How To Get A Raise At Work

If you’ve been at your job for some time now and think you deserve higher pay then it may be time to ask for a raise. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about asking for a raise. I mean come on, you are literally asking your manager and/or boss for more money. But, it is normal to inquire about a raise. You do have to consider all things though!  Are you truly deserving of a raise? Are you the ideal employee for your role? Are you always on time and work efficiently to get the job done? Have you taken on more responsibilities? If the answers to these questions are yes then maybe it is indeed time to ask for a raise. Here are a few tips to prep for the “talk” with your boss:

  1. If you’ve been with your company for less than a year and have taken on more duties but they are within your job description you may be looked at as “just doing your job.” So, when you talk to your boss you have to go in depth about what roles you have taken on. 
    i.e. – Here at ___ Company I have taken on two additional projects along with my normal day to day to duties. In doing so, I’ve hit all the targets and have been able to continue to be a team player by assisting my colleagues in their projects. I am hoping this shows you that a raise reflects the workload I have taken on.
  2. If you’ve been with your employer for over a year and have not received a raise it may be a bit easier to plead your case. You have to find a humble way to say you are hardworking and the best at your job.
    i.e. – I’ve been with ___ Company for 18 months and have always received “exceeds expectations” on my monthly evaluations. I also have a good reputation with multiple employees, including Directors and Vice Presidents. As one of the top employees in my role I would like to know what I need to do to request a raise?

If the meeting goes well your employer will ideally tell you they are taking all things into consideration and will get back to you in X hours (likely 24-48 hours). However, there are times when your employer will ask what raise you think you should receive. At this time, you have to come with facts and paperwork to justify the ideal raise for yourself. Here are a few tips on how to do so:

  1. Keep in mind that you are not asking for a raise because you’re in a financial bind. You’re asking for a raise that reflects your exemplary work at the company. So don’t ask for a $20k raise to satisfy a specific lifestyle you want. Be realistic and think about what rate will get you a “yes” for your new raise.
  2. Google what the average rate is for someone with your job title. You can even Google the rate of the highest salaried employee in your position. This gives you the opportunity to see what raise is reasonable to ask for. Come to the table with these facts to plead your case. Be sure to print all of this information to give proof that your facts are actually facts.
  3. Practice what you’re going to say. Go into the meeting with an open mind and remain respectful and humble, no matter what your employer may say to you. 
  4. Try not to be nervous! Overall, you have nothing to worry about. The worse that will happen is you not getting the raise, but regardless you will at least have the salary you went into the meeting with. Eating healthy and practicing deep breathing are known to be some ways to naturally reduce nervousness and anxiety. And be sure to get a good night sleep the night before so you are alert and awake in the meeting. But NO caffeine, it can cause you to be more anxious which can make you overthink. 

In the very worst case your boss will say no to the raise. And if he/she does that is perfectly okay. It doesn’t mean you are less of an employee and it also doesn’t mean that you aren’t deserving of the raise. Just simply ask “what can I do to increase my raise in the near future?” Have a notepad with you to take notes on every tip she gives you. Keep in contact with your boss, keep being an all-star employee, and remain in good graces with your colleagues.


Meet the Writer

 Jasmine Barlow is a twenty-six years young woman born and raised in Staten Island, New York. She graduated with her B.A in Mass Communications from SUNY Oswego. Jasmine currently works in finance but is passionate about writing. She recently launched Wolrab On Wednesday, a discussion forum to engage both young men and women in discussions about taboo topics. Check her out on Instagram: @wolrabonwednesdays & @wolrab_ .

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