It’s important to know your worth and to get paid accordingly, yet you may not know exactly how to ask for a raise at work.
Fortunately, there are a few tips and best practices that you can follow to feel confident when approaching your boss.
We’ve even provided some examples and scripts you can tweak to fit your specific circumstances.
When to Ask for a Raise
There is a right and wrong time to ask for a raise.
First, check the company’s current financial standing. If the company is struggling, don’t ask for a raise, as the company most likely doesn’t have increased funds to give.
If you love the company and can stick it out until things begin to improve, do so.
If not, consider applying for a similiar position with another company that is more solid financially, as you’ll be able to grow with them and seek periodic raises.
Second, review your own position and how long you’ve been serving in that position. Asking for a raise when you’ve only been with the company a few months isn’t a good idea.
You’ll want to ask for a raise at work when you’ve put in the time to show you’re reliable and a real asset. You show up to work on time every day and go the extra mile to make the customers happy.
Third, wait to ask your boss for a raise during your performance review or after successfully finishing a big project. If this doesn’t apply in your situation, then simply wait until your boss has a slower week and is in a cheerful mood.
What is a Reasonable Raise to Ask For?
When determining how to ask for a raise at work, you must know the standard rate for your position. Do a quick search to find out how much others in your position are getting paid in your area.
A friend of mine works for a company that hasn’t given her a raise in years. They just hired entry-level workers at almost the same salary as she is getting paid.
She immediately searched the same position in other area companies and found out she was being significantly underpaid.
She was able to go back to her boss with that specific number, knowing that if he didn’t increase her pay, she’d start applying for a position in one of the other companies.
Glassador actually has a Know Your Worth Salary Calculator that you can use as part of your research.
Once you enter your field and location, Glassador will provide you with the total average pay per year, as well as a salary range and even a career trajectory. Such a handy tool!
You can also check the salary trends in your state using Indeed’s Find Salaries tool. When I checked my state for my current position, it showed me the hourly rate and how that compared to the National Average.
How to Prepare When Asking for a Raise at Work?
In addition to determining the exact figure, there are a few additional things you’ll need to do to prepare for asking for a raise at work.
1. Make a List of Accomplishments
Did you receive positive feedback from clients after meeting their needs? Did your boss or manager praise you for a job well done after completing a tough project?
Start listing all of these accomplishments on a sheet of paper. The more detailed you can get the better. For example, if you’ve been able to increase sales by 15%, say so.
You can just tell your boss you’re an asset to the company, you must show your boss as well, and specific numbers and personal testimonies are a great way to do this.
2. Add Any New Education to the List
I’m always working on learning new things that will benefit my business. This includes taking classes that result in obtaining new certifications.
The more you learn, the more valuable you become to the company. Add any new degrees, certifications, or classes that you’ve taken since your last evaluation to the list.
Don’t forget to include any new skills you’ve aquired, such as becoming proficient in a certain software or mastering SEO.
3. Answer What You Can Contribute in the Future
Take some time to come up with a plan on how you can contribute to the success of the company in the future. Do you have a strategy for bringing in new clients? Do you have an idea for a new product?
When a boss considers giving an employee a raise, he or she will also review what the employee can bring to the team in the coming days, not just what they contributed in the past.
It can be helpful to review the company’s goals, as you can then determine what you can do to help the company achieve those goals.
4. Report on Any Additonal Duties You’ve Taken On
If your workload has increased because you’ve taken on new resposibilities, put this on your list.
Perhaps you built a team and successfully managed them through a tough project.
Maybe you were only responsible for answering phones and billing customers, but now you also keep the company’s books.
No matter how big or small, taking on additional duties that weren’t in your original agreement are cause for a new discussion on pay.
What Do You Say When Asking for a Pay Rise?
While it is important to approach your boss in confidence, you also want to do so with an attitude of gratitude.
Show your boss how excited you are to be a part of the company. Be clear that you understand the company’s goals and let your boss know that you’re invested in helping them meet those goals.
Set up a private time to discuss the salary increase with your employer if doing so at a performance review isn’t possible. Ideally, you want to meet your boss in person. Never ask for a raise in an email.
At the meeting, arrive dressed for success. This lets your boss know you are taking the conversation seriously.
