You have been clocking the hours, giving in your best at the office and believe it’s time for you to reap some benefits for your diligence. The only problem now is that you don’t know how to ask for a raise. You keep wondering if it is the right time or the process you would take in doing.

When you eventually ask, what would be the answer? Would you be getting a “yes” or a “no”? This is when a proper strategy and planning comes into play. You have to properly educate yourself on how to go about this so as to ensure success.

This article on how to ask for a raise at work would be in two parts to work efficiently:

  • First we would discuss the do’s and the don’ts on how to ask for a raise
  • Second, we discuss on 10 tips (strategies) on how to ask for a raise
how to ask for a raise

Let’s start from the beginning:

The Don’ts

Let’s start this article with mistakes that majority of us make regularly. You should actively try to avoid doing the following things when you are about to ask for a pay raise.

Stop comparing yourself with your co-workers

In a bid to make yourself look good in the eyes of your boss, you might decide to compare yourself with your colleagues. Another instance is when you notice that the guy in the next cubicle receives a higher salary than you and has better office package. When asking for a raise, never bring this up in the conversation at any point in time. Why? It is very unprofessional to do so. You might end up creating enemies for yourself at work.

Instead access your own accomplishments and present your merits before your boss as a good reason why you deserve a pay raise.

Tip: Avoid raising office gossip in the conversation. It could make you to come across as an unserious individual.

Nobody likes an individual who is demanding

There are two qualities that are very important when asking for a pay raise – patience and professionalism. You should never ask like you are making a demand or it is your right. If there is one thing that employers hate is an employee that feels they are so go that they can’t be replaced. You can speak confidently but also be polite as well. Being polite endears you to your employer and makes it hard for them to refuse your request.

Know when it’s the right time

Don’t go asking your boss for a pay raise when you know the company is in the middle of a huge contract. There is a right time for everything – do not ask at a stressful time. The best time for you to ask for a pay raise is when business is going really well. Your chances of having your request granted increases significantly.

Tip: Ask when you know that the company is about to receive new funding or when the new fiscal year is starting.

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The Do’s

Ask after a personal achievement

The best time for you to ask your boss to increase your salary of bonus packages is when you have achieved something significantly for the company. At these time, you are in your bosses good books. You should exploit this situation. People are more likely to grant your request when they are happy with you.

Your reason should be tangible

You should have a solid reason to present to your employer on why you deserve a raise. Most times your salary is based on two things – your role in the office and your overall performance. This two factors should give you an insight on what you should be doing to reach your goal. You might need to improve yourself or upgrade your qualifications before you might be qualified for salary increase and certain perks at work.

Be professional about the request

You’ve done a lot of planning but the most important part – how to ask for a raise – the asking must be done in a professional manner. You don’t send a generic email you found on the internet or just bring it in the hallway at work. Follow the right procedures like setting up a meeting the human resources department at your place of work.

Tips on how to ask for a raise at work

1. You should ask after a big accomplishment

I have mentioned this earlier in the Do’s section of this article and I am repeating it again because it is very important. It is like a secret weapon. Your boss would be very happy to grant your request after you just landed a huge deal or sale. Capitalize on the momentum of your success.

2. Have an agenda

Never walk into a meeting with your boss concerning increasing your pay unprepared or empty- handed. It is important that you have prepared beforehand. What are the steps you should take?

  • Write down all the concrete reasons why you deserve a pay raise.
  • Continue to rehearse them until you are sure that you can confidently deliver these reasons to your boss without missing a beat.

In addition to citing your recent accomplishments, you can boost yourself by also mentioning the ideas that you have, the additional tasks you have taken up at work, the successful projects you have been in charge and your plan for the future to help increase the company’s success.

Remember not to just come there with words only, you would get a boost by printing out copy of all these things above. Your boss might also have a boss, they could use this copy to discuss with their supervisors if it is necessary.

3. Dress how you want to be addressed

Various companies have different office cultures. Tech start-ups often tend to dress compared to other organizations. No matter where you work though, when it’s time for the meeting you should dress smart. It would hurt your cause if you decide to wear a tie or put on dress shoes. The more professional and serious you look, the better your chances.

Tip: Dressing professionally also helps to build your confidence when presenting your case.

4. Always have a second plan

Sometimes, no matter how you have planned or prepared things might not go your way. In situations like this where you might get a “no” as an answer you can use the rejection to make another request. You might need some perks at work – like a piece of technology, sometime off, maybe you want to work from home on someday, an event you might love to attend – your boss is likely to indulge your request after saying no to a salary raise.

5. Never give your boss an ultimatum

I have seen friends that have lost their jobs because of the ways they requested for a salary increase. You shouldn’t give an ultimatum unless you are ready to get fired or have another job lined up. It would do you any benefit to come across as rude or demanding. At all times, your tone must be professional, calm and patient.

Be cautious of your negotiation techniques. You want to be in good terms with your boss after the meeting irrespective off their reply.

6. Keep your personal information to yourself

I know that when you are writing down the reasons why you might need a raise, you would want your boss to feel some kind of emotion so you can get a yes. Still, there are things that are best kept to yourself. Unless you and your boss have some kind of familiar relationship, you should keep things strictly on a professional level. Instead of bringing up problems that you are facing at home, emphasize on the reasons why you deserve to get a raise.

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After you have asked for a raise, what next?

The first thing to note is that you might not get an answer right away. Except you work in very small organization, there are background processes that would occur before your salary raise would be approved. Your supervisor might need to consult the company manager or Human Resources department to find out if your request would be granted.

Sometimes things might not go your way. If you don’t get a yes, do not start sulking or neglect your duties. Instead try and understand the reason why you couldn’t get a raise and see if you can do anything about. Sometimes the company might not have enough funds to increase salaries or your skills doesn’t qualify you for one. If it is the latter, try improving your skills and qualifications before you try again.

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