How to Effectively Ask For a Raise

Like most people, it’s probably been a while since you have asked for a raise, or you have never requested. Surprisingly, despite our appreciation for money, most people have never asked for a raise because they don’t want to seem to be entitled or greedy, feel awkward initiating the conversation, or don’t how to go about asking for a raise.

Nevertheless, asking for a raise is part of being in employment, and if you keep postponing doing it, you may be giving up a chance to increase your pay by a significant amount. The conversation can last as few as five minutes if you know how to go about it. Here is a guide on how to effectively ask for a raise.

Demonstrate your Accomplishments and Added Value

It is beneficial to have a folder in your email account or on your computer to store positive feedback from your boss, colleagues, and clients. This is why it is essential to conduct self-evaluations regularly; you keep a thorough track record of your great work. Do not forget to accommodate your data with numbers. Illustrate how you have been beneficial to your department or company. Did your team play a significant role in increasing company sales over the past year? How many new clients did you bring in? Has your team grown ever since you joined them?

You should demonstrate what you will bring to the company after the raise. You want a raise because you have shown that you add value to the company or your department, but you should demonstrate how you will go a notch higher if you get the raise. Illustrate how you will continue growing within the company.

Do your Research

Before initiating a salary negotiation:

  1. Perform background research to establish your actual market value. Your request for a raise should have realistic expectations based on a solid foundation.
  2. Study what professionals in the same job title, responsibilities, and qualifications as yours in your industry and geographical area earning.
  3. Use sites like, Glassdoor, and PayScale to establish your market rate for your job title.

It is helpful to have a precise figure in mind when asked how much you want to raise.

Take on More Responsibility

The best thing to fast-track a pay raise is to dress for the job. Start by commanding the responsibilities and tasks in your current position, and then start handling more functions that might come with a salary increment. You can effectively do this through good time management skills. Understand your organization’s core strategy, ask the difficult questions, and intertwine your company’s priorities with yours.

Time your Request Intelligently

Be aware that your boss is human with ordinary human emotions when you approach them to ask for a raise. This means that you should not ask for a raise when your manager nervous about imminent budget cuts or when it’s clear that they are having a bad day. Alternatively, if you have just received rave reviews for a top project or saved the day with a valued client, or you have been in your boss’s good books lately, it might be the right time to ask for that raise.

Consider your Company’s Budget and Raise Cycles

If your company has a particular time of the year to give raises, note when that usually happens. Other companies evaluate everyone’s salary at one specific time, often tied to your employer’s budget process and fiscal year. Once you know when this happens, try and start the conversation about a pay rise a month or two before beginning the formal process. Be careful not to present your request after decisions on raise have been made; you might have to wait until the following year.

Practice your Pitch

This may seem silly and weird, but it helps a lot. It is good to practice what you will say to your boss when asking for a raise. One way of doing this is by pitching in front of a friend or your spouse and let them ask you the hard questions. Pay attention to filler words, face-touching, and eye contact. The person you practice the pitch on should give honest feedback.

The other way to practice your pitch is doing it in front of a mirror and recording the pitch on your phone. Listen to the pitch and give yourself an honest review. Is the pitch convincing to you? If you are not confident, your boss will also not be convinced; work on your presentation.

In conclusion, when negotiating a pay raise, know that your boss can decline your request. If that happens, ask them what they think you should do to earn a raise. Evaluate if you can follow their path or if it’s a realistic path in the first place. If your manager is not specific on what you need to improve to get a raise in the future, that is a signal that you probably should look for more money somewhere else.