5 Tips When Asking for a Raise at Work

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated November 8, 2017

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September 23, 2016

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Do you think you deserve a raise but aren’t sure how to ask for it? Asking for a raise can be a tricky ordeal. Many people think asking for a raise makes them seem greedy or unappreciative of what they have. In reality, asking for a raise is part of the job process. Companies are generally not keen on the idea of freely giving out more money, so getting a raise often comes down to the employee asking for it. There is nothing wrong with asking for what you deserve. If you are still nervous about asking for more money, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

If you know that you deserve a raise, then you need to be clear about that. Don’t walk in to your boss’ office, ask for a raise and turn around and leave if he turns you down. Ask for specific reasons. Engage in a back and forth conversation about your future at the company and what your boss expects of you. Be sure of yourself and your skills, otherwise it will be clear to your boss that you actually don’t deserve a raise. The next 4 tips will help you have the confidence you need to get the raise you deserve.

There is a difference between being confident and being stubborn. You need to be prepared to negotiate. Not only will it make you seem level-headed but it will also show you are a business-minded person. If your boss agrees to the raise but gives you a much lower offer, be prepared to tell her no and negotiate for a better raise. That doesn’t mean that your boss must agree to the number you set forth. Go back and forth. Be prepared to settle on a number that you are both comfortable with. This is the key to negotiation.

Most people don’t understand that the company they work for doesn’t owe them a raise. Raises have to be earned. You can’t just go into your bosses office and demand a raise with nothing to back it up.

Before you meet with your boss about a raise, sit down and list out everything that you’ve accomplished in your current job. Especially focus on things that you did that went above and beyond your regular duties. Show your boss that you are worthy of a raise by giving example after example of how you have over-performed. It will be harder for her to say no.

You should always know what others who do your job are making, both in and outside the company. If you are not close enough to your coworkers to ask how much they make, talk to the HR department if they can help. They should have information on a salary scale for your job. Most importantly, look for salary comparisons with people in your job at other companies. Even if you aren’t looking for a raise, it’s always good to see what people with your skill set are making, to be sure that you aren’t being underpaid.

If the comparable salaries are not in line with your salary, point that out to your boss. Doing your research also shows that you are diligent and smart, which are good qualities to showcase when asking for a raise.

Don’t feel defeated if your boss tells you no. Use it as a jumping off point. If you aren’t qualified for a raise now, ask your boss what you would need to do to get that raise. Make sure to set up a plan of action with them and settle on actual, attainable goals that you can strive for. Most importantly, get it all in writing. Make sure the action plan is laid out and that you both sign the plan to make it official. If it’s not in writing, your boss is not serious about giving you a raise, and it might be time to search for a job that appreciates your skills.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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