Is It Time To Ask For A Raise

Is It Time To Ask For A Raise

When Should You Ask For A Raise?

What’s something you have, but always feel like there’s never enough?


In our economic state, the cost of goods and services are rising and our pay isn’t always rising in union. At this point, I’m sure you feel like you’re only getting paid to pay the bills and the mortgage and the kids’ expenses. It’s frustrating and stressful. When you thought it couldn’t get worse, just hold on. It can.

Asking for a raise is awkward and sometimes you might blurt out the wrong thing, leading to more stress and frustration. Keep in mind, there’s a place, a time and a way to ask for anything. Especially a raise.

Know Where You Stand

First things first. Think about how long you’ve been working for the company of interest and when was your last raise. If you haven’t been working at the company for a year, then just wait out the next few months.

If you’ve been there for over a year and haven’t had a raise, you’re entitled to ask. Here are a few other reasons you can request a raise:

  • You implemented a strategy that effectively cut down costs
  • You landed an important client
  • You recently got promoted
  • Some people say you’re indispensable to the company
  • You planned a very successful event
  • You won an award for your hard work and/or achievements
If you were nodding your head while reading these thinking “yes, I did do that,” then this could be your time!

It’s All About Timing

If the company isn’t thriving as well as it usually does, now isn’t a good time to ask for a raise. On the other hand, if business is booming and clients are walking in left, right, and center, then go ahead! Keep tabs on your boss’ mood. Are they upset? Are they stress or tired? Did they miss out on their morning cup of coffee ritual? If any of these are the case, take a pass and try another day.

As you should do for anything important, always plan a face-to-face meeting. That means no emails requesting for a raise. It’s unprofessional, and wouldn’t you rather see your boss’ reaction? Put your communication skills to the test, plan out what you’re going to say and say it, politely, of course.

Don’t Complain

No one likes a whiner. Don’t be petty and complain about your mortgage, bills and personal expenses. Those are your personal problems, so leave them at home. When asking for a raise you should be explaining why you deserve it, not why you need it. While we’re on this topic, don’t ever talk about your colleagues salary. You are separate individuals. Your pay is based on your experience and skills, not based on what John Doe from accounting earns. Instead, highlight your own skills and achievements. Assure your boss that you appreciate everything the company has provided you with. Don’t forget to mention that you want to continue growing with the company. If that’s not the case for you, then maybe it’s time to move on.

Ultimatums? Ultima-NOT’s

If you plan on offering your boss an ultimatum, it might actually leave you jobless. And if you don’t have a job, then you surely won’t get a raise. If you are not invested in the company, then why should the company invest into you? If you plan on leaving, then leave with dignity and respect. There’s no need to burn bridges that got you to where you are today.

Don’t Ask For Too Much

The average raise is between 1% to 5%. Remember that asking for a raise is not only uncomfortable for you, but it’s difficult for your boss too. They may want to give you whatever you want, but simply can’t because of the profit margins. Be respectful to the company you work for by asking for a reasonable raise. Who knows, if you ask for 3%, they might bump it to 4% if you’ve done an outstanding job.

Asking for a raise isn’t easy, for you or your boss. There are many things you have to consider beforehand. Have you done anything outstanding at work? Is the company in a financial crisis? Always plan out what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. And don’t forget to dress the part. Put on a tie, iron your blouse or fish out those dress shoes. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be in good graces with your boss; whether they give you the raise or not.

Good luck!