Career Advice

How to Ask for a Salary Raise in Exactly 5 Steps

One of the most uncomfortable conversations you would have with yourself in your professional life is if you should ask for a raise or not. Many people find it awkward to discuss a pay raise with their boss for several reasons. These reasons revolve around the fear of sounding greedy or not knowing how to. In contrast to your feelings, asking for a raise is normal; if you do not ask, you do a great disservice to yourself. In this article, we would be discussing various ways you can ask for an increase in salary without feeling guilty. 

Know that asking for a raise is normal

Everything that we do starts from a place in the mind. You must first convince yourself that asking for a raise is fair. It is not a favor your boss does for you; it acknowledges your hard work. Imagine putting in all those efforts over the years, developing your skills, and growing the company only to collect the same salary as when you started. If your employer is experienced in handling people, he/she would know this is normal. In case you are having doubts, asking for a raise would not damage your existing relationship with your employer.

Familiarize yourself with your organization’s practice

Organizations base their salary raise on different principles. For some, It’s done over a period (annually), while others base it on merit. Depending on your company’s practice, you might have to wait for the general salary review to be eligible for a raise. But if there is no structure in place to attend to an increase in salary, you are more likely to negotiate a pay raise without the limitation of organizational practice. 

Find out what your colleagues in similar positions earn.

Network with your colleagues in the same industry as you and know what they earn. This exercise would give you a rough estimate of what your peers make on average. With your findings, you can negotiate a pay raise without feeling like an imposter. Imagine finding out fellow product designers earn $10k monthly, and you earn half of that doing the same job. How confident would you be asking for a raise? 

Pick the right time to have the conversation.

No matter how prepared you are to ask for a raise, your timing has to be impeccable. You cannot walk into your boss’s office when he/she is having one of the most terrible days in human history to ask for a raise. He/ She would give you an answer, and it’s one you would not like. On the other hand, if you just saved the department a lot of money or performed a task exceptionally well, that might just be a perfect time. 

Come from a place of value.

Nothing makes your request for a pay raise as seamless as coming from a place of value. Present what you’ve done over the years (or period) to the table, key achievements, and professional improvements. This is where you prove that you are a valuable team member, and you deserve the raise you are asking for. No employer would like to lose a valuable employee because they refuse to increase his/her pay. So be confident in your work, and go to the negotiation room knowing you’ve done your best.

Asking for a pay raise is terrifying, but you can overcome that feeling with proper preparation and good negotiation skill. If you get a no from your boss, ask for feedback. Your manager should be willing to assist you with things you need to do to get your desired raise.