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How to Ask for a Raise at Work

Puja Lalwani Jul 22, 2020
Asking for a raise is a task that simply requires a little diplomacy and effort on your part. Take a look at the information presented here, and ensure that you get that raise you deserve.
There are several organizations that do not initiate the subject of a raise unless they are approached by their employees. If you intend to initiate the process, keep in mind that asking for a raise is a sensitive issue, and there is a certain tact with which you should go about the process.
You ought to request, not demand, and you ought to sell yourself, not argue with your boss if he doesn't see why you should get a raise. Here are some tips that will help.

Accomplish More Than Required

There has to be a valid reason for your company to give you a pay raise. If you accomplish more work than you have been asked to, they are bound to consider your case as an employee worthy of a pay hike. Asking for more work and completing it within the stipulated time, are efforts that should be and will be clearly visible to your employer.
Moreover, make a list of all these accomplishments along with recommendations from colleagues and seniors, as proof and a valid reason for you to get a raise. This will also allow you to determine your worth.
While some of you may be wary of blowing your own trumpet, the others may think they can't say enough about their achievements. Maintain a balance in your attitude if you want that raise.

Understand Your Worth

Don't just decide on a figure you wish, find out what the salary range is for people in your position, and take a look into your own achievements on the job, before you decide how much you should ask for. A little lower or higher than the current salary range is acceptable. However, don't ask for an amount that your boss will consider downright outrageous.

Understand Your Employer's Worth

The economic recession has hit everyone badly, and your boss could be one of them. Keeping yourself updated about the company's financial status will help you in a big way. The company is definitely going to use the economic recession as an excuse for not being able to afford a pay hike for an employee.
However, based on a little knowledge about the profits the company made the previous month/quarter, and a steady recovery from the low that had hit the company, you can present your argument, and the fact that it can indeed be affordable by the company.

Choose an Appropriate Time to Put Forth Your Proposal

While asking for your worth in the form of a raise is important, when you do it equally matters in this case.
Ensure that your boss has enough time to listen to and consider your proposal. Gauge his mood, and choose the right time. If you decide to do it early morning on a busy day, or at the end of the week when it's time to wrap up all the events and occurrences of the week, you are going to be shot down immediately.
First, request a meeting with your employer (perhaps over email), at a time suitable for her/him. Do not state the cause for the meeting, else it may never materialize. If she/he doesn't respond immediately, give it some time. Don't pressure her/him, since it is a sensitive issue.

Prepare to Market Yourself

You do not have to argue with your boss to get a raise. Put forth your case in a well-planned manner.
  • Start by a discussion of the projects you have contributed to, without specifically mentioning what you have done. Slowly, steer the conversation towards your accomplishments, and how you enjoy taking on additional responsibilities.
  • Never sound like you're doing the company a favor by doing the extra work. In fact, try to present a case where they can see the benefit of paying you well (extra work hours, added responsibilities, therefore increased profits, etc.). Then present your desire for a pay raise.
  • Another point to remember is that you should be open for salary negotiation. In such a case, keep your demands slightly higher than you expect. For instance, if you want a 10% raise, start by asking for 15%.
  • If you have to, practice this conversation a couple of times before you go in. Consider all possible responses, including a flat 'no', and decide your further course of action. Do not 'threaten' to leave if you don't get what you ask for, but if you wish to, you can definitely suggest that it will not be possible for you to continue at the current salary.
  • Never suggest that you have received open offers of employment from other companies. It will show that you are using this opportunity to 'blackmail' your current employer, and has a huge chance of failing.
Do not imagine your boss to be a monster who just wants to extract work from you without paying you for it. Many companies believe in keeping their employees happy, so that the company functions better and makes more profit. Just ensure that your request is legitimate, and that you have enough proof to back your proposal. The raise will definitely be yours.