Do you want to earn more money at work? Wondering how to request a higher salary? Learn the correct steps to ask for a raise and succeed.
As you might know, there are two sides to the equation when wanting to be Financial Independent and Retire Early: Savings = income – expenses
When you want to increase your savings, you can either increase your income or decrease your expenses. Before I wrote some articles about getting extra money, increasing your income, using side hustles, or investing in stocks, bonds, or ETFs to earn more money. Today we will focus on the income side of the equation by teaching you ways to ask for a raise and, more importantly, getting it!
I understand that it might be difficult for you to ask for a raise. For me, it’s always challenging. You don’t want to walk over to your boss to have ‘the talk.’ You don’t want to ask for the raise, but you do want it. I would say, go for it.
In this article, there are ways on how and when to ask for a raise and be able to get it.
How To Ask For A Raise
Talking about money can be a little awkward. This is all the more true when discussing your salary. Now let’s combine this challenge with our topic: asking for a raise.
We all know how this can get uncomfortable for you, but you shouldn’t. It is perfectly normal to ask for a raise.
So, what do you need to do before you talk to your boss? Planning and preparing are crucial, as this may be the defining factor if you will get that raise or not.
It is probably good to request a meeting with your boss. Ask for the best time to meet with your boss to discuss your request for a salary increase. Make sure to be prepared and know your reasons why you are having the meeting.
Make some effort when you have the meeting. You may dress up a little bit more, like putting up your best tie or your best dress. This does not only boost your confidence but gives off an air of strength to further increase your chances of success.
If the result of the meeting was not in your favor, don’t get upset. You should always have a backup plan or other options.
We’ll outline the exact steps for you. But first, timing is important, here’s exactly when to ask for a raise.
When To Ask For A Raise
Always keep in mind that each person has their own time or schedule, so it may help to ask for a raise if your boss is in a good mood or very happy.
It is best to ask for a pay increase if you have a big accomplishment like closing a big account for the company. Use that moment for a salary raise, as you played a big part in contributing to your company’s success.
These types of situations where you can show you have gone above and beyond to deliver for your company are a great moment to negotiate your salary. Getting paid and being compensated because of a job well done is the ultimate form of reward.
Also, keep track of your company’s budget cycle. Usually, a company gives raises once a year, so make sure you know when that normally happens. Once you know, plan to have a conversation with your boss about your salary.
9 Ways To Ask For A Raise & Get It!
If you want to get a pay raise but are hesitant or nervous to ask. Here are the ways for you to follow on how to be given a raise.
1. It Is Normal To Ask For A Raise
When asking for a salary raise, it may be challenging for us to approach our employers. Please bear in mind that it is not wrong to ask for a raise. It is very normal for our employers. They know that it is normal for employees to ask for a raise, and it is our right to do so.
Remember that asking for a raise will always get you more than being passive in waiting for a salary increase. The worst-case scenario is that they say no. Ask about bonuses, pay raises, pay scale, and compensation packages are a good way to break the ice to start off knowing and understanding how you can proceed with your request.
Remember that it is your right to ask for a raise. Otherwise, you might be tempted to look for a new job that would appreciate your actual worth. By asking for an increase in salary, you show that you value your current job and company.
2. Timing Is Important
Another thing to keep in mind when asking for a raise is when is the best time to speak up and approach your boss for an increase in salary. Ask in-person to make it more professional. Before asking for a raise, be confident and be assertive to show that you are serious about your request.
Plan a meeting with just the two of you, where you will be talking numbers. Managers don’t like when you just walk up to their desk, ask for a bigger salary, and start stating facts. They want to be prepared.
Remember to give your boss the details of why you deserve to get a raise. Don’t talk about why you want more money. Starting a family may mean you need more income, but that doesn’t justify giving you a raise. Your arguments should be work-related and preferably measurable.
Like how much revenue you’re bringing to the company, how much costs you’re saving, or how much you can earn at the same job at another company.
