How & When to Ask for a Raise

by | Aug 30, 2021


A raise is when your employer permanently increases the wage rate or salary you’re currently being paid above the starting or base amount. Here’s some tips on when to know when it’s the right time to ask for a raise and to do so tactfully.  



When Do Employers Issue Raises? 


Many employers issue pay raises at a certain time of year or following a performance review when resources allow it. For example, employees who have been working for the company for a specified period, such as six months or one year, will often receive a raise if they are performing at or above the employer’s expectations. 



Alternatively, your employer may issue a raise to demonstrate that you consistently meet certain performance metrics or at the end of their fiscal year. Understanding how your employer assesses performance and issues pay raises can help you determine your long-term career prospects at the company.




Timing and Other Factors


For many workers, asking their boss for a raise is a daunting task. You may wonder if they’ll say no or if a negative response will jeopardize your prospects of a raise in the future. 



Before you pose the question to your boss, consider your company’s budget. If your workplace has been engaging in cost-reducing strategies due to fluctuations in market conditions, lost accounts, or hiring new personnel, this may not be the best time to ask for a pay raise. 



That doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to a raise or that your performance isn’t sufficient. It may simply mean the company doesn’t have the resources to provide you with a pay raise at this time. However, depending on your company’s finances, your employer may be willing to issue a raise rather than risk losing you to a competitor and taking on the added costs of recruitment and training. 



Prepare for the Conversation 


In most cases, you might prepare to ask for a raise by first identifying your strengths and weaknesses; how much are you contributing to the company? During this self-evaluation, you can determine whether you deserve a raise based on what you bring to the table. 



Draft a list of your accomplishments as an employee and your commitment to your work. When you sit down with your boss to state your case for a raise, you’ll want to present examples of the great work you’re contributing to the company. Do you take on additional responsibilities, exceeding the expectations of your job description? If you can, locate measurable data showing how you’ve boosted profits, secured sales, or saved the company money. All these factors strengthen your case in a salary negotiation



Conduct Research


When asking for a pay increase, it’s helpful to know what kind of compensation is considered competitive in your industry. You’ll also need to consider your level of experience, education, and regional differences. If what you’re asking for is reasonable in your industry and based on your level of experience, you’re more likely to have success when requesting a pay increase. 




Determine What You Want


What kind of wage or salary increase are you seeking? Under some circumstances, your employer may offer you an increased benefits package instead of a pay raise. 



Enter the negotiations with a clear idea of your end goal and aim slightly higher. That way, if your employer wants to meet you in the middle, you’re still getting a satisfying result. 



Approaching Your Boss


Before approaching your boss regarding the prospect of a pay raise, you should determine their workload and stress level. Is your boss focused on several projects or tasks at once? If so, this may not be a good time to discuss your salary. 



A manager or supervisor who consistently praises your performance, work ethic, or achievements will be more likely to agree to a raise because they value your contribution and work ethic. 



Don’t Bluff


If your employer is unable or unwilling to fulfill your request, don’t threaten to quit unless you plan to do so. The ideal relationship between an employer and employee is one of mutual trust and commitment, and burning your bridges doesn’t benefit you.  



If your boss can’t give you a raise now, focus on your performance at work and being the best employee you can be. Revisit the topic in a few months or at your annual review. 



Everything You Need


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