Like most people, you expect to get raises when it’s time for your annual review. But what if you want to ask for a raise sooner than that? Perhaps you’ve been at a job for a few years, and there are still so many things you want to learn—or perhaps your boss has hinted at wanting to promote and move you into a new role.
How can you make the case that now is the right time? In this post, we’ll show how to ask for raises in different circumstances and situations: whether it’s because of an increase in value or because it’s time to change roles within the company. Asking for more money isn’t easy. We’ll discuss several ways how to ask for a raise at work that will help strengthen your position when asking for money from an employer or potential client.
Know what you’re worth.
When you go into a meeting hoping to ask for a raise, it’s important to know your worth. It will help you prepare and make a compelling case for your request.
It’s also important to be realistic about what other people are making in similar roles. For example, other people who already have higher salaries than yours may be doing the same work as you. If this is the case, don’t try to compete with them directly by asking for an even greater increase; it will only help your case if someone else gets even more money.
Be specific about your contributions and the impact you’ve made.
In your request, describe how you’ve contributed to the company’s growth and success. It’s not enough to say that you’ve done a good job; back it up with examples. If you feel bold, share data showing how your work has impacted business goals or KPIs. For example, if your team is looking for ways to increase sales leads and conversions from incoming traffic by 25%. Show how much of this goal was achieved through your efforts and contributions. Or, if an important initiative has generated $50 million for the company since its launch six months ago, mention that much-needed progress as evidence of your value.
Remember: You can always ask for what you want if no one else does—and often even when others do! You might get it!
Use data and analytics to support your argument for a raise.
You can use analytics to show how much you’ve grown since the company hired you.
There are two ways to do this:
- Show how much value your work has created for the company. This is best when there are concrete, quantifiable results of your work that you can easily measure. For example, if you’ve implemented a new system that has saved your company time or money and reduced overhead costs, it’s easy to show how much value was added by the project.
- Show how far along your career path compared to when you started at the company. This works best for people who have been at their jobs for some time because it’s hard to judge growth from zero points on a scale no one else understands anyway (unless everyone else uses the same level of measurement). If this is done well enough, it makes sense as evidence that it should happen regularly as part of an employee’s compensation package.
Create a plan for future growth and the future value you’ll bring to the company.
The best way to put yourself in the driver’s seat and make your case for a raise is to create an action plan for how you will continue to grow, develop, and add more value to the company.
As you’re thinking about this, think about the following:
- What new skills have you developed since starting your job? If it’s been a while since you started, what new skills would it take to feel like you were adding value? How do they align with what the company needs or wants?
- How can those skills be used on projects already happening within the company or could be created for them to be utilized by others (e.g., writing blog posts)?
- What other projects can be created to utilize these new abilities and make them even more useful?
Develop a personal brand strategy.
Personal branding is a strategy for creating a positive image of yourself in the minds of others. It involves building a consistent, accurate, memorable image that people can associate with you. If you want to get promoted or find new work, personal branding can help you stand out.
Here are five steps to developing your brand:
- Develop your unique value proposition (UVP). This makes you stand out from other candidates or employees in your field; it answers the question, “Why should anyone hire me?” Once you have a UVP, use it as the foundation for all future marketing efforts—even if they involve more traditional types like print ads or web banners!
- Create an elevator pitch to help others understand what makes them want to hire/work with you based on their needs rather than yours alone. Your elevator pitch should be no longer than about 30 seconds long but still, convey enough information. Someone could decide whether or not they would be interested in hiring/working with someone based on what he hears during those 30 seconds alone (and maybe even beyond).
Show how much you’ve grown since the company hired you.
The best way to prove that you’re worth a raise is to demonstrate how much your performance has improved since the company hired you. If you’ve learned new skills, taken on new responsibilities, or develop new abilities since being hired, the hiring manager must know about these improvements.
Suppose you’ve gained expertise in your field and can show how quickly you have mastered new responsibilities and skill sets. In that case, this will also be compelling evidence that it makes sense for the company to invest more in employee training and development.
Prepare documents that support your request.
When you are ready to ask for a raise, you must have documents supporting your request. You should prepare a list of accomplishments you’ve achieved over the past year (this is also helpful if you’re applying for a new job). You should also prepare a list of your responsibilities, how they have changed since the company hired you, what new skills/knowledge you have learned and how they will help advance your career.
Identify the right person to ask for a raise, and set up a meeting with that person.
- Identify the right person to ask for a raise, and set up a meeting with that person.
- Someone other than your boss may be the right person to ask for a raise. Some companies have an HR department that handles all employee compensation issues. If you work at one of those companies, your best bet is to go through HR instead of directly approaching your boss. Find out if someone in your company can help you obtain more money—and if so, schedule some time with them immediately!
You can make an effective case for a raise by discussing what value you bring to the company, not just how much you think you deserve.
If you want to ask for a raise, don’t be subtle. Instead, clarify that you’re asking for more money to bring more value to the company.
You can also frame your request as an opportunity for your boss to promote you and give you more responsibility. Again, this is a great way to ensure they see the benefit of paying you more without making them feel like they’re being taken advantage of—or, worse yet, bullied by their employees.
If you do all this, you’ll be much better positioned to ask for the raise you deserve. The more confident and prepared you are, the more likely your boss will be willing to listen to your request and consider it seriously.
- Forbes: “How To Determine Your Worth And Ask For A Raise” – https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2021/06/24/how-to-determine-your-worth-and-ask-for-a-raise/?sh=25d7f414666f
- The Muse: “The Ultimate Guide to Asking for a Raise—and Getting It” – https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-ask-for-a-raise-guide-script-promotion
- Harvard Business Review: “Asking for a Raise: Research and Tips for Salary Negotiations” – https://hbr.org/2021/02/asking-for-a-raise-research-and-tips-for-salary-negotiations
- Glassdoor: “How to Ask for a Raise in 2021: The Ultimate Guide” – https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/guide/how-to-ask-for-a-raise/
- CNBC: “How to ask for a raise: Tips from career coaches and executives” – https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/13/how-to-ask-for-a-raise-tips-from-career-coaches-and-executives.html