Category: 

What is the Best Way to Ask for a Raise?

It is best to ask an employer for a raise in person.
It may be a good idea to ask for a higher raise than desirable, as a counteroffer is very likely.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
A chameleon’s tongue is 1.5 times the length of its body.  more...

September 1 ,  1939 :  The Nazis invaded Poland, starting World War II.  more...

Asking for a raise is uncomfortable for many people, and most are usually not trained in how or when to make this request. The goal, besides getting more money, should be to keep the discussion very positive so that, even if the answer is no, you can still maintain a good relationship with the company. Before you ask, consider the salary range for your position and your track record with the company to determine how likely it is that they'll be willing to give you more money. You'll need to provide good reasons for why you should get a raise, and may want to consider additional responsibilities you can take on to make it worth the company's while.

Before asking for a raise, consider how likely you actually are to get one. If the job has a salary cap you are well below, then you have room to work with. Often, salary caps are raised after an employee has been working with a company for several years, and it can be irritating to have new, untrained employees coming into your company who are actually making more money than you. You'll want to keep this irritation at bay, however, and approach the situation logically.

Ad

It typically costs most employers more money to hire and train new people than it does to keep experienced workers on at a slightly higher salary. If you have been a good employee, with a good attendance record and job performance, it is usually in the company's best interest to retain you and increase your salary. Most companies would prefer to keep a fully trained worker than to hire someone new.

This does not, however, mean that you should threaten to quit if the request for a raise is not granted. Unless you have somewhere else to work, don't make this threat and don't treat a denied request in a negative way. It takes at least an average of five months to find a new job in a good market, so consider the downfalls of quitting. If, however, you've been given an offer from another company that is more lucrative, but you like where you are, you should make your company aware of this offer so they have the opportunity to match or beat it.

Most employment experts feel that you should ask for a raise in person. You can certainly write a short note to a boss saying you'd like to discuss your "development" in a company, and asking for a time to meet. Don't refer to your salary when making this request.

Once you've arranged a meeting with your employer, you need to have clear reasons to ask for a raise. Hold onto your performance reviews and document contributions you make to the company. Perhaps you are a great employee who hasn't missed a day of work in two years, or you have brought new business into the company. Most reasons should be directly related to how you have contributed in ways that merit additional pay. These should be calmly related to the manager in a friendly way.

You may also want extra responsibilities or an opportunity to move up in the company. Some employers can take advantage of this by offering you new responsibilities without a raise, although many people think this really isn't fair. If you feel this offer is acceptable, you may want to accept it pending a review and raise within a specified number of months. When possible, get this agreement in writing.

Once you address the subject of a raise, suggest a possible number. Make it a bit higher than what you want, but not ridiculous. Any possible number you suggest will probably be met with a counteroffer, so ask for more than you actually hope to receive. If you are experiencing financial hardship, tell an employer about this last. Unless your work is the reason for your problems, this is generally not an acceptable reason to ask for a raise.

Some employers go through several years of freezing employee's salaries, which usually means that any request for more money will not be granted. Watch for improved financial conditions and strike when the time is ripe. Your loyalty to the company for continuing to work there despite frozen salaries can be emphasized.

Getting a raise often depends on the economic conditions of the company, but if you have brought in significant revenue, you should share in the profits. If you find your employer completely dismisses you when you ask for a raise, shop around for another place to work. It is always a good idea to have a job while you look for your next, which hopefully will be a more lucrative one.

Ad

Discuss this Article

oasis11
Post 4

Crispety-Wow that is a great example of how to ask for a raise and get it. I agree that you have to have proven job performance benchmarks that you have surpassed in order to be in contention for a raise.

It has to be something measurable. For example, it could be the series of new accounts that you landed that generated a certain amount in actual revenue and additional sales.

You really have to establish a series of accomplishments that your employer can look to in order to see if you are actually worthy of a raise.

Just because you want more money is not a reason. You have to prove how your performance exceeded their expectations and earned you the right to ask for more money.

If your performance was average, then I would not ask for a raise and I would wait until the traditional evaluation period comes up.

I would also try to find out ways to increase my productivity so that when the performance reviews do come up, I would have a chance at asking for a raise.

Crispety
Post 3

Icecream17-You are right. Although teaching is a difficult profession and teachers should be compensated accordingly, it should be done when the state has money to offer additional compensation.

I think that for people that work in a traditional business you really need to assess the financial climate of the company.

Next, before you ask for a pay raise, you have to document all of your accomplishments. This will give you an indication if you should pursue a pay raise.

Using your accomplishments and performance based on the company average is the most objective means that you can offer an employer. T

he old adage that numbers don’t lie applies here. For example, years ago when I used to work behind the Clinique counter my average unit sale was $44 while the company average was $26.

That meant that I was selling more units per transactions which is why my average was almost double that of the company.

These figures not only got me a raise, but they got me a substantial promotion.

It is best when you are thinking about how to ask for a pay raise always consider your actual job performance. You should always put yourself in your employer’s shoes. If you were them would you give yourself a raise? This is really how to ask for a salary raise.

icecream17
Post 2

Bhutan-I agree. What I do not understand is when the teacher’s unions start to demand that they get a raise when the whole state is cutting back and laying off other workers.

This happened in Florida. The teacher's union was demanding that the teachers receive a raise when in reality many teachers were let go because of budgetary constraints as well as many other government workers.

I think that asking for a raise when the state has an unemployment rate of 12% and areas like Miami have an unemployment rate of 13% is unbelievable.

Bhutan
Post 1

Learning how to ask for a raise in salary is tricky. You first have to understand the financial situation that the company is in.

If the company is cutting expenses, or freezing the hiring of new employees then it may not be a good time to ask for a raise regardless of your performance.

Companies that may layoff workers are in no position to raise anyone’s salary.

It is also important to understand the company’s industry as a whole.

If the industry is flourishing, but your company is not maybe a better solution would be to seek a better job with a different company because your current company will not be able to give you a raise and if the industry as a whole is successful and your company is not it may be an indication that your company may be mismanaged.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email