12 Tips on How to Ask for a Raise

Before you ask for a raise, you must plan your strategy well, know when the most appropriate moment is, and learn to negotiate. Learn more.
12 Tips on How to Ask for a Raise
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 02 January, 2024

If you’re wondering how to ask for a raise, the secret is planning and self-confidence. There are those who see this act as something intimidating. And it’s true–there’s no denying that it can be a somewhat uncomfortable situation and that there’s a chance you’ll get a negative response. However, like everything in life, those who don’t take risks don’t achieve what they deserve.

The first step will always be to investigate the salary trends in your sector. In addition, knowing the financial health of the company in which you work is also a decisive element. Afterward, all that remains is to draw up a good strategy to achieve that monetary increase. In the following article, we’ll explain all the recommendations in detail so that you succeed and not fail in the attempt.

“In every success story, you will find someone who made a courageous decision.”

~ Peter F. Ducker ~

How to ask for a raise and get the “yes” you want

Taking the leap and having enough confidence to ask for a raise is the main starting point. Not only is there a possibility that you’ll achieve what you want, but you could improve your self-image and develop new skills. You don’t need to be a negotiation guru to achieve it. You just need to design a good plan and find the perfect moment. Take note of the best advice.

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1. Know the salary according to your sector

To achieve your purpose and not fail in your attempt, the last thing you should do is rush into things. Therefore, if you’re wondering how to ask for a salary increase, the first thing you should do is investigate the job market for your professional rank. Find out what typical salary amounts are for your position, experience, and location. This will give you a realistic idea of what to expect and ask for.

2. Find out the financial health of your company

Even if you need and deserve a raise, the truth is that the right conditions for it don’t always exist. It’s essential that you investigate the financial health of your company. There are always signs that you can detect to analyze whether or not it would be appropriate to take that step. Below, we’ll mention some of the indicators you should take into account:

  • Have there been cuts?
  • Have there been employee layoffs?
  • Are there delays in payments?
  • Is less money/time being invested in innovation?
  • Have you heard any rumors that things are going poorly for the company?

3. Make a list of your achievements

If you’re wondering how to ask for a raise, the secret is to remember that you deserve it. Exzume confidence and value all your achievements and contributions. People’s work experiences influence their self-esteem and vice versa, so recapitulating your knowledge and successes will help you reinforce that positive vision of yourself.

Make a list of each valuable task that has benefited the organization. Maybe, thanks to your proposals and ideas, the number of sales has increased. Or perhaps your professionalism is also key on a day-to-day basis when it comes to resolving many incidents. Don’t hesitate to clarify this and make a report about it.

4. Choose the right moment

Throughout the year, there may be ideal times to ask for a salary increase. Perfect moments may be at the end of each quarter and after each balance sheet. What’s more, after an important achievement, a golden context is presented that’s worth taking advantage of. Also, make sure your boss is receptive and doesn’t have too many obligations on their shoulder at the time.

5. Ask for a meeting

Avoid asking for a raise suddenly and without first requesting a meeting. This request must be accompanied by good dialogue and in a private setting. It isn’t something that should be done in the hallway or in the presence of other colleagues or people in the organization. Be cautious and keep the following steps in mind:

  • Request a meeting with your boss.
  • Write them an email or ask them in person.
  • Agree with them on a specific day and time for this purpose.
  • Clearly indicate the objective of that meeting.
These are the phrases you can ask your boss or manager when arranging the meeting: “Would it be okay for us to meet to talk about my performance evaluation and a possible salary increase?”,  “I’d like to schedule a brief meeting to discuss a possible raise. Please let me know when it would work for you.”

6. Practice what you’re going to say

Prepare a clear and compelling speech explaining why you deserve a raise. Do it confidently, without hesitation, highlighting the achievements you’ve already detailed to remind your boss how the company has benefited from them. The following tools will contribute to this exhibition:

  • Thank your boss for meeting with you.
  • Speak assertively.
  • Use a positive tone.
  • Refer to your commitment to the company.
  • Be direct, it’s not about asking, but convincing.
  • Your boss should realize that you deserve that raise.
  • Prepare that meeting as if you were going to a job interview.
  • Enhance your non-verbal communication: Eye contact, relaxed movements, etc.

7. Remember the words you can’t use

When asking for a salary increase, it’s crucial that you pay attention to the tone. Try not to border on arrogance, and also be careful not to fall into mere supplication. There are employees who go to their superiors with expressions like, “In view of everything I’ve done for the company, I deserve to be paid (…).” These conversational dynamics aren’t accurate.

The ideal is a decisive and friendly presentation in which you can make your boss see two things. The first is that you like your job and are committed to the organization. The second is to show them that you have potential and deserve that financial recognition.

8. Set an amount

In the monetary aspect, it’s advisable not to digress, and go directly to the exact amount you propose. Present this request clearly and succinctly so that your boss takes it into account. The phrase that can help you come up with that figure is the following: “Considering everything stated above, I was hoping that we could agree on a salary increase of XX. What do you think?”

Make sure that you’re honest about the amount you want to obtain. Don’t feel insecure or think that you’re asking for too much. This is the starting point from which negotiations can begin.

9. Prepare for possible questions

Anticipate questions your manager may ask you during the meeting. Always keep in mind that, in your preparation time, you’ll have already made a prior compilation of your achievements and contributions to the company. That’s the material you must use to negotiate with. Feel confident and have data and examples on hand to support your request.

10. Don’t use threats or lie

Avoid making any threats, as this isn’t a good tactic. There are those who don’t hesitate to state that, if they don’t get the raise they want, they’ll leave the company. Keep in mind that, in life, you have to know how to negotiate and that this art is always done with positivity and empathy. Negativity and threats generate distrust and tension. Therefore, nothing good is achieved with them.

Lying isn’t a good strategy either. According to research published by Zoro, millennials are the most likely to resort to falsehood. Their tactic is to say that there’s another organization interested in them. This kind of tactic isn’t always ideal when asking for a salary increase.

Focus on your contributions and why you deserve a raise based on your performance. Generate a positive impact on your superior and transmit optimism and confidence. These elements will be your allies.

11. Be grateful

Whatever the answer, show gratitude for your boss or manager’s time and consideration. If you’re given the raise, be sure to express your gratitude sincerely. If the resolution is negative, don’t give up and ask them to explain the reasons. Knowing them will help you prepare for another time.

12. Learn from the process

Throughout your professional life, you’ll carry out this dynamic several times. Try to analyze the entire experience and assess what you’ve learned and what details you could improve on. These are scenarios in which you test yourself and discover which areas you should develop a little further. For example, you may simply lack negotiation techniques or self-confidence.

Either way, whether you achieve your goal or not, be proud of yourself. You stepped up for something you deserve and made it clear that you’re a valuable employee. If your current boss hasn’t been able to see it, surely some other figure will recognize your exceptional qualities.

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Asking for a raise is a golden opportunity

Asking for a raise is an important opportunity in your professional career. By doing so effectively, you’ll be able to recognize and earn fair compensation for your work and contributions. It’s that golden opportunity that you have to know how to recognize in order to take advantage of. Furthermore, with this act, as we already pointed out, you demonstrate your worth, commitment, and confidence in yourself.

All these variables drive your growth and career development. On the other hand, even though your employer’s response may not be positive, it isn’t something that should discourage you. Another time will come. And if that step doesn’t happen, you can consider looking for another company that appreciates your skills. Little by little, you’ll shape the future you deserve.

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.

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