4 Things to Know Before Asking for a Raise
By Dorothy Guardado

What’s more uncomfortable than asking your boss for a raise? Nothing.

You’ve been working twice as hard as your coworkers and it’s about time you got more than a pat on the back. Despite how much you know you deserve it, how long you’ve been with the company, or how well you get along with your boss (at least you think you do), asking for more money is one of the most challenging conversations to have in the workplace. 

The ideal situation would be not having to ask for a raise at all, and your boss would know exactly when to give you a bump in your salary. But when it comes to work, good things rarely come to those who wait. If you want more money, you’re going to have to ask for it.

Besides making your request, what should you know before stepping into your employer’s office? Here are four things to consider before asking for a raise. 

When to make your request

There is a time and place for everything – especially asking for a raise. Choosing the right time to make your request can make a huge difference as to whether or not it’s granted.  

Use your common sense. For instance, asking for more money when there are serious budget cuts or layoffs going on within your organization is definitely not a smart move. 

It’s also a good idea to get familiar with how often your company does performance reviews. For example, it would make more sense to ask for a raise around the same time you’re expecting your next evaluation as opposed to the week following one. 

Why you deserve a raise

Look at it from your employer’s point of view. What value do you bring to the organization? What have been your greatest accomplishments since joining the team? 

Be ready to point out specific instances where you got results or really made an impact. Don’t talk about how you need more money to cover your rent, or how it’s unfair so-and-so makes more than you, or the fact that you’ve been with the company for a long time. These are all reasons why you want a raise, not why you deserve one.  

The point here is to make a strong case but to do so in a non-pushy way.

How to craft your proposal

Before stepping into your employer’s office, you should know your exact worth. Not just why you deserve a raise, but the actual numbers. 

Do some research to figure out how much money others are making in similar roles. Keep in mind, this is just to give you a better sense of the numbers. Even if there’s a significant difference between what you see and what you’re currently making, you still want to make a fair request based on your own experience and skill level. 

The main takeaway? Don’t wing it! It’s also not just about your ability to persuade your boss, but to show them that you genuinely care about the company along with a willingness to take on more responsibility. 

How to respond to criticism 

Even if you don’t get what you want, keep it professional. Most importantly, be cautious about your reaction. Thank your employer for their time and let them know you genuinely appreciate that they took the time out of their busy schedule to hear you out.

If your request is denied, don’t be discouraged! Show your boss that it’s not just about the money, but you want to do better in your role. Turn this meeting into an opportunity to ask for feedback and to understand how you can improve your performance.  

If things don’t go your way – don’t take it personally

Besides your performance, there are a number of reasons why you might not get your way. Maybe it’s not about your performance, but the timing. Perhaps, the company just isn’t pulling in as much revenue as they’d like and the budget is too tight. Whatever the situation, use this as a chance to better align yourself with the needs of your organization so your next request is a homerun!

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