Salaries, Salary Transparency

How to Ask for a Raise

When you ask for a raise in a manner that is tactful and strategic, you’re setting yourself up for a win-win situation—regardless of whether you get the raise or not. Worst case scenario? You just received excellent experience and practice at having an important business conversation (and you’ll be even more prepared for the next time around). Best case scenario? You just got a pay bump!

Preparation is your most valued ally when approaching the conversation about a salary increase. Be sure you’ve thought through the reasons why you deserve a raise and how it relates to your worth in the market. Once you know the 5 Things to Know Before Asking for a Raise, you’re ready to start thinking about how you’re going to make the ask.

This kind of discussion isn’t part of your daily repertoire, so by nature it can be a little intimidating. Although the topic may seem uncomfortable, it’s simply par for the course in the working world. Here are six ways to make asking for a raise feel as comfortable, and be as effective, as possible.

Ask at a strategic time: A natural time for this conversation may be at your annual performance review, when the topic of salary is not only timely, but often expected. Meaning, no one should be caught off guard by your ask. However, keep in mind your company’s fiscal budget planning in case it doesn’t align with the time of annual reviews. Or, if your company doesn’t have an annual review period, think about having this conversation after you’ve successfully completed an important project or shown excellent work.

Be confident: How is an employer going to feel comfortable giving you a raise if you’re unsure yourself? If you’re confident in your abilities and your ask, you’re already on the right track. Attitude is infectious, and this is the perfect time to project a sense of positivity and self-assurance.

Express gratitude: Expressing gratitude and appreciation for what you currently have at the company is a gracious and professional preface to an ask for more money. This will also help mitigate any concerns about coming across as entitled or demanding.

Express enthusiasm: Sharing excitement for your future goals, and for the future goals of the company, is a way to show you’re invested in doing your job well. A pay increase isn’t only about past performance, it’s about future expectations as well.

Be clear: Be clear with your desire to discuss your salary. An easy way to segway to the topic is to say something like: “As I’m looking forward to working and growing with the company, I’d love to discuss my salary.” Or, if framing it as a question is more comfortable, you can say, “I’m interested in discussing my salary, is now an appropriate time?”

Be specific: Mention your desired salary number and specifically outline how you came to this conclusion. Now’s the time to let all your prep work shine! Also, be clear about when you’d like your new desired salary to be effective, and any other details that are pertinent to your ask. If you’re still trying to nail down your specific desired salary, research salaries on Glassdoor to see what people at your company get paid.