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How to Ask for a Raise

By Forrest | Last Updated: October 8, 2019

How to Ask for a Raise

You’ve been at your company for at least a few months if not a few years now and you think it’s time for a raise. There are some “dos” and “don'ts” when it comes to asking for a raise so be sure to keep reading to increase your chances of getting a raise. Asking for a raise can be intimidating. But if you think about it, there are only two possible outcomes. And neither will hurt you. You could land an increase in pay, or you might not land an increase in pay. That’s it. There aren’t any drawbacks.

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Do: Research your Market Value

If you flip hamburgers at a local fast food restaurant, asking for $200,000 is unreasonable. You should always research your market value before asking for a raise. There are many places you can research this. Check out Glassdoor's salary calculator here. Fill in the required information about your job history, education, and skills to get an estimate on what you should ask for.

Another way to do research is to browse job postings for your job and see what they are offering. If it’s much more, it’s probably a good idea to ask for a raise. If it’s much less, maybe you should wait a few months and then reconsider.

Do: Organize Your Accomplishments

You will need to validate that you are worth the raise you are asking for. To do this, you should organize a list of your major accomplishments since you started the job. Think of the major tasks that you have completed. It’s even better if you can monetize this. Did you optimize the companies website and brought it 30 new leads that have generated over $100,000 in revenue? This is a perfect example of what to explain to your supervisor. Being able to quantify your impact on the company is THE BEST way to get a raise.

Do: Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to talk about it

It is wise to meet with your supervisor in person to ask for your raise. It is much more likely that they will agree to your terms if you meet in person rather than asking over email or in writing. You will be able to judge your supervisor's body language and get feedback on your performance at the company.

Don’t: Schedule your meeting first thing Monday morning

The last thing you should do is schedule a meeting with your supervisor first thing Monday morning, or at 4:30 while they’re gathering their thoughts and preparing to leave for the day. Understand your manager's situation before scheduling a meeting. If she or he has a large project due that week, perhaps it’s a good idea to wait another week.

Do: Understand how colleagues view you and your work

Do your colleagues appreciate you and your work? Good, you’re more likely to get the raise you’re asking for. That’s not to say that if your colleagues aren’t your best friends you won’t get a raise, however.

Don’t: Ask for a raise when your performance is lacking

Do you have KPIs that you are responsible for? If so, make sure these numbers are performing well before asking for a raise. If you don’t have any KPIs, be sure that you are performing above and beyond on your responsibilities to better your chance of landing a raise.

Don’t: Ask for a raise when the company is underperforming… sometimes

This one is tough. You can’t always control market conditions and business goals however if the business is underperforming your chances of getting a raise are lower. Similar to before, this doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get denied. And because it doesn’t hurt to ask, you should let this deter you from asking. This tip is more to help you understand expectations. Hopefully, your supervisor would let you know this if it’s the reason your raise was denied. But if not, you should be able to deduce that this could be the cause.

Don’t: Ask for a raise after you just got one

If you got a raise within the last 3-6 months, you should probably wait a little longer before asking for another one. Unless your job duties have significantly changed, it’s likely that you’ll be denied. Try waiting another 3 months before asking for your second raise.

Do: Ask for a raise

We encourage you to disregard everything written above. “WHAT!?!?”, you might be thinking to yourself. At the end of the day, it cannot hurt to ask for a raise. So if you believe you are worth it and you are performing well at the company, ASK! You can use the tips above to help you craft your message when asking.

Don’t: Get discouraged if you do not get a raise

There are many factors that go into deciding whether or not you get a raise. If you are denied, don’t beat yourself up. Perhaps it just isn’t in the budget yet, or market conditions don’t justify it. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be later, so keep working hard and impressing your supervisor!

Do: Ask your supervisor for advice and next steps

If you are denied a raise, you should ask your supervisor for any advice that might better your chance of landing a raise next time. She or he might give you a reason it couldn’t be approved and hopefully, you can use this information to guide your next steps.

Whether you are approved for the raise you are asking for or not, it’s always worth the try. Remember to quantify your worth as much as you can to better your chances. We want to hear your thoughts on getting a raise! You can also check out my friend Darcy's post about how she hacked her way to make 6 figures in the marketing industry!

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing enthusiast dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He owns several different blogs and is also passionate about health and fitness.