Asking for a raise can be one of the most difficult conversations you have in the workplace. However, it’s also an important one that you may need to have many times throughout your career. While it may be tempting to avoid this topic in the hopes that your manager will recognize and reward you for your performance, you run the risk of leaving money on the table and losing earning potential in the long run.
This is especially true during periods of growth and declining unemployment. When there is a clear talent shortage and employers are eager to hold onto their top employees, you may have more leverage when asking for a raise at work. Regardless, it’s always important to speak up if you feel like your salary doesn’t match the value you bring to the company!
If you feel you deserve a raise, you’ll need to ask for it in a strategic way if you expect to land a new salary. Our guide will walk you through what you’ll need to do to get a raise at work.
Determine your market value
The very first step you’ll need to take before asking for a raise is to determine your market value and if it aligns with your current salary. There are various websites that can help you with this, including Glassdoor and LinkedIn. It’s also important to be realistic when it comes to your value at your current company. It may be unlikely that an organization will give you a huge pay bump. On average, salary raises range between 3-5% in the United States.
Build a case for why you deserve a raise
When you ask for a raise, you’ll need to prove to your supervisor why you deserve one. To showcase your value, you’ll need to think about why you deserve a raise and bring it up in conversation. Think about the responsibilities and projects you’ve completed throughout your time at your organization. Did you go beyond your role’s expectations or surpass your goals? If so, write them down and think about how your efforts impacted your organization. Writing these accomplishments down will not only prepare you for this conversation, but will also boost your confidence before your meeting.
Rehearse your talking points
Once you have your accomplishments written down, you may want to take the time to walk through or rehearse exactly what you’d want to say to your manager during this conversation. No matter how confident you are in your abilities, asking for a raise can be a nerve-wracking conversation. The best way to handle this conversation is to be prepared. Rehearse or walk through what you plan to say to your supervisor when you ask for a raise. When you rehearse your talking points, make sure to speak to your work accomplishments, as well as any additional tasks you’ve taken on that may not be in your current job description.
Pick the right time to ask
A great time to talk about getting a raise is during your performance review. However, if your review isn’t coming up anytime soon, you’ll need to time your conversation with your supervisor accordingly. A great time to ask for a raise is after reaching a particularly important goal or project at work, which showcases your hard work. You’ll also want to avoid randomly going into your manager’s office and asking for a raise. They might be caught off guard and won’t have the time to discuss this information. Instead, make sure you put some time on your manager’s calendar to discuss your raise. This will give both of you enough time to prepare and discuss.
What to do if you don’t get a raise
If you go through the process of asking for a raise and don’t get one, not all hope is lost. Make sure to ask your boss why you didn’t get a raise. If it’s based on your performance, work with them to create a plan that will put you on track for a raise or a promotion. If the answer is related to your organization’s budget or matters outside of your control, it may be time to look for a new job.