How to Ask for a Raise
Okay, so you now know how to figure out how much money you want to earn, but do you know how to ask for it? This can be especially hard when you’re already employed and you want to ask for a raise. If you love your job, but you know you deserve to be earning more, it’s important to ask for it. But do you want to feel more prepared for that ask? Check out the tips below.
If you love your job, but you know you deserve to be earning more, it’s important to ask for it.
Track your accomplishments
This is SO important! It’s easy to do our job everyday and not really pay attention to what a kickass job we’re actually doing. So, keep track of every project you work on, each success you have, every email of praise. I’m serious, even an exuberant “thank you” email is worth keeping. Not only will this exercise boost your confidence, but it will also provide proof that you deserve that raise or promotion.
Women, in particular, tend not to brag about themselves. This means we leave money on the table and don’t get the recognition we deserve. Fight the urge to downplay how awesome you are, because it will pay off in the long run. And if you don’t get the raise or promotion that you want, you now have a fantastic list of things to add to your resume. (hint, hint)
Do your research
Do you have an inkling that you might be underpaid? Perhaps you didn’t negotiate your pay when you started the job. Or maybe you’ve been in your position for several years and have only gotten cost of living pay increases. If this is the case, you’re not out of luck! Start researching how much someone in your position, with your experience, should be earning. Go to Glassdoor.com and Salary.com. Ask your colleagues and mentors about their salaries (break that money taboo!). Plus, don’t forget to figure out how much money would be best for you.
With all this information in hand, you’ll be able to point to it to back up your ask. Your boss (and HR) will see that you have legitimate salary data, not just the desire for more money.
Find out about performance reviews
At many organizations, the performance review process is unclear or even nonexistent. So your first step is to find out if there is a structured process in place. If there is, find out when it happens, and if there is a general rule for when people get raises and promotions throughout the year. For example, at my day job, performance reviews happen at the end of the fiscal year. At this time, we all get a cost-of-living increase, but we may also get a larger raise or promotion. Promotions also sometimes happen in January, at the mid-point of the fiscal year. At any other time of year, you’re unlikely to get a change in pay or position.
Some places are less structured, and may do reviews more randomly. Some places might not have performance reviews at all! So it’s up to you to find out. Once you do that, move on to the next step.
Request a meeting with your boss
I recommend having regular meetings with your boss whether you’re asking for a raise or not. Most bosses are not going to decide to give you a raise or promotion on their own. You need to ask for it, while also showing that you deserve it.
So if you don’t already have regular check-ins, set them up. Meet weekly or bi-weekly to let your boss know what you’re working on and any successes you’ve had. Make sure to also ask for feedback from them. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s so important! Ask your boss if there is anything you can do better, if there’s anything you’re already doing well, and if they have any advice for moving up within the organization.
Make the ask
Once you’ve done all of the above, it’s time to ask for that raise! It’s scary, and you might second-guess yourself, but you gotta ask for what you’re worth. Bring your list of accomplishments, along with the salary research you did, and make your case. Explain in detail why you deserve to earn more.
Even if you don’t get what you ask for, you should be proud of yourself for asking. It’s also great practice for the next time you want to ask for a raise or negotiate your salary. Plus, if you decide to look for a new job, you’ll have plenty of information to show how qualified you are and why you deserve to earn good money. Good luck!
For more information on salary negotiation, check out AAUW!
Have you successfully negotiated a raise at work? Have you been not so lucky? Share your story in the comments!