How To Ask Your Boss For A Raise

Money. You like it, your bosses definitely like it, and everyone could use more of it (except those one-percenters…). Bigger paychecks are great, but scoring a raise isn’t entirely about a monetary boost. Requesting a raise acknowledges your worth in the company and reminds your bosses of what you bring to the table. It’s a win-win. That is, if you muster up the courage to ask for one. Here’s how you can coax a few extra zeroes out of your employer.

Calm Before the Storm

There are a few key things to keep in mind before scheduling a chat with your boss. First, take their appointments into account. If your employer is in the midst of a stressful week or having a bad quarter, it would behoove you to wait. While there’s never a “perfect” time to ask for a raise, certain moments are better than others.

Once you’ve squeezed your way into their calendar, you’ll want to think of what to say. Have you ever heard of someone winging a marriage proposal? (I mean, maybe, but let’s not focus on that.) For life’s big moments, you want to prepare. Practice your speech and try to get into your boss’s headspace. 

Though, preparation doesn’t just mean talking to the mirror. Thoroughly research your position and what people in your line of work realistically make. This provides a rough outline of where you can expect to go in your company. But, it also shows your boss that you’re serious and grounded in your request. Plus, when you walk in with an actual number, it saves the headache of negotiating right out of the gate.

Time to Shine

Now, it’s all well and good that you want a raise, but your bosses need more to go on. In fact, some managers say the best thing you can do is put together a list of your achievements. Did your boss give you more responsibility? Did you score a big win for the company? Prepare a few reasons why you’re a valuable asset to the team. 

Another notable tactic is to avoid discussing why you need a raise. Steer clear of financial issues or grovelling for more money. A lot of employees experience high living costs and disclosing that to your boss isn’t helpful. Instead, focus on the aforementioned point and highlight the reasons why you deserve it. 

Lastly, you should ask for feedback on your performance. Sure, you’ve done solid work over the last year, but how can you improve? Gathering information straight from the horse’s mouth will turn you into an irreplaceable employee. 

The Aftermath

Phew. The hard part may be over, but that doesn’t mean the work is done. By the end of your meeting, you may get a hearty “maybe.” That’s fine, but ensure that you’re both on the same page for next steps. Request another review or inquire as to when they’ll get back to you. 

If, on the other hand, you get slapped with a flat-out “no,” don’t get discouraged. There are a million reasons why you may not have gotten that raise. This is where your employer’s feedback comes in. Keep in mind what they said and apply it to your work ethic. After about six months, you can ask for another performance review with even more accomplishments under your belt.

Of course, you should always thank your boss for their time. It may go without saying, but with your heartbeat in your ears, basic manners are sometimes overlooked. Regardless of their answer, thank them for meeting with you and go from there.

It’s not the end of the world to be denied a raise or a promotion. It’ll sting in the moment, but your boss’s decision doesn’t necessarily reflect your work. Sometimes there isn’t money in the budget. Other times, you may simply need more experience. Whatever the case, be confident in your worth and the rest will follow.