5 Easy Steps on How to Ask for a Raise

By Margaux Perrin

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Building up the courage to ask for a raise is never easy. From the moment you hit send on that email to your boss to the daunting prospect of walking into their office, the nerves are through the roof.

However, preparing yourself is all it takes to boost your confidence and make the conversation go as smoothly as a casual Monday morning coffee chat. Knowing your worth, doing your research, and emphasizing the objective reasons why you deserve a raise are all crucial steps you need to follow to feel ready for that conversation. 

To help you prepare for the big day, we put together a list of five steps you should follow to feel ready and confident when asking your boss for a raise.

Illustration of an employee approaching their boss.

Exceed Expectations by Taking on More Responsibilities

Before asking for a raise, you should go above and beyond to show you are worth more than your current paycheck. For example, volunteer to take on more difficult and time-consuming projects, or offer to help your colleagues with their workload. Showing you are capable to take on more responsibilities in your workplace will help shine a spotlight on your value.

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Communicate Your Wins Proactively 

There are many ways to communicate your professional successes without conveying a sense of overconfidence. For example, bringing up a project you’ve been working on during a meeting, actively communicating the impact it has had thus far, and listing several of the goals you have been able to reach are effective ways to showcase your capabilities. By making a concerted effort to remind your boss of your wins, your effort is more likely to subconsciously be validated, making your ask for a raise feel like a natural professional progression.

Illustration of an employee flipping a coin beside a bar graph.

Do Your Research

Prior to having this conversation, make sure you do your research so that you are prepared to ask them for a reasonable increase in your salary. Having a number in mind that is drawn from a couple of hours of research from a variety of different sources is crucial. For example, if you came in with a number well above your market value, your employer might immediately turn down your proposal. However, if you start with a reasonable increase that’s comparable within the industry, they’ll be much more inclined to work around this amount. 

Practice Your Raise Pitch

Practice, practice, practice! Although it might feel unnatural to rehearse a conversation that has yet to happen, having at least a basic script or blueprint of what you want to discuss during your conversation will make a major difference. When you sit down with your boss, you need to be ready to sell yourself with at least a one to two-minute elevator pitch. In order to make a strong impression, being well-spoken and confident is key. 

Focus on Why You Deserve it

Clearly communicate why you deserve a raise based on your accomplishments, not why you need it. Listing your successes is far more likely to secure you a raise than if you use the approach of needing a raise due to financial reasons. Those are very well valid concerns but are less likely to move the needle or differentiate you from your coworkers in a business discussion. Suppose you show your determination, goals, and accomplishments thus far in the company. In that case, your employer is much more likely to give you a raise based on your capabilities than if you based your ask due to your financial situation.

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