Pay & Salary

How to Ask for a Raise (With Example)

August 25, 2020

Whether you've been working for a company for a long time or have taken on more responsibilities, you may feel like you should be compensated more for your efforts. You can improve your chances of getting a raise by learning how to ask for one. In this article, we discuss the importance of asking for a raise, explain how to ask for one and share a sample script you can use.

Why is it important to ask for a raise?

If you want to earn a higher income, then it's important to know how to ask for a raise. Here are other reasons why it's important:

  • Boosts your self-esteem: When you have the skills to voice your opinion and ask for what you want, you may feel more confident and sure of yourself. Preparing for this conversation with your manager can remind you of why you deserve a raise.
  • Shows your work ethic: Asking your manager for a raise is a reminder of all the hard work you do and value you bring to the company. This conversation may help them realize how important your efforts are.
  • Helps you grow your career: Starting a conversation about a raise may open the opportunity for you to advance your career with the company. Your manager may decide that in order for you to get a raise, you need to take on additional responsibilities and tasks. These new job duties can help you develop your skills and move forward in your role.

How to ask for a raise

Follow these steps to improve your chances of getting a raise:

  1. Choose an appropriate time to ask
  2. Research salary trends
  3. Schedule a meeting
  4. Prepare what to say
  5. Treat the discussion seriously
  6. Be ready for questions
  7. Thank your manager

1. Choose an appropriate time to ask

When asking for a raise, timing is important. Consider the following when you're preparing your request:

  • The financial health of the company: You're more likely to get a raise if your company is doing well financially. You should look for signs of growth, such as more hires and clients. Check the news for stories about your employer or industry. Do company research and look at financial reports.
  • Your manager's workload: If your manager is busy or focused on many things, you should wait for a different time to talk about a raise. Paying attention to your manager's moods and identifying how to help them demonstrates a level of maturity that will be useful in your conversation about compensation.
  • The time of year: In many businesses, there are times when it is natural or convenient to talk about pay. Some employers may conduct annual or quarterly employee reviews. If you have one coming up, your employer might already expect to discuss your compensation.
  • Your recent achievements: Reflect on your recent accomplishments. If you recently reached an impressive milestone or exceeded an important goal, this could be a good time to ask for a raise. Document the details of the specific accomplishments you can reference in your conversation about a raise.

2. Research salary trends

Find out what other people in your position or positions similar to it are making. Research what the national average salary is for your job title, and then consider the following factors about yourself:

  • Geographical location
  • Years of experience
  • Specialized skills
  • Time with the company
  • Greatest accomplishments
  • Level of education
  • Certifications

In addition to these factors, consider the cost of living adjustment. This is when employers adjust for things such as inflation or rising housing costs and give you a raise so you can maintain your current standard of living.

3. Schedule a meeting

Rather than asking for a raise through an email, it's ideal to ask for a raise in person and in private. The best setting is a room with a closed door. If you're not in the same location as your manager, have the conversation over a video call, if possible.

Before asking for a raise, reach out to your manager to see if they can meet to talk privately. It's good to let your manager know that you plan to discuss compensation in this meeting. If you have a performance review already scheduled, this could be a good time to discuss your raise.

4. Prepare what to say

Before your meeting, you should prepare what you're going to say. Writing and practising a script is one way to feel more confident about this meeting. Throughout your script, focus on the professional rather than the personal reasons why you deserve this raise.

Begin your conversation by clearly stating the purpose of the meeting. Here are a few examples of opening lines you could use:

  • "Thank you for meeting with me today. Since I love working here, I want to take a moment to discuss my future with the company, mainly related to my compensation."
  • "Thank you for taking the time to discuss my salary. After reflecting on my skill set, experience and accomplishments with this company, I have decided that it's an appropriate time to ask for a raise."

If your manager is open to the conversation from there, follow up with specifics. Tell them the increase or salary figure you'd like, cite the research you've done to arrive at that number and close with examples of your work that justify a raise. When you give an example of your work, include a metric that makes the value clear. Go into this conversation knowing that you deserve a raise, and communicate your confidence with strong words that leave little room for negotiation.

5. Treat the discussion seriously

You should approach asking for a raise with the same level of seriousness you would have for a job interview or an important presentation, and you should dress accordingly. Even if your workplace has a relaxed dress code, consider dressing slightly more formally for this meeting. Your appearance can convey to your manager that you understand the significance of the conversation.

6. Be ready for questions

If you've asked for a raise at a good time and given evidence that you deserve to be paid more, you should expect your manager to give your request careful consideration. You can expect them to ask you follow-up questions, such as inquiring about the details of your recent accomplishments or the salary research you've done. You can also expect there to be some negotiation. Listen carefully to how your manager responds to your request.

If a raise doesn't seem possible at this time, you may consider asking about other elements of your compensation, such as vacation time or flexible hours. Learn why a raise isn't currently an option by asking them the following questions:

  • "Are there skills or accomplishments you'd like to see from me before increasing my compensation?"
  • "Are you satisfied with my performance overall?"
  • "Is there a better time for us to have this conversation in the near future?"

This information can help you learn what you need to do to get a raise later on.

7. Thank your manager

Regardless of how the conversation went, end the meeting by thanking your manager for their time. Send a follow-up email that reviews your reasons for asking for a raise and includes a summary of the conversation you had.

If your manager needs to ask someone else about your raise, this email will make it easier to have a conversation on your behalf. If your manager rejects your request for a raise, this email can serve as a record of the conversation. You may decide to request a raise again at a later date, and you can reference the email at that point.

Script example of asking for a raise

Here is a script you can use to practice asking for a raise:

"Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. In my current role, I'm excited to keep working toward key company goals and grow my personal responsibilities. As a result, I'd like to discuss my salary.

Based on the research I've done, which includes looking at averages for my job title in this metro area and considers my tenure here, my years of experience and skill set, I think a salary increase of 11% is appropriate.

In the time since my last salary adjustment, I've worked on several initiatives that have added significant value to the company. For instance, in the last few months, I have reduced customer complaints by 17% and reduced customer hold times by three minutes. These achievements have made me ready for a raise.

What are your thoughts?"

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