Successfully Asking For A Raise [Tips & Tricks]

asking for a raise

Asking for a raise is not an outrageous request. On the contrary, it is expected in any organization for people to ask for a raise and any boss with experience managing staff knows that. This, however, may feel awkward on your side, and you may feel nervous even to begin this kind of conversation with your boss.

To ask for a raise, you need to schedule a meeting with your boss at an ideal time, then showcase your accomplishments, the praises and positive feedback you have received after completing your previous projects, the awards you have achieved, and even the educational qualifications you have recently achieved among other things.

The above is not enough to ask for a raise. You need to know everything regarding asking for a raise. You need to know the perfect time to ask, how to ask for a raise, why you should ask, and how to approach the negotiation table, among other things you need to know. Therefore, this article reveals everything you need to know before negotiating with your manager for a salary raise.

How To Ask For A Raise And Why You Should

It would be best if you did not ask for a raise because perhaps your peers are earning more than you, or you want to offset your debts. However, there must be a good reason to ask for a salary adjustment, and your boss should be convinced that you need a raise.

Therefore, you should look for an approach suitable for you and your boss. It is important to note that asking for a raise is like selling yourself, so you need a perfect time and a suitable and convenient timing that would favor your request. Some of the best ways to ask for a raise include the following:

Get On The Calendar

It is important to schedule a meeting with your boss on a convenient date. It is also important to note that you should ask for a raise in person, and emails are discouraged since you need time to convince the boss of your request.

However, sometimes your boss may want you to discuss the matter over email, and that is a different case since you need to learn how to use email to ask for a raise. Sometimes, your boss may prefer a video call, which also works as an in-person meeting.

Getting on your calendar is the best thing to do to avoid inconveniences during your discussion with your boss. They should be available to discuss with you so that you can deal with the situation.

Choose The Right Time To Ask

choosing the right time to ask for a raise

Timing matters, and not every time is the best to ask for an increase in salary. The company’s performance is the first thing to check when asking for a raise. If you have performed well in the previous quarter and the company is doing well, then it is good to ask for a raise.

Some instances that are not good for asking for a raise are when the company is facing tough times such as a financial crisis, layoffs, or when your boss is facing some personal issues. It is important, therefore, to check your boss’s mood and how they have been feeling about you and your performance of late.

What Is The Financial Health Of The Company?

Check the numbers and how the company is financially before considering a raise. Your request for a raise can only work when the company is doing well. For example, how did you perform in the last quarter? This will be critical since the company will only consider a raise when there is a positive trend or growth in the company’s profits.

How Is Your Manager’s Workload?

If your manager is too busy and occupied with many tasks to complete, it would be better to wait for a time when the workload is reduced. But, of course, you need time to discuss, and your manager also needs time to listen to you. Therefore, pick a time when your boss is not too overwhelmed with many commitments.

Most of the time, especially in the last quarter of the year, your boss may be too occupied with many tasks they need to complete before the year’s close. So instead of asking for a raise, you may even better your chances by asking where you can help so that when you ask for a raise later, your manager will feel the impact of what you are asking for.

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Ask For A Raise?

asking for a raise and choosing the right time

Most company managers do annual performance reviews once a year, which keeps their employees focused on their roles and motivated to deliver their best. It is, therefore, essential to consider asking for a raise before the annual review begins.

In addition, you should ask for a raise before your manager submits the annual budget for the company. In most cases, businesses’ budgets run from July 1st to June 30th, while others run from January 1st to December 31st. Therefore, it is crucial to know the budget cycle of your company so that you can ask for a raise before the annual budget is completed.

Have You Successfully Completed A Significant Task Or Project?

It is always prudent to ask for a salary bump when you have just completed a significant project successfully. This will give your request more weight, and your boss is likely to consider your request.

If your competence and skills are indispensable, and perhaps the company relies on you so much for that, then it is wise to ask for a pay raise when the next project is due or just about to start. However, you should be careful not to give your boss some ultimatums that would otherwise damage your long-term relationship.

Research Salary Trends

Research the salary trends and know what your competitive salary should be. Then, you can compare your salary with those of other employees and the average earnings for that role in different cities or states. Perhaps you are being underpaid in your role compared to others in the same position.

Know Your Worth

Know your worth before asking for a raise

Your worth in the company or institution you work for is shown by how much your services are relied upon by the management. If your skills, competence, and level of contribution in your field are something that the company cannot do without, then you should know you are an asset, and that should give you a head start to bargain for your raise.

Therefore, the value you offer the company should be proportionate to your salary, and if you feel you are offering too much for low pay, you need to negotiate for a raise.

Always Bring Data + Numbers

You need to be equipped with exact numbers and data on how you have performed in your role over the years. For example, list your achievements and projects you have successfully completed and even the awards you have achieved in that role.

