How to Ask for a Raise at Work (And Get It)

Doing side gigs or getting a second job to increase your income may not be necessary. Ask for a raise, and you could fix your income issues while keeping your current schedule.

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Do you feel like you’re worth more than your hourly wage or salary? If so, it may be time to ask for a raise. What prevents many people from requesting a raise? Fear of rejection.

You can reduce your chances of rejection when asking for a raise by trying the following tips. The most important tip to remember, however, is to try. You’re not likely to lose your job by asking for an income increase, so the good greatly outweighs the bad.

Do Your Research

Merely asking for a raise may not result in one if your request is not specific. What’s the best way to be specific? Ask for a precise amount.

Knowing how much to ask for can be difficult if you don’t know your market. To find out what others in your position are making, do some searches online. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for online in terms of pay comparisons, ask around. This method of salary research may be even better since you can gain insights into what others are making in your company.

Is your company actively hiring? Look for their ads online or in your local paper to see what they are offering. With an actual number in mind, you can do a better job of framing the pro-raise argument in your favor.

The Best Times to Ask for a Raise

Asking your boss for a raise on a Monday can backfire since it’s usually a stressful day with little downtime. Instead, ask for it in the following situations:

  • When your boss is in good spirits
  • When work is slow, or stress levels seem low
  • When you’ve just been given more responsibilities
  • After you’ve completed a big project
  • After you’ve saved the company money
  • After you’ve signed a significant client or accomplished something similar

DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

Emphasize Your Performance and Value

When asking for a raise, frame it so you show the company how it benefits them. Yes, you want that income increase to make your life easier, but you’ll only get it if it makes the company better.

Discuss how you’ve fixed problems in the past, saving the company money in the process. Note how you’ve freed up time for others via your skills. Let your boss know everything you’ve been doing to improve the company. By discussing such performance-related specifics, you display your value. The higher your value, the higher your possible income.

How Much Should You Ask For?

The size of the raise you ask for depends on the market. You can bolster your chances of getting it, however, by being extremely specific.

Instead of asking for a raise to $40,000 per year, say you’d like $41,750. According to a study from Columbia Business School, using unusual numbers in negotiations makes you seem better-informed.

Besides looking like you’ve done your research, the desired counteroffer is likely to come your way. By asking for $41,750, your boss could counter with that $40,000 you sought in the first place. Had you asked for $40,000, they may have countered with $35,000 right off the bat.

In keeping with this theme, always ask for more than you expect. The higher the anchor price, the better. Don’t suggest something so extreme that it may upset the higher-ups, though. Proper research can prevent this problem.

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