Few things are more stressful than figuring out how to ask for a raise at work.
Whether you are a new hire or a seasoned employee, it’s normal to think about your next pay increase. If you have been working hard (and getting consistent results), it may be time to revisit your paycheck. So, how do you ask for a raise?
We will cover everything you need to know about asking—and how to improve your chances of success.
1. Prepare a list of your accomplishments at work
Before racing into your boss’ office to ask for a raise, ask yourself some hard questions.
First, what have you done to earn that coveted bump in pay? Can you point to measurable results from your hard work? It’s important to focus on your accomplishments—not why you want the money.
In a best-case scenario, you should be able to name specific benchmarks you have either met or exceeded. You can highlight what your boss can expect going forward—and how you will keep adding value.
If you have received glowing reviews from your clients, don’t be afraid to share those, either.
2. Do some research on the market rate for your job
Once you have a strong case for why you deserve more money, you need to figure out how much to ask for.
It’s possible you haven’t looked at how your current salary stacks up in a while—especially if your duties or job title have changed.
Start by doing some research to get a feel for your market rate.
This may include talking to co-workers, past employees, or colleagues working elsewhere. You can also search online to figure out your ideal range.
Some of the most popular online resources include:
It may be easier to pick a number once you know a reasonable range for your city.
If you already earn somewhere near the top, getting a raise may be harder. But anything below may leave wiggle room—and opportunity for future growth.
3. How do you ask for a raise? Your timing is everything
Does your company have a formal reviews policy? Some places schedule reviews every six months or once a year.
If you can be patient for the next one, you may have better luck with your ask. Another good time may be after you have successfully finished a big project.
Did your company have a strong quarter or year? You can explain how you have contributed to the company’s uptick in profits. But if revenue is moving in the wrong direction, it may be better to hold off for now.
Lastly, you need to read your boss before asking.
If they are going through a particularly busy or stressful period, it may be the wrong time. Likewise, if they are dealing with personal issues, it may be a signal to wait.
4. Practice asking for a raise before the big meeting
It’s normal to feel nervous before asking for a raise. Don’t walk into your meeting without preparation.
Practicing may be one way to calm your nerves. Try sharing your key points with a trusted friend for some candid feedback. You may experiment with your tone to see what feels most comfortable.
Congratulations! You have figured out how to get a raise at work.
There is nothing like receiving your first paycheck after finally getting a raise. No matter how minor of an increase, it still feels like a major victory.
After a small splurge to celebrate, try going back to living off your old income.
One of the best ways to avoid lifestyle creep is saving money before it hits your bank account.
Be intentional with your extra income. Apps like Twine make it easy to save for goals like buying a home, saving for vacations, and more.
When the time comes to write a big check, you will be relieved to know the money is there.