaining why you deserve a salary raise is critical when standing before your boss. You must have solid facts to support your request. Preparing your case includes:

  • Research: Ensure your request aligns with industry standards for your position and experience level.
  • Prove Your Worth: Think about everything you do in your job and how it has improved the company, such as increased sales, efficiency, or customer satisfaction.
  • Create a List of Accomplishments: This is where you make an impactful case for yourself. Your list should include any awards, promotions, or other recognitions you’ve achieved.
  • Document Your Request: Once you’ve gathered your research and accomplishments, prepare a document that outlines your salary expectations and reasons for requesting it.

Set a Meeting

Once you have collected all the evidence to support your case for a raise, set the meeting with your boss. Ensure you request a time that is not too difficult for them to squeeze into their schedule. Avoid setting a time in a hurry or at the last minute, as you would like them to be comfortable and not looking to wrap it up quickly.

The best time is ideally in the middle of the day, after lunch. Negotiations are more effective in the afternoon, as people are more relaxed after having digested lunch. A clear agenda and sticking to it will help ensure that the conversation stays on topic and that you get your point across effectively.

Key Takeaways

Asking for a raise is tricky, but you should go ahead confidently to get what you deserve. With these tips discussed in the article, you will likely come out with the salary you want:

  • Ask for a raise when you have worked at the company for at least a year. Time it with the annual budget cycle so they can adjust their budget with your requirements.
  • Choose the right time when asking for a raise, such as a change in leadership, when the company is booming, and your boss is not stressed.
  • Know the industry salary trends of your position and experience to make an informed case.
  • Prepare your case by researching, proving your worth, creating a list of accomplishments, and documenting your request.
  • Set a meeting by choosing the best time of the day.
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