How To Ask for a Salary Raise

One of the hardest conversations to have with your boss is asking for a raise.  Asking for an increase is never easy.  But there is no harm in trying.  After all, your boss cannot fire you for asking.  If you don’t ask, you may miss the opportunity of getting one if you really deserve it.

Before you even set a meeting with your boss, prepare yourself:

  1. Evaluate your performance.  Make a list of your accomplishments and how these contributed to the overall performance of the company.  Remember those goals you were asked to set for yourself during your last performance evaluation?  Go back to these goals and determine if you have met and exceeded them.  Did you contribute to an increase in profit, productivity or savings for the company?  You have to back up your claims.  If you can quantify these, so much the better. The more positive your accomplishments are, the higher the chances of being granted a salary increase.
  2. Identify new responsibilities.  If you were given additional projects and responsibilities, make sure you make a list of these.  Having more things on your plate can also be a bargaining chip when negotiating for a salary increase.
  3. Determine if your current pay is competitive. is a website that provides compensation figures for different job titles in different states.  Find out the going salary rate for your position and job description.  It is important to know what the industry standard is so you can gauge whether you are in a position to ask for a pay hike or not. 
  4. Evaluate the company’s performance.  If your company is doing very well, then by all means ask for a raise.  However, if you know for a fact that your company is not performing well, maybe you should put aside plan of getting a salary increase.  Or at least be open to receiving a lower amount.

Once you are ready to ask for a meeting with your boss, keep in mind these tips:

1.    Correct timing is important.

  • Request for a meeting when you know that your boss in a good mood.
  • Personally ask your superior for a meeting if he holds office in the same location as you.  If you are sending him an email, use the appropriate tone.  Request, not demand for a meeting.   Do not tweet him or send a text!
  • Find out what time and day works for him.  It will be to your advantage if the meeting is held at the end of the day.  That way, should there be any awkwardness between the two of you because he said ‘No’ you can both sleep on it till the next day.

2.    Ask for a specific amount.   You supervisor will probably ask you what salary you think you deserve.   Ask for an amount higher than what you expect to get.  This way, you have room to bargain.

3.    Be open to other non-monetary options.  Your superior may offer additional perks like a company car, tax shield option, fuel subsidy, additional vacation days or flextime.

Going to your boss and asking for a raise is not an easy thing to do.  Many employees are content to wait and see if they will get an increase during next year’s evaluations.  If you believe that you truly deserve one, by all means, ask for one.  However, make sure that you are armed with the right information and that you go about the whole process in a respectful manner.  Asking for a salary increase is always tricky.  But with the right attitude you increase your chances of getting one.  


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