An Easy to Follow Guide to Asking for a Raise

You’ve been taking on responsibilities at work that go beyond your job description.

Maybe, you’ve already done some research and realized you’re not making what you should be earning. You know when you’re ready to ask for a raise, but how you ask for it is just as important. For many, asking for a raise can feel nerve-wracking or awkward. But if it earns you that higher salary, the work is worth the effort.

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We’ve gathered some of the most helpful tips around to put you on the right track:

1. Do your research

Find out how your employer considers raises and follow the set rules. If they don’t have a dedicated method or time they do this, set up a meeting with your boss and let them know what you’d like to discuss.

This is a business negotiation, not an informal request. Practice what you are going to say and prepare a few talking points. According to Forbes, 82% of employees want to talk to their managers about a raise and their career, but only 40% do so. Don’t leave money on the table, because of a fear of rejection.

2. Tell them how it benefits them

Your boss and employer are probably more interested in what giving you a raise does for them. Instead of simply asking for more money, let them know what this raise or promotion will allow you to do for the company and your team. Instead of a demand, this becomes a deal that benefits both of you (and gives you a better chance at securing that raise).

3. Back up your request with hard evidence

Do your homework and be prepared. Career Builder recommends keeping positive reviews of your work, numbers that prove your success, or evidence of your contributions. This also underlines how important your work is to your organization and your boss’s success. That’s a powerful motivator.

You may know your worth, now show them the record of your good work with an eye towards the future.

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4. Show them how serious you are

If you want a raise or promotion, but haven’t actually increased your responsibilities at work, continuing education is a tangible way to show your boss that you’re dedicated to contributing more to the workplace. With online options, there’s no need to drop your work to pursue a certificate or degree.

The extra work that goes into school can be important. According to a Career Builder survey, 38% of employers have raised education requirements over the last five years and 33% are hiring workers with master’s degrees for positions that used to be held primarily by bachelor’s-educated workers. What’s more, 41% are hiring employees with undergraduate degrees for positions that used to be filled by those with high school degrees. That’s because the skills required for jobs have evolved.

5. Prepare to be turned down

You might do everything right, but there’s not money in the budget for a raise. Threatening to walk or taking the refusal too personally will only create a difficult work environment. If you are intent on a monetary raise, ask if there are next steps you can take that will allow you to revisit the conversation later (and try to get a timeline on this).

Monster.com suggests being willing to negotiate what “compensation” means to you. Maybe your employer can offer flexibility on working from home, additional vacation time, or another benefit that brings added value to your work environment.


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