How Not to Ask For a Raise

While it’s important to consider what you SHOULD do when asking for a raise, it’s crucial to also remember a few things that you SHOULD NOT do. Because even a well-deserved request can be totally sabotaged if done incorrectly.

  • Do not ask for a raise in email or over the phone (or via social media).

It may seem like an easy way to go about the task, but trust us, it’s not going to help you get additional money added to your paycheck. As much as avoiding eye contact makes ASKING for the raise easier, it also makes DENYING the raise easier for your manager.

  • Do not be casual in your request.

If you want to ask for a raise, you have to be direct. Don’t casually laugh with your manager about how you think you’re woefully underpaid and count that as a serious ask for a raise. Compensation is a serious issue, one that good managers focus a lot of energy on, if you want your request for a raise to be heard, you need to make a conscious effort to actually ask.

  • Even more important – don’t be passive aggressive, or even worse, plain old aggressive.

In addition to making small comments about feeling underpaid, it can even cause more harm to say things to your manager like “well, I guess I could try a little harder, if I was getting paid more”. Comments like this just make you seem like you are complaining and not outright asking. It’s hard to be on the receiving end of jibes like these, and managers would much prefer you just being open and direct with them.

And, this should be obvious, but you should never be flat out aggressive in your ask. Requesting a raise is stressful, yes, but it should never be a fight. Even if you think you have been long deserving of a pay increase, and are feeling let down and justifiably angry, do not let your emotions get the best of you. Do not raise your voice, do not appear hot-headed, be calm, be cool, and be collected in your conversation. Starting this off on an adversarial tone will do nothing but put your manager on the defensive, when really, you want her on your side.

Hopefully you now feel well equipped to go ahead and set up that meeting to talk to your manager about getting a raise. If you take our advice, we’d love to know how it went! Go get ‘em!