Many people feel uneasy about the idea of asking for a raise from their boss. However, if your company doesn’t provide regular yearly raises and you’re not in line for a promotion, asking for a raise might be the only way to secure the higher pay you believe you deserve.
It’s important to realize that it’s entirely acceptable to make this request, as most company managers and business owners genuinely want to support and reward their employees.
Although the thought of asking for a raise can be daunting and uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you know your boss and understand how to approach the conversation. By doing your research and being prepared with supporting facts, you’ll feel more self-assured when you initiate the discussion.
When should you ask for a raise?
While some suggest there’s never a perfect time, it’s essential to exercise common sense. Avoid requesting a raise during sensitive periods, such as when your company is laying off employees, your department’s performance for the quarter is low, or your boss is dealing with personal challenges.
Consider your company’s typical pay increase schedule. If they usually grant raises at the beginning of the year, it’s advisable to approach your boss in November or December.
This way, you provide them with ample time to evaluate your request and potentially discuss it with their superiors, rather than asking them to reverse a decision after you’ve already received your raise.
In the absence of a fixed raise schedule, aim to make your request during a favorable time, like when you know your boss is pleased with your performance, during a successful quarter, or during a less stressful period of the year when everyone is not overwhelmed.
How should I approach my boss about a raise?
It’s important to give yourself time to prepare for the conversation and also allow your manager sufficient time to consider your request.
To begin, schedule a meeting with your boss in advance rather than catching them off guard with an impromptu request. This demonstrates your respect for their time. Take note of your boss’s busy days and avoid scheduling the meeting on those days.
Once the meeting is scheduled, approach your preparation like you would for a college research report. Gather credible information and be sure to cover the following points during your salary negotiation.
The most effective way to request a raise is to conduct thorough research to understand your market value, and then professionally approach your boss. Here are five helpful tips to ensure a successful raise request.
Tips for asking for a raise
Here are some simple and understandable tips for asking for a raise:
Highlight Your Achievements
Make a list of what you’ve accomplished in the past six months, year, and during your time at the company. Explain how these achievements have helped your department and the company overall. Use specific numbers and statistics if possible.
For example, you can say, “In the past year, I brought in 5,000 new leads, an 8% increase from the previous year, resulting in $58,000 in new business.”
Know the Market
Find out what people in similar positions are earning. You can use websites like Salary.com and PayScale or check LinkedIn for job postings with salary information. Consider your industry, company size, and benefits.
If you can, consult with recruiters or hiring managers to get a realistic salary goal for your experience and position.
Explain the Benefits for Your Boss
Your boss is interested in what benefits your raise will bring to the company, not your expenses. Talk about your plans and how they will benefit the company. Share your goals, how they help the company, and your plans for achieving them.
Confidence is Key
Be confident when you ask for a raise. It might be nerve-wracking, but you have evidence to back up your request – your achievements and market research.
Be ready for the possibility of rejection and be prepared to keep up your hard work regardless of the outcome.
Put it in Writing
Give your boss a written summary of your request, including salary comparisons and the ways the company benefits from your work. This can be helpful if your boss needs to share your request with their superiors.
Know that asking for a raise is a business conversation, so focus on the value you bring to the company and how it benefits them.
What to do After Asking for a Raise
You might be curious about what to do after asking for a raise. Well, here are some things to expect and do after asking for a raise:
Expect a Delay
Don’t expect an instant yes from your boss in the first meeting. Usually, they’ll need time to talk it over with others and think about it. It’s okay to ask when you can expect a decision. For example, you can say, “Can I follow up in two weeks if I haven’t heard anything?”
Prepare for a Possible No
Be ready for a “no” response, which might be due to factors beyond your control. If this happens, ask what you can do to increase your chances for a raise in the future. A good boss will explain the reasons for the rejection and suggest ways to improve your chances.
Evaluate Your Situation
If you’re not satisfied with the reasons given for the rejection or the path to future raises, it’s a good time to think about your career at the company. Stay positive while considering your options.
If You Get a Yes
If your boss approves the raise, remain professional. Express your gratitude and continue your hard work. Remember to maintain good relationships with your colleagues.
Avoid bragging about your raise, as it can create tension within your team and make your boss regret their decision to help you.