How to properly ask for a raise: 7 useful rules

How to properly ask for a raise: 7 useful rules

Talking to boss about an increase in salary scares many people. What if they refuse or, even worse, fire you for insolence! There is no need to be afraid. Discussing salary is a normal practice. We have gathered a few rules and tips to help prepare for the conversation and increase the chances of a successful outcome.

1. Get the timing right

Getting the timing right is one of the key elements of a successful salary conversation. A good time for such a conversation is in the fall and winter: the company is forming a budget for next year, so it will be easier to find extra funds for salary increases and write them into expenses.

But there are other factors to consider as well:

  1. Make sure the company is doing well financially. If your colleagues have recently been laid off or told about low sales at a meeting, it’s better to hold off;
  2. Make sure that boss is not drowning in tasks and is in a good mood. Probably the best time to find a supervisor in the right frame of mind (Friday morning);
  3. Make sure you’re doing a great job. If you seriously blew a deadline a month ago or made a task with a mistake, you probably won’t get a raise.

2. Gather evidence

Simply asking for a raise won’t be enough. Your boss will certainly ask you to argue why you deserve a salary increase.

It is important to prepare your arguments in advance and to back them up with concrete examples, preferably with figures. Good arguments for a raise would be:

  • Exceeding the plan;
  • Expansion of the list of responsibilities;
  • Serious non-compliance of salaries with market offers;
  • Successful cases and initiatives that have increased company income or simplified work processes.

3. Don’t get emotional

Pity, anger and frustration are questionable arguments for a manager. They are more likely to provoke resentment and make him reconsider his attitude toward you.

Other bad or questionable reasons for a raise include:

  • Difficult personal circumstances, such as a mortgage or the birth of a child. An increase in personal expenses does not indicate an increase in the value of your work;
  • Length of working. Without proof of your contribution to the company’s success, this argument probably won’t carry much weight;
  • An increase in a colleague’s salary. A supervisor can make a strong case for why he was worthy of a raise and you haven’t worked your way up to it yet. In addition, you will be labeled as a gossip or envious, and this is not good for reputation;
  • Willingness to do more. You can not guarantee cool results in advance, and the boss, raising your salary, will not be able to return it to its previous value for no reason. So first the case, then talk about a promotion.

It is also not worth blackmailing you with your resignation. The boss will not take such a statement lightly, and may even give you a letter of resignation at once. Use such an argument only if you already have a real offer from another company and you are thinking about going there only because of the higher salary. Here, the manager may actually agree to a salary increase in order to retain a valuable employee.

4. Determine how much of a raise you want

It is better to come to the boss with a concrete proposal, it will increase the chance of a successful result. But dreams must be limited: a request for a double increase in salary or a bonus is too ambitious. But you can count on 10, 20 or 30%.

To determine the real figure, try to objectively assess your professional growth, contribution to the development of the company and changes in the amount of responsibilities and workload compared to when you were set the current salary. It is also useful to check offers on the market, so you know whether you really earn less than others in your profession and how much of a raise you can think about.

5. Rehearse the conversation

Before the meeting with the boss, prepare answers to any of his objections and questions, rehearse them in front of a mirror. This will help you not to get embarrassed and not to explode with emotion in case of refusal.

Prepare yourself for the main part of the conversation. You should start right away with the topic, questions about current tasks or talking about distracted topics can only bore the boss. Then list the collected arguments, at first you can not go into details, just leave the figures to answer the objections and tell the desired amount of the raise.

6. Don’t wait for a miracle

No matter how much one would like to get a raise, it is impossible to guarantee a successful outcome. So you need to prepare yourself for rejection, too.

Before a conversation with the boss do not tell your colleagues about your initiative. There is no need for unnecessary gossip, plus one of them may think about his salary and ahead of you. The chance that two employees will get a raise in one month will be less.

During a conversation with your boss, don’t raise your tone, blackmail, or threaten to quit, leak information, or give bad reviews on the Internet. Then afterwards you can go back to work calmly and think about what to do next: keep striving for a raise or start looking for a new place.

7. Find out what you need to do to get promoted

Even if the conversation with your boss now ends up going nowhere, you can get something out of it. Ask him what actions you need to take and what results you need to show to get a raise.

Write down the advice and recommendations on paper and make a plan of action that will help achieve the desired result. And when you reach your goals, go back to the boss with the collected evidence of growth and try your luck again. If even this time you get a rejection, it is a reason to think about how realistic it is to get a promotion and whether it is time to post an ad on a job search site.


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