What You Need to Know When You Ask for a Raise

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Asking for a raise is terrifying, but necessary. From summer jobs to full-blown careers, nothing is as intimidating. However, the alarming wage gap discrepancy proves that there is wiggle room for your salary. There are lots different reasons to ask for a raise, however just because you may think you deserve one doesn’t mean that your employer does. Don’t be too worried, there are steps to take when you want to get that boost in your bank account. Having been on both sides as a manager and as someone asking for a raise I know what to say, when to say, and how to say it.

1. Preparing to Ask for a Raise

There is a big difference from wanted a raise compared to deserving one. Before you go in for the kill do a complete evaluation of your work. This must be fair and balanced.  Most employers won’t consider giving an employee a raise unless they exemplify their best work constantly. According to SheKnows.com, most managers look for the same general qualities when considering giving an employee a raise. These include: Employees who go above and beyond their role and responsibilities, those who have a good track record within the company (including punctuation, behavior, and time you’ve been put in the company), and working with other employees to improve the company as a whole. As a manager, I found that it was usually the least deserving people that asked for raises; however, employees who showed wonderful work ethic did not think they deserved a raise or were too afraid to ask. When looking for a raise put yourself in your manager or bosses place. Would you give yourself a raise? If so, move on to the next step.


Another step to take before asking for a raise is to understand how much you should be getting paid. Talking salary within the company is generally frowned upon; most companies even have a clause in their employee contract that forbids employees from discussing their pay wage. However, you can see what people in your position generally make within your area and sometimes even in your company. Websites like Payscale.com and Glassdoor.com show you the average pay of employees within companies, areas, and job titles.

After evaluating how much and why you deserve a raise you can move onto step two.

2. Asking for a Raise

Timing is everything for when you ask for a raise, according to Salary.com. Pay attention to your company’s sales. If profits are going through the roof and stocks are rising, go ahead and walk into your boss’s office. However, if your company is making budget cuts and having financial trouble asking for a raise will likely end badly on your end. Also pay attention to your boss’s mood. If she is in a good mood or you recently have impressed her with a project, this is a perfect time to ask. When I was working in food service after two years of being stuck at the same wage I believed I earned to be paid higher, but I knew I would have to prove that I deserved a wage. So instead of going straight in, I waited till I got a really high score on my store’s inspection, which gave me better leverage. When I finally did ask I received a pay raise.


You may have the timing right, however if you don’t go in with confidence your employer will not be confident with you. Asking for raises is scary, but you need to ask with pride to show your employer that you deserve it. Take steps in being more confident when talking to your boss. For example, practice what you are going to say before your ask for a raise, make a plan, and appear polished and professional. Wear something that makes you feel powerful, but also comfortable. When you follow these instructions you will give a flawless argument on why you deserve more pay.

3. What to do After You Ask

Now that the hard part is done, you have to play the waiting game. If you’re lucky, your employer will tell you after you ask, however it is likely they will either have to think about it or collaborate with other parts of upper management. When the time is right your employer will give you the news. Within this waiting period make sure to continue your best work and keeping up with company policies.

4. When you get Your Answer

If your boss tells you yes, congratulations! It’s wonderful that you were able to get a raise. Now that you have a raise you need to continue proving to your employers that you are a good employee and it was a good choice to give you a raise. Now if your boss tells you no it’s likely that there are other factors were in the choice. If told no, this is the opportunity to ask your boss what you can do for the future in order to receive more compensation. Don’t get the upset, by asking for a raise it shows your boss that you are willing to work hard for the company and plan on staying with the company for a long term period. However, if you do feel like you are getting treated unfairly it may be time to look for another job or work on a skill that will help you get that extra edge in your work place.


Do you have any tips on how to ask for a raise? Comment below and share your stories!




The Atlantic


Asking for a raise is one of the hardest things you can do. Here are some tips on how to prepare, ask, and endure the answer when asking for a raise.

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