Asking for a raise can feel scary, but it’s something that everybody should do because how else are you going to get more money?
Are you going to rely on someone else to determine what you’re worth and whether you deserve a raise? I know with some companies, receiving a raise is automatic, but even if everyone in the company gets the 2% or 3% raise, the employees may barely be keeping up with inflation.
So no matter where you are, no matter what company you’re working for, whether big or small, I recommend that you start asking for a raise on a fairly regular basis.
Here are my tips for asking for a raise:
- Make an appointment to talk with your boss about your compensation. This way your boss is ready to have the conversation and you don’t catch them off-guard. It’s important to be firm and confident.
- Have statistics (if possible) and factual evidence of your contributions to the organization. It could be certain metrics or perhaps evidence of sales, or savings that you’ve made for the company. If you can prove that you contribute to the company’s revenue or expense cutting the more likely you are to be successful in your ask. Don’t just ask for a raise because you have some extra personal expenses!
- Do some research. Take a look at other job postings at related companies and see how much others in similar positions to yours are being paid. I’m not saying that you should go to your boss and say that company X is paying much more and threaten to leave. No, that’s not a good idea, but if you go to your boss with an idea of what others in a similar position in different companies are being compensated, then you know what a reasonable amount to ask for would be.
- Ask for something specific. Don’t just walk into your boss’ office and ask for “more money”. I recommend you ask for a little more than you think they might actually give you. If, for example, you ask for a 5% raise, after having a conversation with HR, your boss might come back with an offer of 3% to 4%. However if you just ask for “more money”, you might only be offered 1.5%, which is not what you were expecting and will be a little late to negotiate. Also, you’ll want to have in mind what type of compensation you are asking for. It could be a percentage of your salary, or it could be a dollar amount per hour, perhaps an increase in commission.
- It’s important to consider the timing for your ask. I don’t know if this true for all cases I’ve had more success asking for a raise at the time of year when not all the raises are being handed out. Perhaps halfway through the year when you’re having a mid-year review.
The amount that you negotiate for this year forms a baseline for how much you’re going to be able to get in terms of increases down the road and will impact your financial future.