For instance, if you are a salesperson, you need to tell your boss the exact achievements you have made, the number of deals you have brought to the company, and the profits that the company has made from such deals or sales.

Of course, you must have a substantive reason to make your company consider your salary raise. If your performance in the company is outstanding and everyone knows about it, then you will have an easy time with numbers.

Consider Your Qualifications

Your employer will always take into consideration your skills, educational qualifications, and the years of experience you have worked in that company before approving your pay raise. If you have furthered your studies or achieved more professional qualifications that are invaluable in your job, then you need to consider that.

It is important to note that the more you are qualified for your role, the more the employer will want to retain your skills, and that will give you an upper hand when asking for a raise. You are more likely to be successful than if you have not added to your bucket of qualifications.

Consider What You’ll Bring To The Team In The Coming Year And Beyond

bringing value to the team before asking for a raise

After you have tabled your past accomplishments, you also need to bring to the table what you will be able to accomplish in the next year and beyond. Your employer must see a commitment that you are passionate about your role and working hard to achieve the company’s targets.

Make A List Of Your Accomplishments

As I have noted, your employer cannot just add you more salary before they are convinced with numbers. Therefore, since your last raise, document all your achievements, projects, and even the awards you have earned, if any. The more tasks you have accomplished successfully, your chances of getting a raise are higher.

Collect All The Positive Praise You’ve Received Since Your Last Performance Review

You must also prove to your boss that you have received positive feedback based on your last performance. This is important because it shows your worth to the company and how your input has significantly impacted the company’s results.

Identify A Target Salary Range Or Pay Increase

You need to know the best salary range to ask for. For example, if you are asking for the first time after you have stayed in the company for only a few years, it would be reasonable to ask for an increase of not more than 6%.

If you have worked for years with the company, you can ask for a 10% to 20% increase depending on your accomplishments, performance, and other factors. In addition, if you have additional responsibilities, that would also affect the range you need to ask.

Be Prepared To Negotiate

negotiate the best raise

Don’t be fixed on your request for a raise since you may end up without a solution. Instead, it would be best if you were flexible in negotiating. For instance, if you are asking for a 15% increase, your boss might not be willing to offer the whole 15%, but they may be ready to provide you with an increase that is less than what you are asking for.

In addition to that, when your boss is opposed to what you want, be willing to negotiate. For instance, they may say no, but some reasonable negotiation, such as asking your boss how much they are willing to offer, is an excellent way to negotiate a salary increase.

Rehearse Your Script

Rehearsing is a way of combating fear and anxiety that would easily take hold of you if you are unprepared. Therefore, you should prepare your talking points so that you are sure of what to say and what to avoid.

It would help if you had a written script before meeting your boss, then rehearse how you will begin your request when you get to the meeting. It is important to include all the professional reasons in your script on why you need a raise and to avoid personal reasons such as the cost of living, debts, or an increase in your rent, among other personal issues.

Be Confident

You must be confident in what you want. Don’t shy off because, as I noted earlier, it is common to ask for a raise. Even if you will not get it, there is nothing wrong with asking. However, to be confident, you must know why you are asking for a raise and should be prepared with the answers to any question you might be asked.

It is also important to note that your boss must see your confidence in you. Therefore, you must maintain eye contact, smile, and be specific about your wants. Don’t beat around the bush or start with unnecessary stories.

Start With An Opener

An opener is an introduction. When you meet with your boss or manager, they will wait for you to begin the conversation; therefore, you need a good introduction. In your introduction, it is good to acknowledge the time you gave to articulate your issues in a meeting.

It is, therefore, reasonable to begin with an acknowledgment, then immediately go to what you want without beating around the bush. At this point, also show that you are excited about your job and role in that company.

Follow Up With Specifics

show specifics when asking for a raise

Sometimes the manager may want to know why you need a raise. If they are open to facts, show your justifications with facts and the projects you have accomplished in the past, your achievements, and everything that would justify a raise. That means you should expect follow-up questions and prepare well before attending such a meeting since you need to be clear with facts.

Therefore, it is crucial to list all your accomplishments, experience level, and specific figures that your manager might want to know.

Let Your Boss Know What’s In It For Them

Don’t show that you are likely to quit if not given a raise. Instead, demonstrate that you are passionate about your role in the company. In addition, don’t give ultimatums since that may work against your reputation even if you were an asset in that role. Instead, let your employer feel comfortable that you are in for them, even if they are not ready to add the exact percentage you are asking for.

Be Ready For Questions

When you ask for a raise, you will get questions from your boss to justify why you need a raise. But, of course, it will not be easy, so you need to prepare to answer any question that might come your way.

Being ready for questions means you should have all the information about your accomplishments and the numbers and facts you might need to prove or justify the need for a raise. Some questions are as simple as, “why do you need a raise?” but in itself, it is a question that needs a well-thought-after answer.

