How to Ask for a Raise

Step 1. Ask for a raise. Seriously. You can ask for a raise!

Sure, we all know that you can just sit back and wait for a raise, but that’s not the only way. You can also ask for what you want. If done properly, you can even use the conversation as an opportunity to impress your boss and not just seem like you’re being greedy. Here’s how to do it:

Preparing to speak up to your boss about a pay raise can be a daunting task. It can cause anxiety, especially if you don’t have a detailed plan of how you will make your argument. If you’re considering asking for a raise, here are some tips to get the raise you deserve.

First, be realistic. Salary increases are usually only given once a year; but if there’s demand for employees in your industry your company may be open to “off-cycle” raises. If you can make a strong case, because you are a top performer or have a skill that is indispensable, you may be able to get a more frequent pay bump.

Next, timing is everything. Think back over the last few years, were raises generally given out at the end of the year? Or during the anniversary of your start date? If you can’t easily figure this out on your own, ask your manager. Be proactive and ask about this well before your annual review if you have one. You probably already have a sense of your manager’s personality, and how to approach him or her. Make an appointment for a meeting and be clear in your intentions.

Keep a file throughout the year that lists your accomplishments, things you spearheaded at the company, and results you achieved. It’s easier to keep these throughout the year so you’re not trying to compile all of them before your meeting.

Figure out how much of a raise to expect. Do your research and figure out what is the market rate for your position. You can find out this information by visiting PayScale.com or Using Glassdoor’s salary comparing tool. It is also a good idea to reach out to hiring recruiters, many recruiters have profiles on LinkedIn, or other job search websites.

Enter the meeting with a target amount in mind, so that you are prepared for when your manager asks you how much you want. Be confident in your response and give a range instead of an exact amount. Discuss the research that you’ve done to come up with this range and then once you’ve said your piece, stop talking. I know it’s hard to do, but this process demonstrates preparedness and confidence – both highly sought after qualities in any employee.

Be prepared, time it well and show off your accomplishments. Use examples and let them know you are valuable to their company. With the right argument and when armed with the tools listed today you will be that much closer to the raise you deserve.