A Guide to Asking for and Getting the Raise You Deserve
Asking your manager for a raise can be nerve-wracking, so much so, that some people wait for months or even years before asking for a raise they deserve.
The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a raise that reflects the hard work that you do, but there are some approaches and best practices that will always get better results than others.
Even though your manager has data on the hard work you’ve been doing, you still need to present your case for why you deserve a raise and you need to be prepared to negotiate.
This guide will cover: preparing to ask for a raise, how/when to ask for and justify your raise, the right questions to ask, negotiating with your manager and recovering from an unsuccessful ask for a raise.
How to Prepare
You should never ask for a raise without preparing for this conversation. No matter how good your relationship is with your manager, they will be expecting you to prove that you deserve the salary you’re asking for and won’t respond favorably if it seems like you did not prepare.
Before broaching the subject of a raise, always:
Build your Case: Look back to recent projects and periods of time where you went beyond what was expected and provided real value for your company. Always use specific performance data when possible.
Know your Worth: Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth™ salary estimator gives you a clear idea of the raise you should be asking for, by giving you an objective figure to compare your current salary against.
Just enter your job title, location, years of experience, and a few other pieces of information to get a free, personalized estimate of what the market value of your skill set is. This way, you can both understand if you’re getting paid fairly and have a concrete number to bring to the table when it comes time to negotiate your salary.
When to Ask for a Raise
Picking the right time to ask for a raise is just as important for preparing for this discussion.
When picking a good time to ask for a raise, find out when your company’s fiscal budget planning takes place so you can be sure that you aren’t asking for the impossible.
A few great times to ask for a raise are:
Annual Performance Reviews: A natural time for this conversation may be at your annual performance review, when the topic of salary is not only timely, but often expected.
After Completing an Important Project: A great time to ask for a raise is after successfully completing an important project or showing excellent work.
When your Manager is Happy: Asking for a raise during of a stressful or hectic period will guarantee that your manager is short on time and patience. Wait to ask for a raise until the dust has settled and you have, once again, proven your worth.
What to Say to Get a Raise
After preparing your evidence for why you deserve a raise and choosing a good time to talk to your manager, it’s important to think about what you’re going to say during your raise conversation.
You don’t need to have a strict script, but you do need to be clear and specific in your delivery and it helps to have a few phrases up your sleeve to help guide the conversation.
An easy way to begin a raise discussion is to say something like: “As I’m looking forward to working and growing with the company, I’d love to discuss my salary.” Or “I’m interested in discussing my salary, is now an appropriate time?”
Mention your desired salary number and specifically outline how you came to this conclusion. Bring a copy of your Know Your Worth salary estimate. Also, be clear about when you’d like your new desired salary to be effective, and any other details that are pertinent to your desired compensation.
How to Act
The way you act during a raise conversation is just as important as the tone of voice you use, so be sure that you balance confidence, graciousness and enthusiasm for the work you do.
How is an employer going to feel comfortable giving you a raise if you’re unsure yourself?
Expressing gratitude and appreciation for what you currently have at the company is a gracious and professional preface to an ask for more money.
Sharing excitement for your future goals, and for the future goals of the company, is a way to show you’re invested in doing your job well.