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How to ask for a raise

Knowing how to ask for a raise is very useful. In an ideal world your boss approaches you, congratulates you for all your hard work then insists on giving you a raise. Nice idea, but it isn’t likely to happen. In today’s job market you need be your own advocate and proactive about raises. Here are some useful strategies to help get you the raise you’ve been looking for.

Work like someone who deserves a raise

This seems obvious but many employees miss the whole point of a raise: it’s an award for consistent quality of work. You are dependable, punctual, and deliver on your responsibilities. In addition to these necessary attributes, you must also take on more responsibilities and actively show your boss or management you are willing to go a step above. Remember, they also need to feel you deserve a raise, so show them!

Schedule your own performance review with your boss

Request to have an evaluation with your boss. Indicate during the meeting you’d like to refine your strong points and modify any of your weak ones. Develop a 6 to 12 month plan which outlines your employment trajectory and set up some key performance indicators (KPI’s) which will stand to mark your improvements. Have a goal which you negotiate with your boss which is based on your delivery of KPI’s. Ideally, this should be a promotion or a pay raise.

Take on more responsibilities in line with the core strategy of your company

Start by consistently executing your original responsibilities. Begin to take on more responsibilities that align with where your company wants to be in the future. Simply carrying out your duties won’t ever put you in a position to grow as a professional. Being proactive, independent of your manager’s initiative develops your tenacity and it won’t go unnoticed. Be sure to take on only responsibilities that you can deliver well on. You know your areas of strengths and weaknesses so use this knowledge to sort out where you can and cannot excel. Don’t be afraid to learn new things though, especially skills which help propel your company in the right direction.

Demonstrate why your merit and performance is deserving of a raise

Unfortunately, just being present at a company for a set period of time doesn’t automatically warrant a raise. You need to prove yourself and indicate where and how you benefited the company outside of your normal responsibilities. Quantifiable wins are the best way to show this. Saving the company money, increasing revenue, generating new leads and retaining more clients are just a few examples. Tangible ways of outlining your value added are the most optimal leverage you have for making your case.

Know the industry and perform some competitive analysis

Speak to friends, recruiters, and visit websites like,, and and survey the salaries of the positions which are similar to yours. Keep in mind the variables like education, experience, location (cost of living) and make informed comparisons to see what is a reasonable expectation.

Timing is important

If your company is laying people off, cutting costs, and restructuring it’s not the best time to approach your boss. You should be on good terms with your boss and see that your company is in overall good standing when you decide to call a meeting.

Practice your pitch for the win and the loss

In essence, you are selling yourself to your boss. You’re making a case for why you are a suitable for money they will provide you. It’s important to frame the pitch so it’s clear how you have, and will continue to make positive contributions to your company. This is crucial and you need to remember a raise is an investment in you. It’s, in essence, an exchange of services: increased salary for better quality work. Practice your pitch before hand and outline the points you’d like to address with your boss and be sure you are calm, relaxed, and non-insistent. Don’t come across as demanding or entitled. Of course, you must be prepared to receive no as an answer. Practice receiving this news well and with professional tact.

How to ask for a raise

How to ask for a raise is not easy for most. These strategies enable you to improve your chances of obtaining a successful outcome. At the very least, you will learn something from the interaction and your boss will be aware of your intentions and initiative. Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to try again.

Good luck with the pitch!

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