Tips on Asking for a Pay Raise

We all want to make more money. But not all of us are comfortable asking for a pay raise. There’s the awkwardness of trying to sell yourself and what you bring to the table to your supervisor – not to mention the awkwardness of how the both of you will feel if your request is denied. In either case, keep in mind that it’s likely nothing personal, just business – for both parties involved. has gathered together some important ‘get a raise’ tips to help you better talk yourself up and highlight your value within the company as you attempt to bring home a little more in your check.

Here’s how to get a raise and ask for a raise

It’s all about you: As you make your case and ask for a raise, your boss will likely present you with a simple question at some point during your formal performance review or meeting: “Why you?” This is where you have to do the best job selling yourself. For instance, make sure you bring up hard evidence to back up your claim. If your sales have been on a steady incline for the past six months, highlight that trend. If you’re in a non-sales role, but can prove that you’ve brought money into the company, don’t hide the details. You need to demonstrate your value and why you deserve a raise. This will help back up your claims and help your supervisor realize just how important you are and just how much they can’t afford to lose you. Business is bottom line. If you can prove you’re helping your company’s bottom line, in any way, do it.

By the book: Your company likely has some sort of handbook detailing its policies on pay raises and performance evaluations. Make sure you know what this policy is, as it will give you more leverage in terms of asking for one if such a policy is detailed in official company documents. If there is no official company policy on pay raises and performance reviews, make an educated decision based on your tenure with the company. If other people have been getting raises, don’t be afraid to ask for a performance review. Even if a pay raise doesn’t come of it, it will at least show initiative on your behalf to improve what you do.

Peer consultation: Remember our first tip? Bringing hard evidence to the bargaining table as you ask for a raise? Check around with people that you know who work at competing companies carrying out similar duties. See when they received pay raises and also check to see, if they offer the information, what they make in terms of salary at their position. That’s information you can bring back to your boss, which may give you more bargaining leverage if your competition is treating employees better. If you’re really worth it to them, they’re not going to want to risk losing you to a similar company that pays more.

Brace yourself: As we noted in the opening, asking for a raise can be uncomfortable and awkward. What’s more is that it can rub some employers the wrong way. So be prepared to engage in some sort of a debate with your employer or boss as you make your case. It might be uncomfortable, but you need to be confident that you deserve one. If you’re not confident you deserve one, wait until you are before you ask for one.

More work: Another part of demonstrating your value as an employee is any additional work you’re taking on at the office. Someone may have quit, been fired, gotten laid off or moved on to a bigger and better opportunity, which may leave you to absorb that person’s work for the same amount of pay. Yes, and you just found out that they aren’t going to replace that worker any time soon, so that additional workload is there to stay. With that being said, bring this information to your job and ask for a pay raise for the extra work you’re doing. Floating you more money is lots cheaper than hiring someone new – with healthcare costs, orientation and training costs, etc. And paying you more is much more affordable than potentially losing you to another company, too.

Outline your case: So you’ve got the evidence you need to make your case and have several other things you want to hit on during your pitch. Make an outline of the factors you want to stress as you ask for a raise. There’s nothing worse than leaving quality points on the table in a meeting with your boss about pay raises. Leaving good points on the table potentially is leaving money on the table too.

Be courteous: You should be firm, confident and authoritative in your meeting with your boss. Think about it, if you’re not sure why you should get a raise, why should your boss be? But at the end of the meeting, you should be courteous. Your boss will likely say that your request will be taken into consideration before the meeting is over with. Shake hands, thank him for the time and stress that there will be no hard feelings either way. Be professional. That goes for his decision, as well – regardless of what he decides to do. You’ll probably be disappointed if you aren’t given a raise, but act professional. Don’t pout or let your work slump. Instead, being passed up for a raise can arguably give you more motivation to prove your worth to the company.

We know that asking for a raise can be awkward, especially if you work for a larger company where your supervisor doesn’t particularly know you too well. But being prepared and knowing your company’s policies are key to getting the pay raise you seek.

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