How to ask for a Raise or Promotion

Asking for a raise/promotion can be a very nerve-wracking decision. With proper planning, this conversation can be easy and productive. You will want to prepare yourself with data behind your performance, a plan for the future, and a salary number. Make sure to schedule a meeting at the best time of year or season for your industry.

Why ask for a raise?

When you have a certain salary and job, you can sometimes feel like you outperform your salary. You may feel that you have taken on more responsibility and should be compensated. You may feel like you have put in a lot of time to your company, and it is time for the next step. There are many reasons why you should ask for a raise, but explaining those reasons to the person responsible for your salary could be difficult at first.

Consider the time of year when you plan to ask

The best time of year to ask for a raise may be dependent on your company. If things are really busy during the month of November, for example, and money is tight, this is not the best time to ask for a raise. The best time to ask for a raise is after a large amount of workload has happened and you have performed beyond your responsibilities. It is also good to schedule this meeting, so you aren’t surprising the person who is responsible for your salary.

Bring in statistics or data to back your request

When you sit down for your meeting, you will want to make sure you have hard data or statistics as to what you have done for your company. Sure, you can say you need a raise but back it with why and the data to prove it.

Bring in a future plan.

Have an idea of what you plan to do for your company in the future. What does this raise help you do for the company? Obviously, having more money is great, but why should they pay you more. Make this future plan into a concise idea. You don’t want to ramble on or offer something you won’t be able to do. Also, be careful to agreeing to more than you were prepared for with a raise.

Have an idea of how much money you want to ask for and why

Make sure to have the salary you have in mind and a backup number. Know your lowest you will accept, so you aren’t disappointed when you leave the meeting. This is the negotiation place and may be your only opportunity.  Make sure to have a  plan.

Practice your meeting

Practice this conversation and record yourself doing it. Be prepared for a no answer and how you will respond to it. Practice this with a family member or yourself in the mirror. It may not go exactly how you practiced, but at least you will feel prepared. Be ready for negotiations not to go your way or for your boss to say no or not right now. Figure out what you will say if this does happen, so you have a professional response. If this does happen, have them pre-schedule another meeting or ask for what you need to do to achieve the raise.

Ask for more don’t sell yourself short

Always ask for a little more than you think you want. They can always counter. Just don’t go overboard with asking. Compare other people in your same position and make sure to find value in each task you do for the company. This is another place where backup data will help you in case a comparison of salary is needed for the job title or responsibility.