How to Respectfully and Successfully Ask for a Raise

How to respectfully and successfully ask for a raise

Asking for a raise is scary for many of us, but with the right preparation and know how, it doesn’t have to be so intimidating. Research shows that many of us are uncomfortable negotiating a salary increase because we’re afraid we’ll be perceived as pushy or even worse—lose our job.

Data from 20 million workers, in 25,000 organizations, across 110 countries found that 57 % of employees have never negotiated for a higher salary. Of the number, 28% said they didn’t negotiate because they were uncomfortable negotiating salary, 19% didn’t want to be perceived as pushy, 8% were worried about losing their jobs while 8% have always been happy with their current salary.

The study also found that millennials are less comfortable with salary negotiation, followed by Generation X, and Baby boomers at 30%, 26%, and 25% respectively.

  • Start with realistic expectations

Most annual raises are usually between 1 and 5% of your salary, hence it is advisable to work within that range.

  • Learn your value

Before walking into the boss’ office, first research on the average wage of your peers with similar qualifications, duties and responsibilities so that you can work with an accurate figure.

  • Don’t necessarily wait for a performance review

Waiting for the annual review may not be the best way. Approach your boss months in advance which will keep them on your radar for when the time comes.

  • Justify raise with value

Asking for a raise outside of your review means that there has to be compelling grounds that warrant you a raise. Come armed with facts. These could include the current market value, increased jobs and responsibilities, or even exceptional performance.

  • Have a hint on the company’s financials

First find out how the company is performing because if they are downsizing and laying off employees then it probably isn’t the best time to ask.

  • Come prepared

Even if it means rehearsing in front of a mirror, come prepared to talk about your accomplishments while also fronting the value you have brought to the organization. Do not base your reason on personal expenses, rather show how the company benefits by giving you the raise.

  • Be open to a bonus

You may have solid grounds for a raise but the company may not be doing so well. It is okay to be open to a bonus, if that is a counter proposed.


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