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Raise Negotiations | How and When to ask for a Raise


Asking for the occasional raise should be part of any career path, but it can sometimes be difficult to know when and how to ask for an increase in salary. Follow these tips to make negotiating your next raise easy. 

Do you deserve a raise? 

Before bringing it up with your supervisor or the HR department, determine whether this is a good time for you to be asking for a raise. 

To help you answer that question, you can hold your work performance up against this checklist:

  • Do you meet and exceed the expectations of your job?
  • Do you take on additional responsibility outside your actual job description?
  • Are you a team player?
  • Are you constantly increasing your knowledge and skill of your industry?
  • Would at least one person at work describe you as indispensable to the company?
  • Do you deliver consistent and excellent results?

If you can confidently answer “yes” to most of these questions, you likely deserve a raise. 

Time it right

You may personally deserve a raise, but that doesn’t mean you should ask for one right at this moment.  

First, determine whether this is a good time for your company to increase your salary. Has the business recently gone through a slump or its slowest season of the year? If yes, consider waiting a bit before making your request. It’s best to ask for a raise when the company is doing especially well, such as after a busy season or the successful rollout of a new product.

Next, ask for a raise when your own performance is in its best light. A great time to ask for a raise can be soon after you’ve completed a big project or snagged an important client for the firm. 

Finally, choose the actual time to make your request very carefully. Don’t ask to meet with your supervisor right after the weekly board meeting if it always stresses them out, or during the last hour before a big vacation when their mind is elsewhere. Choose a time when they will be most relaxed and have the headspace to truly consider your request. 

How to ask for a raise 

Before asking for a raise, do your homework. Come prepared with specific examples of value you’ve brought to the company and show how you’ve surpassed expectations. Include as much specific data as you can, describing how the company or your department directly benefited from your work, detailing projects you’ve worked on, and sharing positive feedback you’ve received from your superiors or from clients over the last year.

The way you word your request is just as important as the actual request. Be assertive, but don’t resort to ultimatums, such as threatening to leave if your request isn’t granted. 

Practice your raise request with a friend until you know your speech well. 

Best of luck getting that raise!

Your Turn: Are you a pro at asking for a raise? Share your best tips with us in the comments. 

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