Thank Your Manager

thank your boss when asking for a raise

Thanking your manager should be the first thing and the last thing to do before leaving. But, first, when you meet, you should thank them for the opportunity given to discuss your raise request.

Also, when you are about to leave, just after you have finished the conversation about your salary negotiation, it is a good idea to thank your manager or boss for the time and everything regardless of how your discussion went, whether you were successful or not and give your manager time to consider your request.

How To Ask For A Raise [An Example Script]

“Thank you for giving me time to discuss my salary. I am passionate about my role in this company, and I have gone the extra mile to ensure that I become successful in my projects. I achieved a 30% sales growth during the last quarter after successfully completing ABCD projects. I am, therefore, asking for a 10% increase in my salary.” I hope this is a good time to ask since I already have other added responsibilities and projects to accomplish, and that would help me keep the focus on how to achieve my targets for this quarter and the next.”

What To Do If They Say “No” To Your Raise Request

After you have negotiated with your employer and didn’t succeed in your plan, it does not mean you are not valuable to that company. It could be the issue with timing or not enough metrics to convince your employer. Therefore, it is important to consider doing the following:

  • Check your metrics and where to improve next time.
  • Find out why you were denied an increase and how to go about that for better future negotiation.
  • Reconsider your timing next time.
  • Decide on your next move, whether you want to go with another employer or not.

How To Recover From A Failed Raise Conversation

next steps to take if you don't get the raise

Your request will not always be a ‘yes.’ For example, your employer may deny your request for a salary increase, which may create a bad feeling for you and your company if you were not prepared for a “no”. Therefore, it is important not to have high expectations when you have requested a raise and to know that a “no” may be one of the responses you should anticipate. If your raise conversation failed, then you need to do the following:

Focus On The Future

Perhaps your employer, at the moment you are asking for a raise, has already made the annual budget or has a plan to consider annual salary increases for all the employees shortly. Then it is important to focus on improving yourself and your skill level to earn an increase in the future. Don’t be discouraged or slack on your job since that would not add anything positive in the future or help you with a potential increase.

Know Why You Were Denied A Raise

If your manager says no to your salary request, you should know why they are unwilling to give you a salary raise. Of course, if you have a decent manager who is approachable, they will provide clear reasons to leave you satisfied to wait for another time to ask for a raise.

Think About A New Job

Not every boss values the input of the workers. Some employers might not attribute the company’s success to that of the hardworking staff; in most cases, they undervalue the employees. If you are working for an employer who doesn’t care about the welfare of the team and rewarding achievements, you might need to consider getting a new career in this hot job market.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Asking for a raise is never an easy thing to do. You may feel you have not achieved enough as an employee to ask for a raise. It could also be your first time asking for a raise, and you are nervous about it. Therefore, the following are some common questions that most people ask would be helpful.

What Is A Good Percentage To Ask For A Raise?

Most statistics indicate an ideal pay raise of 10% – 20%. However, the percentage or figure in mind to ask for will depend on many factors, including the individual level of your accomplishments or the number of projects you have successfully accomplished, your performance, and even the length of time you have gone without an increase, among other factors.

How Much Of A Raise Should I Ask For After 2 Years?

How much you should ask for a pay raise after two years will depend on many factors. For example, are you new to the company, and is this your first time asking for a raise? Or have you worked with the company for a long time? For example, if you have just completed two years in the company, you should ask for a raise of about 2- 6% of your base salary. On the other hand, if you have worked for the company for many years, asking for a 6 – 10% raise off your current salary is ideal.

Can You Get Fired For Asking For A Raise?

You cannot be fired for asking for a raise because employers know you could consider filing a lawsuit for being wrongfully terminated. However, if you are new in your role and perhaps nervous about asking for a raise, you should know it is customary to ask for a raise.

Consider your value in the company, accomplishments, performance, and how the company is doing before asking for a raise.

Therefore, something to worry less about is whether you can be fired since employers or managers with experience dealing with the staff know it is normal for employers to request a pay raise.

Is A 10k Raise Too Much To Ask For?

It depends on how much you earn per month. For instance, if you earn over $100k a year, asking for a $10k increase is not much since it is within a reasonable bracket of 10 – 20%. Therefore, it is important to keep your salary increase request between the recommended percentage I have mentioned as it would be reasonable to your employer.

Final Thoughts

Asking for a raise is never an easy task. This is especially true if you are doing it for the first time. You may feel nervous about approaching your boss and negotiating over a salary increase since you may be asked some questions that you had not anticipated.

Therefore, it is good to note that asking for a raise is a usual practice. You should be prepared with everything you need, including your accomplishments, qualifications, and everything you might need to back up your negotiation.