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How to ask for a raise at work (everything you need to know!)

ask your boss for a raise

Have you been wondering, “how can I ask for a raise at work?” Asking your boss for a raise can seem intimidating. Maybe it is because you haven’t worked on your money mindset. If asking for a raise makes you feel unworthy or nervous, this article is for you!

What is your mindset when it comes to money?

Money can be quite an ironic topic simply because it’s something that can provide comfort and stability in our day-to-day lives, but it can also be uncomfortable to talk about when it comes to the workplace. Have you ever been in a position where you’ve said this to yourself?

  • “They don’t pay me enough.”
  • “I’m doing two jobs, but only getting paid for one!”
  • “My peers make more than me with less work.”

If so, you’re probably on the verge of contemplating how and when you should ask for a raise. The good news is, you’ve come to the right place to get all the “how-to” and “must-haves” when it comes to asking for a raise!

Before diving into the article, we want to introduce you to the newly created, “Conquer Your Career” series for bold and unapologetically talented professionals who are ready to build more meaningful and fulfilling careers.  Each month Chelsea Jay and Portia Obeng will break down some of the most controversial and trending topics related to the job search. We’re excited to introduce our first topic, “The Ask: Getting the Raise You Deserve.”

HOW ASKING FOR A RAISE STARTS


There’s no worse feeling than sitting at work and feeling taken advantage of (financially). You consistently show up on time, do quality work, contribute to the team, and make an impact on your organizations’ bottom line. Finally, you look up and realize that you can’t even afford to take a vacation, day off, or buy your new favorite gadget. You also know that everyone around you is making more with fewer skills and experience. So you’ve finally decided that it’s time to ask for a raise, but where do you start?

Asking for raise is a complex and multifaceted process that isn’t as simple as going up to your supervisor and demanding an increase. Before scheduling a meeting with your manager, you must take time to do some self-reflection, conduct research, and be ready to justify the ask.

 

SELF-REFLECTION ON WHY YOU WANT A RAISE

Self-reflection is critical when it comes to career planning, negotiation, and personal improvement. Knowing and understanding your “why” will be the foundation of the decisions you make before, during, and after you ask for a raise.

When it comes to asking for a raise, you must understand your “why” behind the ask. Ask yourself…

Why do I want a raise right now?

  1. Did I not negotiate my salary properly upfront?
  2. Have I taken on additional responsibilities since I’ve been in the role?
  3. Has my lifestyle changed?
  4. What are industry professionals making in my role (with my education and experience)?
 

Most importantly you need to ask yourself,

  1. What will I do if my salary raise gets denied?
  2. Will more money truly make me happy in this role?
  3. What is my ideal salary (for this role and future roles)? What am I willing to settle at?

 

YOU NEED TO DO YOUR RESEARCH

Everything from here on out needs to be justified. Do you have a specific salary amount in your head? If so, where did you get it from? It is beneficial for you to understand your industry and company inside out before approaching your supervisor (because trust me, they will be prepared!). When asking for a raise, you do need to have a proposed amount along with industry facts to back it up. 

When preparing your proposal, you should know the following.

  • Median salary throughout your industry.
  • Average salary for your specific role.
  • Salary range for your role within your industry.
  • Size of your company.
  • Company budget.
  • Fiscal year.
  • Average salary of employees within your current organization.
 

DOCUMENTATION…. YES, YOU NEED TO DOCUMENT YOUR WINS!

If you’re going to ask for a raise you better be ready to justify it! You should be confident walking into the room and the best way to do that is by fully understanding who you are, what you offer, and what you’ve done during your time in the role. You should have the following information;

  1. What have you contributed to the organization?
  2. Have you saved money?
  3. Launched complex projects with zero hiccups or disturbance?
  4. Built mutually beneficial partnerships?
  5. Brought money into the organization?
  6. Improved a process that increased efficiency and saved time?
 

APPROACHING YOUR SUPERVISOR

Your supervisor should never be blindsided by you asking for a raise. This means that you can’t just walk into the office with bells and whistles to say, “I’ve come for my raise!”  After you’ve done your self-reflection, research, and documentation, you will just need to reach out to your supervisor in their preferred method of communication. A simple, “I’d like to schedule a meeting with you to discuss my professional growth and salary.” The majority of supervisors know exactly what this means and after scheduling the meeting, you should be able to get a sense of how receptive they are to the request.

