How To Ask For A Raise (and Get It!)

Who doesn’t want to get paid more at work? Whether you’re just starting your career or are well into the swing of things, getting a raise is obviously a major goal. But asking for one? Well, that’s something else entirely.

If you’re looking to ask your boss for a raise, it’s more approachable than you realize. Yes, there are a few steps you need to go through, but we’ve got your back to make sure you get what you’re worth!

Here’s your step-by-step plan on how to get that coveted raise, and maybe even a promotion along the way.

Show You’re An Asset

You know your work is worth a raise, but does everybody else? Start taking advantage of opportunities to showcase how you’re excelling at work.

This doesn’t mean that you should start every meeting with a, “look what a good job I did on this project!” Rather, when the opportunity arises, use facts to showcase your successes and how those can be applied to your current work. For example, when your boss doesn’t know which strategy to use to drive sales growth, you can say:

“I think we should buy some ads on Facebook. It might help.”

Or something that shows off your successes:

“When I was leading the laptop marketing campaign, we set up a successful Facebook ad sales campaign which increased sales by 30%. It’s expensive, but this seems like another instance in which it would be effective.”

The second answer isn’t technically bragging. You’re relying on facts to offer insight on a current business problem. Not only are you talking about the success you’ve seen at work, but you’re also showing your boss leadership initiative.

Research!

Before you ask your boss for any kind of additional compensation, you need to know what the industry averages are — both inside your company and out. Resources such as Glassdoor, Salary.com and even LinkedIn can provide you with the average salary information for your role. Ask people in person as well; personal mentors can provide insight to what they think you should be making, and trusted co-workers may be willing to share their salary information with you. If, at any point, it seems like you’re getting the short end of the stick, make a note of it.

Figure out what you want

Asking your boss for a raise is a different conversation than asking your boss for a title change and a stretch assignment. Once you’ve done research to determine what you should be getting, it’s time to combine that data with what you want to be getting. Would the ability to work from home make your life easier? Do you want to move into that office that just opened up? Would you be happier if your title matched the additional department you’ve been supporting? Make a list of non-monetary benefits you want to ask for.

Prioritize the list

Unfortunately, it’s rare that you go into a negotiation with your boss (yes, asking for a raise is still a negotiation!) and get everything you’re asking for. Pick one to three priority asks to focus on, and then choose a list of back-ups. When speaking with your boss, you need to show that you’re focused. Having a clear set of asks will show  you’ve done the work necessary to justify your raise.

Schedule time with your boss

It sounds like a silly step, but being proactive will show your boss you mean business. Don’t wait for your next performance review to start asking; if it’s important to you — and at this point, it should be — take initiative. Schedule time with your boss sooner rather than later. You can preface the meeting by telling your boss that you’d like to discuss your progress within the company.

Ask

When you’re meeting with your boss, but concise and direct. Thank your boss for all of the opportunities you’ve been presented with thus far, and use that to segue into why you deserve a raise. This is where all that bragging practice comes in handy; use facts to show that you’re an asset and, yes, definitely brag about your accomplishments. For example, a good introduction into asking for a raise would be:

“Over the past six months, I’ve greatly expanded my role to support not one but three different departments. I’ve lead the Facebook ad campaign and played a large role in implementing new ecommerce policies within the company. All of these additional responsibilities are not reflected in my job title or salary, and I’d like to make sure they’re incorporated moving forward.”

By focusing on facts, not feelings, your boss will take your request seriously. Don’t hesitate to prepare materials to use in this meeting. If you can show the difference your making in numbers, charts or as general results, do it!

Be prepared for the waiting game

After you’ve made your pitch to your boss, they won’t give an immediate answer. They’ll need to check with a few different individuals and look into everything you’re asking for, so the best next step you can establish is what the timeline is. Ask your boss for a specific date when you should follow up with them and if they need any additional information from you.

Your boss may try to brush you off by giving you vague answers about next steps. Don’t let this deter you. Instead, set a timeline for yourself that includes when you should follow up with your boss and, if you decide that you can’t find what you’re looking for at your current role, when you should start job searching.

Don’t accept anything than what you know you’re worth. The biggest step is asking, and once you’ve done that you’ve put yourself is a strong spot for future success.  Embrace your own courage, celebrate your success and take a deep breath — you’ve got this!

Alex Wilson is a freelance writer interested in fashion, lifestyle, and all forms of pop culture. Her writing has been featured in various digital and print publications, including USA Today and Long Island Pulse. When not writing, Alex can be found testing new recipes, exploring new neighborhoods, and window shopping. She hopes to someday travel to all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica).

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