Career Advancement: How to Ask for a Raise

Many employees put asking for a raise on hold due to the bad economy. With things beginning to improve, you may be wondering how to approach your boss. While it can be scary to ask for a raise, there are a few tips that will make the meeting go smoother. Whether you know ahead of time what you want or have a backup plan, you can leave your boss’s office with more money in your pocket. The following are just a few tips on how to ask for a raise.

Know What You Want

You need to be prepared when asking for a raise. It will look unprofessional to enter your boss’s office, ask for a raise, and not have a response when he asks what type of raise you were considering. Sit down and do the numbers to see what you think would be a fair raise. The average annual raise is 3%, but if you haven’t received a raise in quite some time, you may want to ask for more.

Research Current Pay Rates

When you’re running the numbers, research what others in your field are being paid. Take into consideration your level of education, years with the company, special awards, and anything else you can use to your advantage. However, you should never ask for more than necessary or you could risk angering your boss.

Ask at the Right Time

Successfully asking for a raise has a lot to do with timing. Even if you just pulled off a huge project without a flaw, the company may be on hard times. This is not the time to ask for a raise. Pay attention to the success of the company and wait for a time when the growth has been consistent before making your requests.

Give Your Boss a Heads Up

You never want to walk into your boss’s office unexpected and ask for a raise. Not only is this rude, but it can catch your boss off guard. This can lead to him declining your request without hearing you out. Once you’ve done your homework and know the timing is right. Let your boss know that you’d like to speak with him about a possible raise. This will give him time to look over your recent and past performance to see if it warrants a pay increase.

Have a Backup Plan

Raises don’t always have to be an increase in salary. There are other ways to have more money in your pocket at the end of the week. For example, if your boss doesn’t like the idea of a monetary raise, ask to work from home at least once a week. This will cut down on commuting and eating expenses. You could also ask for more vacation time or sick days.

Asking for a raise isn’t always a comfortable thing to do, but you can increase your chances of getting what you want by doing a bit of research. In other words, a well-laid plan is essential for getting a raise.

About the Author: Armand Lokhmato works in human resources and often uses recruitment management software systems to monitor applications for both external and internal applicants. He has great respect for employees who can respectfully ask for a pay increase, whether they’re able to give it or not.