Career Development

How to Ask For a Raise

Getting a raise can improve your job satisfaction and give you the motivation you need to boost your work performance. If you’re ready to ask for a salary increase, read this article to learn how to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

How to ask for a raise

1. First, prepare for the conversation

The way to ask for a pay raise may vary depending on a number of factors, including your job position and performance, company culture and policies. Since salary is often a sensitive issue, you should plan what to say before you approach your supervisor. Follow these steps to ask for a raise.

First, gather the information that shows you deserve the salary you’re asking for. If you’ve been meeting your goals, your supervisor will be more likely to consider your request if you provide the research and figures to support your case.

Start by researching the market value of a professional with your skill set and experience. You can do this by browsing job ads or using an online salary calculator.

Through research, you can find an average market value to compare against your current salary. If your current pay is below the market value, you have a strong case for negotiating your salary.

To make your case more convincing, present a list of your recent accomplishments when you meet with your supervisor. This will show that you are a valuable asset to the company.

2. Secondly, say the right things

Second, spend some time thinking about what you should say when you’re discussing the possibility of a pay raise with your supervisor. Try to focus on objective facts to help you overcome feelings of awkwardness or uncertainty.

While you need to provide enough evidence to support that you deserve a salary increase, you should try to present your case in a concise manner. Keep the conversation centered on your contributions to the company instead of finances. 

Example: ‘I’d like to thank you for the opportunities you’ve given me to assume greater responsibilities in the company. I’ve made updates to my department’s workflow which increased productivity by 15% over the past year, exceeding the goals we set. Can we discuss the possibility of raising my pay to reflect my current contribution to the company?’

If you want to name a specific figure, you can say something like, ‘I’m hoping we can increase my salary to $45,000.’ Alternatively, you can wait for your supervisor to offer you an amount.

3. Lastly, make the most of an unfavorable outcome

Lastly, if your supervisor says no, you can take advantage of the opportunity to find out how you can get a raise in the future. They should be able to provide a list of things you need to do, such as earning a promotion, gaining a new skill or interacting more with your co-workers. After your supervisor has laid out the path for you, commit yourself to meeting their expectations to earn a raise.

Alternatively, you may want to ask for non-monetary perks if your request for a raise is not approved. Examples of other perks include flexible schedule, more vacation time, career development opportunities or a new laptop or mobile phone for work purposes. Your supervisor may be more likely to grant requests that have fewer budgetary restrictions.

When to ask for a raise

You will need to determine the right time to ask for a pay raise. To choose the appropriate time, you should consider when your company carries out certain events during the course of the year, such as budget planning, performance reviews and funds distribution to departments. Asking for a raise at a time that suits your company’s financial schedule can increase your chances of getting a positive response, even if it means waiting an additional month or two.

Some of the best times to ask for a raise are:

  • When your supervisor is especially pleased with you. If you have just helped your company retain an important client and your supervisor is particularly happy with you, it is a good time to make your request.
  • When your supervisor is in a good mood. Avoid talking to your supervisor about your salary when they are having a bad day or seem especially stressed.
  • If you have been delivering excellent work for a year since your last pay increase. Many companies reevaluate their employees’ salaries once a year. If your company does not do this, it is reasonable to ask for a pay raise if it has been a long time since your last salary increase.
  • A month or two before your company’s budget process. It is common for companies to assess salaries when planning budgets. Find out when your company carries out this process and discuss your salary with your supervisor one or two months in advance. 
  • During a performance review. If you receive positive feedback from your supervisor during your performance review, take advantage of the situation to request a pay increase.

Your supervisor may not be aware of the extent of your contribution to the company, so you can present your case to convince them that you deserve higher pay. After asking for a raise, make sure you maintain or exceed your current performance level to justify your request.