How to ask for a raise
Asking for a raise is a stressful – and often a downright awkward – experience. Money is hard enough to talk about in the first place: When most people have to ask their boss for more, their anxiety levels shoot through the roof.
If you’re not a natural negotiator, there might always be a touch of nervousness when it comes to requesting an increase in pay. If you’re well-prepared, however, you might just find that asking is simpler than you were expecting.
Once you’ve determined whether it’s the right time to ask for a raise, here’s what you can do to get it:
Know your value. Do the proper research to figure out what you’re worth, even if it means going on interviews or using resources like Getraised.com. Simply present what the field generally pays, and why you believe your performance is at the top of your field.
Know the number. Once you do the research, figure out what you think is a fair amount of money to ask for. Have that number in your head when you ask for a raise.
Schedule a meeting. Find a time that works best for you and your boss. Give your boss a head’s up that you want to chat about your career growth so that you both have ample time.
Start on a positive note. Expert suggests kicking off the conversation with something like, “I really enjoy working here and find my projects very challenging. In the last year, I’ve been feeling that the scope of my work has expanded quite a bit. I believe my roles and responsibilities, and my contributions have risen. I’d like to discuss with you the possibilities of reviewing my compensation.”
State your case, and then pause. Listen to what your manager has to say. Give it your best case for why you should get a raise. Never use idle threats or mislead an employer to think you have an outside offer. Make your case based on your research and the results of your work. The worst they can say is no.
Ask for endorsements. One of the most powerful ways to demonstrate to your manager that you deserve a raise, or at least some form of recognition for your results, is to have other people endorse the work you have done and how it helped them. The more your manager hears about how your work has contributed to organization goals and results, the stronger you will be positioned to be seen as someone deserving of consideration for an exception in the time of no raises or at least some form of recognition.
Be patient. Remember, your manager may need a few days to think it over and get back to you, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get an instant “yes”. There’s also a chance your boss isn’t the one to make the decision. He or she might have to go to the higher-ups with your request.
Be prepared for “no”. You should also be prepared for the possibility that your boss will say “no.” If that happens, ask what needs to change for the answer to be a “yes.” Make sure you get very clear feedback about why you’re being turned down at this time. You should also ask to revisit the conversation in a few months.