3. Know Your Last Salary Increase
A company usually gives an annual salary increase. This mostly happens during performance reviews. So, know when your company conducts this.
If it’s been a year that your salary has been set, then it is time to review your current salary. If you have been doing a great job and really deserve it, a higher wage is a fair thing to ask. So, it’s up to you when to figure that out. Negotiating a salary typically is based on your starting salary, your last salary increase, achievements, annual review, and performance evaluations done by your superiors.
But also keep in mind that if you are always late and not performing well, requesting a raise might not go well as you planned. You have to assess your performance instead of just asking for a raise because you want to have it.
4. Know Your Company’s Salary Structure
You have to factor in how your company handles raises with their employees. They have policies on how and when to give salary increases. Some companies are very generous, but realistically speaking, some are not.
Companies may also consider the company’s overall standing in terms of company performance, goals, and net worth. If your company hits its annual goals and has reached milestones and targets, this will translate to a better salary range for you and your colleagues. But, if your company is not performing very well or has encountered challenges for the past year, you must be realistic in your requests for a salary increase as well.
5. Know Your Worth
Many people don’t know what they are worth, resulting in a much lower than expected salary. Go check on the internet, ask your peers, ask your friends and family.
Think about what your position is within the company? Did you get extra responsibilities over the past year? If your research shows that your market value is too low, talk to your boss!
When you don’t know what you should compare your salary with, go to Glassdoor. People post their salaries there, which you can compare with your current or desired salary. If this number is significantly different, you can bring this to the table when you are negotiating.
If you are in a position where you are getting regular messages from recruiters, use this as leverage. Ask the recruiter for the specific salary for that function, print it out, and show it to your boss. Try to time this right. Show your boss, for example, when you are having the yearly performance appraisal. You can ask the upper bound of the recruiters’ offer, and you will get it about 90% of the time!
My rule of thumb: if you are getting an average market salary already, don’t ask for more than a 10% raise. However, I’m currently in a position where I’m hugely undervalued. I will get an extra salary based on my performance, probably 8%. This should align with the current market rate based on salary research.
Currently, I follow my own advice, doing my own research, and I will ask for a 20% total raise. I will let you know what happens! A 20% raise is unusual but not impossible to achieve since I know what my market value is and what I can earn at other employers with similar job functions.
Update: I have received a 21% salary increase and an additional bonus. It worked!
6. Know Who You’re Dealing With
Before you go into conversation with your boss, know how they negotiate. Does all the input have to come from your side? Is the other person open to your arguments? Is the other holding back or extremely open to looking at the possibilities? Once you know who you are dealing with, you can anticipate and prepare for what the other person might say.
Think about how they can react to certain questions, counter your argument, and how the personal relationship with that person is.
7. Have Your BATNA Ready (Best Alternative To A Negotiation Agreement)
When you are negotiating, and your boss says ‘no’ to your initial $400 salary raise, the negotiation doesn’t stop there! This is just the beginning!
Remember that where one door closes, another one opens.
When your boss only wants to give you a $200 salary raise, that’s okay. You have the opportunity now to ask for extra holidays or perks like working from home. People who think about their BATNA, and keep it in mind, more often get what they want.
8. Keep The Conversation Going
The reason many people do not get a raise is that they do not ask for it. Knowing all the negotiation strategies and negotiation tactics is of no use if you don’t ask for compensation. Your salary will increase only if you ask for a higher salary. Ask for a sit-down to demonstrate your enthusiasm for a merit increase.
If you are getting more responsibilities, have to work more hours, or improve your overall work? This is sufficient to request a meeting with your boss and discuss the possibilities. Asking for additional promotions and raises is normal and common practice nowadays.
Feeling underpaid because of the work assigned to you is a common and normal incident for employees. So salary negotiations during these meetings are common scripts that you should bring up.
The bottom line is that talking points should always be leading towards your new salary expectations.
