How to ask for a raise: 5 Tips for Success

Estimated read time 8 min read

Asking for a raise can be intimidating. Here are five tips and other suggestions to help you approach your boss confidently and professionally.

Asking for a raise can be the best way to get the reward you deserve if your job duties have changed significantly or if your performance deserves a boost.

Standard wage increases range from 3% (average) to 5% (exceptional). Asking for a 10-20% increase depending on the reason is the way to start the negotiation.

Ask for a raise at an appropriate time – not, for example, when the company has recently laid off an employee.

This article is for employees who want to negotiate a raise.

Most people cringe at the thought of asking their boss for a raise. If your company doesn’t raise salaries regularly every year and you’re not interested in a promotion, applying may be the only way to get the raise you know you deserve. You should understand that it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a raise and most company managers and business owners want to take good care of their employees.


While this process may seem intimidating and uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be, especially if you know your boss. If you do your research and come prepared with the facts, you’ll feel more confident starting the conversation.


Why do you want a raise?

This is a critical question that needs to be answered. List all the reasons why you want a raise before proceeding with your application. Don’t ask for a raise because your rent went up or you’re frustrated because your cubicle mate isn’t working as hard as you and making the same pay.


When you make your request, your reasons should be based on your performance and the value you bring to the team and the organization.


How much should you want?

The average salary increase is 3%. A good raise is anywhere from 4.5% to 5% and anything more than that is considered exceptional. Depending on the reasons you give for a raise and how long it’s been since your last raise, you can ask for a raise between 10% and 20%. However, the higher percentage you request, the better your reasons should be. For example, if you accepted a position with little travel and are now traveling more than half the time, asking for 20% is not unreasonable because your responsibilities have changed significantly.


However, if you’re asking for a raise because it’s been over a year since your last one and you’ve continued to perform well in your regular responsibilities, start with a more reasonable percentage. You still deserve a raise, but you need to temper your request with the reality of your contributions.


When is it appropriate to ask for a raise?

Some people say that there is never an ideal time to ask for a raise, but use common sense. Don’t ask for a raise at a sensitive time, such as when your company has laid off people, your department had low numbers for the quarter, or your boss is dealing with a difficult personal situation.


Consider your company’s current salary increase practices. If they usually raise on the first day of the year, check with your boss in November or December. This way, you give them a chance to consider your request and work with their bosses instead of asking them to change their decision after you find out your rates have gone up.


If there is no standard procedure for a raise, try to ask at a “good” time, such as when you know your boss is happy with your work, during a successful quarter, or at a time of year when everyone is not stressed. out.


How to ask your boss for a raise

Take time to prepare for the conversation and give your manager time to consider your request.


Schedule a meeting with your boss in advance instead of knocking on his door and making your request; this shows that you are considerate of their time. If your boss is busy on a certain day of the week, cross that day off the list.


Once you’ve scheduled the meeting, treat your preparation like a college research report: Find credible information and cover the following points when negotiating salary.


The best way to ask for a raise is to do your research and know your worth, then approach your boss professionally. Here are five tips for successfully asking for a raise.


Tips for asking for a raise

1. List your accomplishments over the past six months, the past year, and your time with the company.

Describe how your achievements have positively impacted your department and the company as a whole – and include specific numbers and statistics when possible. For example, you might say, “Over the past year, I’ve generated 5,000 leads for the company, which is an 8% increase over the previous year. The resulting sales equaled $58,000 in new business.”


It’s hard for any manager to turn down a request when presented with numbers like that. The stronger the data you provide, the greater the argument for a well-deserved raise.


Showing the work you’ve done for the company and the effort you’ve made to help them also shows that you’re a loyal employee. Loyal employees gain trust from their employers, which helps your case.

2. Know what a competitive salary looks like in your position.

You can get a free salary report from sites like and PayScale to see how your current salary compares to similar positions elsewhere. LinkedIn is also a great resource for this. You can view job postings on the site or use LinkedIn’s own average salary range listed on job postings. Consider the industry you’re based in, the size of your employer, and your benefits. Some companies just don’t pay well, so it’s best to consult with experts if possible. If you have any connections with local recruiters and hiring managers (perhaps on LinkedIn), ask them if they would take a look at your resume to give you a realistic salary goal for your position and experience.


3. Let your boss know what it means to him.

Keep in mind that your boss doesn’t care about your mortgage payments or the vacation you want to take. Your boss cares about what it means to them. You’ve already explained what you’ve done for the company, but you also want to explain your plan for the future. Present them with your goals, how those goals benefit the company, and how you will achieve them.


4. Be confident.

Be confident when asking for a raise. Yes, it’s intimidating, but you have supporting evidence: the reasons you’ve given for your request and the research you’ve done on comparable salary ranges. Be prepared for some pushback and know that the answer may be no. If you get a raise, be prepared to keep working hard (or harder). You knew you should get paid; now show your boss you deserve it.

5. Put your request in writing.

Chances are your boss has a boss with whom they will need to share your request for a raise or salary. Provide them with a flyer that summarizes your requirement, the comparable salary range, and the benefits the company receives from your efforts.


Upon request

Your boss is unlikely to say yes during the first meeting. In most cases, they will take the time to discuss your request with other decision makers and get back to you. It is advisable to ask for a time frame when a decision will be made. For example, you might ask, “Is it okay if I get back to you two weeks from today if I haven’t heard anything?


Next, prepare for them. A negative response may be based on factors beyond your knowledge or control. If this happens, ask what you can do to consider a raise in the future. A good boss will tell you the reasons for the rejection and tell you how you can improve your chances of getting a better salary in the future.


If you’re not satisfied with the reasons why a raise isn’t possible or the proposed path to higher compensation, it’s time to evaluate your career path and your desire to stay with the company or firm. In the meantime, stay positive.


If you get a yes, keep your professionalism. Express your gratitude and keep up the good work. It is also important to maintain good relations with your co-workers. Bragging to others about your pay raise will make your boss regret helping you and create friction in your team.


Asking for a raise can be stressful and uncomfortable, but you have nothing to lose if you give it a try.


Bassam Kaado and Marisa Sanfilippo contributed to the writing and research on this article.

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