MAKING THE ASK

You might need to give yourself a pep talk, listen to affirmations, or watch a TED Talk before your conversation; it’s understandable if you’re nervous, this isn’t an easy conversation to have. 

Present your case to your supervisor and touch on the points you gathered; making sure that you create space for an open and productive conversation. If your raise is approved and your supervisor begins the process of making sure you get your well-deserved coins, then congrats to you! 

Celebrate your victory by treating yourself to something you value like your favorite meal, an afternoon watching your favorite show, a cozy nap, a plant, a new book; you get the point. Just make sure you pause to acknowledge the work you put in to reach this achievement.

 

WHAT HAPPEN’S AFTER YOU ASK FOR A RAISE? 

Unfortunately, denials of a raise are common, and it can be frustrating and a bit discouraging if you are met with a “no” when you request a raise, but this doesn’t mean you should stop there. In this thing, we call life, pretty much everything is negotiable.

If they can’t meet you on your monetary request and you want to stay with the organization, then you have the opportunity to negotiate something else that is valuable to you. You’ve demonstrated the value that you bring to this organization and if they want to keep you, they should be willing to find a way to meet you in the middle. 

Before you move forward, you should ask for an expedited review and ask if you can present your case for a raise in three months, rather than the usual six months. Every organization is different and if this isn’t an option, you can move forward with one of these:

  • If you value paid time off, ask for 3 – 4 days extra days off

  • Have you been wanting an office? Request that they give you one

  • If you enjoy working from home, ask if they can provide at least three work from home days

  • How is your cell phone bill looking? Ask if they can provide a stipend for your bill, especially if you use your phone a lot for work

  • How much allowance do they give for professional development? Ask them to add some money to your allowance and use it to attend the conference of your dreams

  • How much are they subsidizing your child care? Ask them for a 10% increase

  • Do you use public transportation to get to work? Ask if they can provide a travel stipend

  • Do you drive to work? Ask if they can provide a sweet parking space or subsidize part of your monthly parking bill

  • Do you want to be where the money reside? Ask if they can increase your 401K match by at least 1%

As you can see, there are so many opportunities for you to walk away with at least something during your conversations about a raise, but if they can’t offer you anything, it might be time to find a new job because this is probably a sign that they don’t value your contributions. 

The great thing about this is that you have recently completed a conversation about the work that you’re doing and the value that you bring, so updating your resume won’t be as daunting, and you’ll be able to speak to these things during interviews.

Be kind to yourself during this process. It’s not always easy at times, but you should be incredibly proud of yourself for advocating for yourself regardless of the outcome. Let us know how your negotiations go!

 

MEET YOUR AUTHORS

Chelsea Jay is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), Online Branding Expert (NCOPE), and podcast host of “Chelsea’s Career Corner”. She also holds certifications in career and life coaching.

Chelsea is the go-to Resume Writer for job hoppers and career changers. She is known throughout the career development industry for her bold, unapologetic, and straight shooter methods when it comes to tackling the job search, building professional brands, and climbing the ladder quickly (with less stress). She helps mid-career and executive professionals across the globe rebuild their confidence, improve their mindsets, develop (and execute!) goals and most importantly, building a career with purpose.

 

 

 

 

Portia Obeng is a social media strategist with nearly 10 years of experience in social media strategy and content management. She started before Snaps were chatted, Instagram had stories, and Tiks were toked; and her current specialties are Instagram and LinkedIn.

She works to help people and organizations understand how they can use social media, not let social media use them. She encourages them to step away from continuous mindless scrolling and figure out how to use social media to enhance their work, lives, and personal brands.

Portia loves being Ghanaian, spicy food, dancing, live music, listening to podcasts, experiencing new countries, and reading a good book (preferably on a beautiful beach in Ghana).

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Chelsea Jay Resume Writer & Career Coach

I'm Chelsea Jay

As your coach, I'm here to remind you that you can redefine your career at any point in time & for any reason.

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