Most of us are familiar with the frustration that comes with waiting for a raise. You don’t want to ask directly because you’re afraid it may cause problems and your boss hasn’t exactly initiated the conversation, either. HR services can only get you so far and walking that tightrope can be tricky.

How do you ask for a raise without creating problems? Is that even possible?

Here are three simple suggestions to help you navigate through the rocky terrain of raises.


In order to ask for a raise it is important to know your worth from an industry point of view. Research the salary for professionals in your field and/or area of expertise. Does your current salary reflect the industry standard? What level of education is expected for your current position? What credentials are required? It is best to have the education and credentials before you ask for a raise; you want to be as prepared as possible.

Employers are more likely to give raises to individuals who invest in their continued skill growth; this makes you a more versatile (valuable) employee. Your research should also include an in-depth look at the company: can they afford to give you a raise?


Now that you’ve thoroughly researched your position it’s time to prepare you argument. Asking for a raise should never come up as an argument; you should be able to back up any statements, claims and requests with facts (from your research).

how to ask for raise

What have you accomplished since your last raise? How are you an asset to your company? What new ideas are you ready to share? Consider writing out your accomplishments, starting with the most recent. You can also include any skills you’ve learned on the job and ways to continue to grow in your particular field.

The end goal of preparation is to be ready for any question they might throw your way. Nothing is more impressive than a prepared employee confident in their argument. You should also consider the outcome if the raise is turned down. How will you react? What will be your next step?


You’ve done your research and prepared your argument; now it’s time to ask for the raise. Schedule an appointment with your employer; make sure you allot enough time so you are not rushed through your presentation. Make sure to be as forward as possible about the meeting. Make it clear that you want to discuss your salary; this direct approach will show your supervisor that you are serious about your future at the company.

Do not ask for a raise over the phone or through email (don’t text your request either!). Do not ask for a raise right before the work day starts or ends; you want to have enough time to argue your case.

Knowing your worth and demanding nothing less is key to career success. Remember that your supervisor should have valid reasons for denying your raise; eliminate those reasons by working hard, keeping a positive attitude, and showing up on time.

Tips for Success

· Be confident!

· Do your homework: know your job inside and out from an industry point of view.

· Be able to tell your employer exactly what you’ve done to make the company better.

· Tell your employer any skills or ideas you would like to use/implement in the future.

· Schedule your meeting at a good time (with enough time available to ensure neither of you are rushed).

· If you are turned down, ask when you can re-open the raise discussion.

This guest post was written by Leah B, who is a contributor to the Eat Breathe Blog.

Photo Credit: stevendepolo

Related posts:

3 comments on “How to Ask For a Raise”

  1. I find when you work in the public sector, asking for a raise is kind of pointless. Budgets are set by the government. However if you work in the private sector, get all you can get I say. Asking around the time of you yearly review always seems to work well.

  2. Step one is to work for an employer who conducts annual performance reviews and provides annual raises. The raises may be less than most employees would like, but this shows professionalism by the company and a comittment to retaining employees.

    At my last company, they didn’t believe in raises or reviews. In fact, employees had to beg for raises or threaten to quit. After two years of working my butt off and completing some key projects that brought in a lot of money, I really didn’t feel like begging for a raise. So, I found a new job and quit. I got a big raise walking in the door and two annual raises since. Plus, I now work in a much more professional environment. Happiness is one of the few things better than money.

Comments are closed.