9. Sleep On It
Never say yes to the deal right away unless you are pleased with the current deal. Summarize what you discussed in an email and sleep on it.
You can always ask for more to get the target bump in your base salary. But always remember that you should show your qualifications, achievements, and performance review merits advancement for you to receive a raise.
If you are not happy with the current deal, you can let your boss know and schedule a second meeting. It’s better to have another conversation and have a good outcome for both parties than not being happy! This is all part of salary negotiations. Prepare a counter-offer and additional justifications to get that bigger paycheck and salary that you want.
Can you not figure it out with your boss? If you work in a big company, ask if it’s possible to talk to someone in a higher position. They often have more decision power to give you what you want!
Frequently Asked Questions – How To Ask For A Raise
We have already discussed ways on how to ask for a raise. But you may still have questions in mind on how to negotiate appropriately with your manager. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about asking for a raise.
How Do You Politely Ask For A Raise?
Be confident and assertive in asking for a raise. Be straightforward to your manager as to why you deserve an increase. Do not give ultimatums as this may sound very demanding, which may not work in your favor.
Treat it like a job interview with the only difference is that you sell yourself to get the appropriate salary you want.
Asking for things such as an increase in your pay range is an important aspect to make more money. So treat this professionally and seriously.
Be ready when you talk to your manager. You may list all your achievements over the year as this would help your boss assess your performance. Make sure to explain all your contributions and accomplishments that you have made and how these have helped in the overall goals of your team and company as a whole.
Is It Proper To Ask For A Raise Via Email Or Letter?
Yes, it is acceptable to ask for a raise through email. It will help you prepare and express word-by-word what you want to tell your manager about why you need a higher salary. This also serves as formal documentation of your request. Remember some key points that you need to consider on how to ask for a raise in writing:
- Your asking amount – research on salary information appropriate for your experience and skills
- List of your accomplishments, achievements, and evaluations over the years
- Your reason as to why you need an increased salary
- Be concise and on point
Asking for an additional salary through email is good, but following it up with an in-person meeting may even give you a higher success rate.
What Is The Average Amount To Ask For A Raise?
As a general rule of thumb, it is appropriate to ask for 10% to 20% of what you are currently making.
For example, if you have a paycheck of $30,000 a year, it is fair to ask for $35,000 to $40,000. This is within the normal range for salary increases. Plus, your manager would probably counter, and you would end up somewhere in the middle.
What If Your Employer Says No To A Pay Raise?
There are a lot of factors to consider when asking for a raise. You may not get the answer right away because of company policies, or even if they want to, they still have to coordinate with a lot of people.
Be patient. Wait for the result. And if you get a no for an answer, do not be discouraged.
Sometimes, the company doesn’t have any budget yet to give you a raise. There are a lot of reasons why the company declines your request.
Better, improve your skills and worth in your company as they may give that increase soon. Plant the seeds in your bosses that you are a performer and you know your worth, and you will reap the rewards sooner than later.
Conclusion – How To Ask For A Raise
Keep in mind that pay negotiations are nothing more than a conversation leading to an agreement. And you should view it as such. Your boss wants the best for you, and they will always listen to what you have to say. This negotiation is an opportunity for you to express your desires and expectations about your job and your salary.
This should help your case and standing in your company, which will benefit you in the long run. As long as you know your worth and you have proven yourself, your actions will provide the necessary rewards and benefits that are applicable to you.
Know these tactics and do your homework so that you know what you can bring to the table as your bargaining chips. Asking for compensation is your right so long as it’s a fair salary based on job performance. This can be your ultimate guide in negotiating salaries if you are currently underpaid in your current position.
Know what to say and find the best negotiation strategy that will work in your favor. Never be too greedy, and always manage your expectations when asking for better compensation. But remember that it is always worth asking rather than living off on low compensation. With the proper justification and right attitude, this will all pay off in the long run.
Do you have experience with negotiating your salary?
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.