How to Ask For a Raise

Asking for a raise is often tricky. You tend to think about it a great deal before taking any action. Then, if you don't get it, you usually feel really frustrated. If you're thinking of asking for an increase in your salary, here's some advice.
How to Ask For a Raise
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 03 April, 2024

Getting a raise is a goal shared by many, especially when inflation is soaring. As a rule, the strategy you choose to ask for a raise will determine whether or not you get it.

For example, it’s harder to get a raise if you lack self-confidence. However, if you’re in a lower-ranking position or a member of a minority, you might feel more insecure when applying for this benefit. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Any worker has the right to source a better income.

In addition to self-confidence, there are other factors to consider if you’re looking for a raise. It’s important to choose the right time to ask, communicate assertively, and be resolute. We’ll talk about these three factors later

It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”

-Henry Ford-

boss and employee talking
Self-confidence and assertiveness help in asking for a salary increase.

1. Choosing the right moment

The first key to getting a raise is choosing the right time to ask for it. First of all, you must take into account the state of the company. If it’s suffering financial difficulties for one reason or another, you’ll have less chance of seeing your salary increase.

It’s best to make an appointment with your boss or with the person in charge, and directly announce that you want to talk about your salary. By doing this, you prepare the ground for broaching the subject. Moreover, you offer the other party the opportunity to think about what they can offer you.

In addition, it’s important that you prepare a series of arguments that support your request. It’s a good idea to make a list of your achievements and career advancements. After all, you need to be able to explain why you deserve a raise. When you make the request, try to mention a recent achievement of yours.

2. Formulate a concrete proposal

You should have in mind a specific figure that you’d consider to be reasonable. Of course, it must be a realistic amount. Obviously, you’d like to earn millions for what you do, but it’s naive to expect the company to satisfy your demands if your work isn’t generating the amount of money you’re asking for.

If you don’t know what figure to suggest, try to find out the salary that other people in your position usually have. With this information, you can begin to figure out a maximum and minimum.

You may well be asking for a salary increase because you want to improve your finances or because you’re experiencing financial difficulties. However, you must remember that these are personal motivations and that the organization most likely won’t take them into account. What they will value is you providing them with specific data, such as the range of salaries in the labor market.

3. Don’t give up

Bear in mind that a salary increase often isn’t achieved with a simple request. In fact, it can often take several weeks or even months. What you need to do is leave your request on the table and keep the communication channels open.

As a rule, your employer will review your request and give you an answer later. They may tell you that a raise isn’t possible at the moment, but they’re happy to think about it in the future. If this is the case, you could negotiate other benefits, such as more flexible hours, training, or something similar.

On the other hand, if you think that a salary increase would be a fair recognition of your work and that the company is in a position to grant it, but isn’t doing so because it suits them better, at least you’ll have discovered the real spirit of the organization. Perhaps they don’t value their workers. This could be a sign that you should look for a new job.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Alania Vera, R. H. ¿Qué tomar en cuenta para pedir aumento de sueldo y cómo hacerlo
  • Brandolini, A., González Frigoli, M., & Hopkins, N. (2009). Comunicación interna.
  • López Valencia, L. F. (2014). ¿Cómo mejorar las finanzas personales por medio de la educación financiera en Colombia? (Bachelor’s thesis, Universidad de Medellín).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.