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Tips for Getting Your Next Raise

Do you deserve to be paid more? The thought of being turned down may hold you back from asking to be paid what you're worth. Here are some helpful tips on how to ask for a raise.

Two women meeting with their notes and computers.

When Is the Best Time to Ask for a Raise?

You can't declare to your manager, "I think I deserve a raise." Timing is everything when it comes to asking for a raise:

  • You will need to "sell" the reasoning behind your raise with a reasonable case.
  • The company should be in a place where they can reasonably afford to increase your rate.
  • You should be a high-level performer for the company so they are motivated to keep you.

Know your industry as well – in some companies, raises are annual. In other companies, it may be years before your pay changes. If you were just hired or just given a raise, then it is not the right time to ask for more money again.

The best times to ask for a raise could include:

  • At your next performance review.
  • If you've been part of an increase in sales.
  • When you've had to pick up the slack for missing employees.
  • If you are given a promotion with more responsibility (but not offered higher pay).

What Is the Best Way to Ask for a Raise?

While timing is very important, you will also want to prepare so your request is considered seriously and fairly. Here are some solid tips for asking for your next raise.

  • Keep Track of Your Impact: Are you helping slash costs? Are you bringing in new leads or converting people to purchase their coverage through you? You will need to quantify your success in order to have a solid case for a pay raise.
  • Go for the Promotion: If there is an option for a promotion, put yourself up for it. Even if you are turned down, it shows you are interested in more responsibility and more pay.
  • Come Up With a Hard Number: Look at the industry, competitors, your coworkers or your personal expenses to come up with a number, though you won't want to use these things to make your case. Setting a number in your head is helpful so you can negotiate if they offer too little or be excited if they offer more because of your value.
  • Ask for a Performance Review (Or Wait for the Next One): You won't want to blindside your boss with this request. Ask to discuss your performance and future with the company. Give your boss time to prepare and think about your value.
  • Make Your Case: Don't make any ultimatums during the request (even if they exist in your mind). You may feel you need the raise for a number of reasons and deserve to be paid more, but an ultimatum could quickly backfire. Make a case for what you've been doing and come armed with your key performance indicators.
  • Be Prepared to Wait for an Answer: You may not get your answer right away. In many cases, your boss will have to go higher up for approval or go over the budget to find out if there is room for the increased expense. Give your boss time to consider your value and how they can accommodate your request.

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