Review all of the points on the list you made earlier as to why you are qualified and deserve a raise with your boss.
Make sure you include the exact figure of the new salary you are requesting and provide a copy of your research on how you arrived at that figure for your boss to review.
Once you present your case, get prepared for some questions. Your employer may need clarity on a few points or a little more information about what you can do for the company.
Keep in mind that this conversation may become a negotiation. Your boss may agree to the pay raise outright, or he or she may require that you take on a bigger workload.
If you haven’t already taken on additional work without a pay increase, this may be fair.
Always be respectful no matter how the conversation goes and make sure you end on a good note. Give your boss some time to review your proposal and make a decision.
What Should You Not Say When Asking for a Raise?
It’s just as important to avoid bringing up certain issues when asking for a raise at work. These include:
- Personal Needs: A raise is merit-based. Never ask for a raise because you have personal needs. Focus on taking steps to show that your efforts warrant additional pay.
- Inflation: Your boss knows about inflation and chances are that’s affecting the company as well. Again, stick to talking about the things you’ve done to deserve an increase in salary.
- You Did Your Job: Simply doing the job you were hired to do doesn’t warrant a raise. Going above and beyon, and doing so joyfully, is the way to get recognized and considered for more pay.
How to Ask for a Pay Raise and Actually Get it
To get your pay raise, you need to make sure the company is doing well and that you are going above and beyond as an employee.
That may mean being the first one through the doors in the morning and the last one to leave at night. It may mean investing your own time to grow your skill set and seek additional training.
Always get permission to have a converation about your current salary and do so in person.
Practice rehearsing your proposal. You may even want to record yourself or play act the ask with a friend. That way you can make any necessary adjustments and refine your presentation.
Arrive dressed appropriately and with your list and appropriate data. Present your case in confidence and make sure the company knows you want to help them reach their goals.
Thank the employer for their time and consideration.
How to Ask for a Raise Examples
It can be helpful to review a few examples of how to ask for a raise at work, but remember that you’ll just want to use these scripts as a starting point.
Personalize the scripts with your company and your specific position in mind.
How to Ask for a Raise Sample Letter
“I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me today. I wanted to review my performance and role within the company and discuss the possibility of a salary increase.
Since my last performance review, I’ve added (education, certifications, etc.) to my skill set. I’ve also had an increase in my workload and contributed to the success of several projects (list them).
I’ve conducted research on my current position and discovered that in this region, a salary of (list the number) is the norm.
My project manner praised my (ability to xyz) and my clients were pleased with my work (list a few testimonials).
I’m excited about the future of this company and have several ideas as to how I can help the company meet its goals.
Considering my performance, increased skill set, and the going rate for my position in the area, a salary increase of (list the number) is appropriate.
Can we make that work?”
How to Ask for a Raise Script
Indeed has an excellent video with a script you can follow to craft your own proposal. I highly recommend you watch it before the meeting with your boss.
What to do After You Ask for a Raise?
So what happens after you’ve asked your boss for a raise? Depending on how the conversation went, you may have to:
If the converation went well, simply wait for your boss to review your salary increase proposal and make a final decision.
In the event that your employer doesn’t want to offer you the full raise you’re requesting, consider negotiating a deal that would work for both parties.
For example, perhaps you can negotiate more paid vacation days or the option to work from home a few days per week.
If working from home isn’t an option, ask for a gas reimbursement. Perhaps you can negotiate getting on the company’s health insurance plan or having the company pay your monthly gym membership.
3. Request a Career Trajectory
Talk to your boss about what you’d need to do to advance within the company and qualify for a raise if the raise was denied outright.
There may be something specific your boss wants to see or it may be a matter of timing. Some companies only consider promotions once every year or two.
In Conclusion: How to Ask for a Raise at Work
Asking for a raise at work can be quite stressful, but by creating a plan first and then following the tips mentioned above, you can approach the task with confidence.
Keep in mind that even if you don’t get the raise, you still have the option of applying to other companies. Another place of employment may be a better fit and offer more opporunities for advancement.
Here at Five Bags of Gold, we always recommend keeping your current job until you’ve landed another one to replace it. Of course, we hope you are able to land that raise, but having a plan B is always a smart money move!
Have you successfully negotiated a raise? If so, share your experience with us below!