How to Ask for a Raise the Right Way: Tips and Strategies

How to Ask for a Raise the Right Way

Don’t hold yourself back! Get the raise you deserve by following these tips.

With inflationary conditions growing, it’s no surprise that 87% of Americans think they deserve a raise. While such a massive population wants a raise, less than half of the people who want it actually work up the nerve to ask for one. Many are hesitant to approach their employers about a raise, whether it’s due to a fear of rejection or a lack of confidence in their worth. It’s understandable, given that less than half of those who ask for a raise actually receive one. 

But with the right preparation and approach, asking for a raise can be a successful and rewarding experience. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to successfully ask for a raise so that you can get the remuneration you deserve. 

Finding the right time to ask for a raise

One of the most important steps in asking for a raise is doing so at an opportune time. If the company seems to be struggling financially and laying off employees, asking for a raise can be a really bad idea. You must also be mindful of the manager’s mood before you approach them for such a conversation. Make sure to approach them at a point in the week when they have a light workload and in a more receptive mood. 

Finally, try to find out when your company hands out pay increases during the year. According to research conducted by LinkedIn, companies commonly give raises in January, June and July. With January, the logic is pretty obvious, as companies start off the new year with a new budget, which means there is room to give raises. Meanwhile, June and July are months when companies close their financial registers, giving them a better idea of whether they have money to spare for raises. 

Determining a fair and reasonable raise amount

How much of a raise you should ask for depends on various factors, including how long you have been working for the company, your level of experience, the industry you work in and the current economic climate. While some may suggest asking for a 10-20% raise on what you are currently making, it is important to do your research to determine what’s fair and reasonable for your specific situation. Be sure to check industry salary benchmarks and speak with colleagues to get a better idea of what others in similar roles are making. 

Typically, people only get a raise of about 3% or 5% at most. Keep in mind that negotiations are a give-and-take, and being flexible and open to compromise can lead to a successful outcome.

Steps to take before asking for a raise

To get a high raise, you need to have solid reasons to ask for one. Here are some points to consider before you have a discussion on your salary with your manager. 

Showing why you deserve a raise

When asking for a raise, it’s important to have solid reasons to back up your request. The first step to having a successful salary talk with your boss is to assess how your job role has changed since you first started working with the company. Observe your own performance in recent projects that you have been assigned and take note of instances where you went above and beyond what was expected of you. Having specific details of your performance will help you build a case on why your current workload deserves a higher pay rate than what you were initially hired at. 

Demonstrating future value to the company

When discussing a raise, your employer doesn’t only want to know what kind of employee you have been but also how you plan on being in the future. HR consultant Alexandria Brown says that talking about things you can improve on is a sign of emotional maturity and softens the request. 

Make sure to ask a friend to help you practice asking for a raise. Tell them to ask you tough questions, just like a manager would. This will help you think critically about your accomplishments and goals as well as articulate clearly and confidently during the actual conversation with your manager. 

Asking for a raise is never fun, but the only way to get what you deserve is by asking for it. Know that the worst thing that can happen is getting a “no”, but everything will stay the same. However, don’t let that discourage you. Instead, you should follow up with your manager and ask them what you can do to be considered for a raise in the future. If their reasons seem unsatisfactory to you, it might be time to consider moving on to another workplace. Remember, asking for a raise can be intimidating, but it’s important to advocate for yourself and your worth. 

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Header image courtesy of Freepik


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