Tips on Asking for a Raise

It’s one of the most challenging conversations to have – yet at the same time, there’s a sense of promise and optimism if the outcome is positive.

Asking for a raise. Yikes. Even if you know you deserve it and are confident your track record supports your position, it’s not easy. But, with the right preparation and presentation, it doesn’t have to keep you awake at night stressing over it.

Before You Ask

Be sure to pick the right time to ask for a raise. Find out when your company’s annual budget planning takes place and try to time your request accordingly. Other opportune times are:

  • At your annual performance review, when the topic is not only timely but often expected.
  • When your boss is happy: not during a stressful or unusually busy period, when they may be short on time or patience.
  • After you’ve successfully completed an important assignment.

In addition to nailing the timing of your request, prepare in advance by:

  • Making a list of your recent accomplishments. Describe how they have helped your department and company. Use specific examples, numbers, and statistics as much as possible to really drive your message home.
  • Know what a competitive salary for your position looks like. You have to be realistic even as you ask for more.

During the Conversation

Be confident. Remember, as intimidating as it is, you have your supporting evidence. At the same time, be prepared for some possible pushback – and be ready to keep your cool if that happens.

  • Provide your boss with a brief written summary of your request, comparable pay ranges, and the benefits that they, as well as your company, derive from your contributions.

After the Fact

It’s unlikely that you’ll get an answer from your manager immediately. They may need to discuss your request with other company decision-makers. It’s completely appropriate to as for a time frame, however. You may want to say something like, “Is it okay if I check back with you in two weeks if I haven’t heard anything?”

And when that decision is made:

  • If it’s a yes, maintain your professionalism. Express your gratitude to your boss. Avoid boasting about your raise to your coworkers. This may create friction within your team, and your manager may regret helping you out as a result.
  • Also maintain your professionalism if it’s a no. Ask why the raise isn’t feasible. Depending on what you hear, it may be time to reassess your career path, including whether or not you’ll stay with your company. Stay positive and rational as you begin formulating your plans going forward.

Asking for and negotiating pay raises is just one aspect of your ongoing professional growth strategy. The experienced career coaches at PrideStaff Modesto are ready to help – whether it’s finding the advancement you need at your current company or a better opportunity elsewhere. We’re here to support you through the life cycle of your career. Contact us today to learn more.