6 Things To Always Do When Asking For A Raise


We went over yesterday what not to do when asking for a raise. Now the meaty stuff: What should you actually do when you ask for a raise? It’s tricky business, because it means both asserting your worth and not seeming like an entitled brat. But dude, don’t you want more money? Yes? Then get cracking on the following.

1. Have proof of your value to the company.
Document your achievements, whether it’s a high-trafficking blog post for the company or a huge sale. Then, if possible, quantify those achievements (for example, “This post I did got 300K hits, which means XYZ in pageviews, and advertisers noticed–see how many more deals we got afterward?”). Have all of these on hand for when you schedule your meeting with your boss, and for the love of Chris Hemsworth, seem excited about them. Even if they’re boring.

2. Time it carefully.
Done something awesome recently? Now’s a good time to ask for a raise. If you’ve only been on board for a few months, or if you know the company is struggling financially, don’t ask for more money just yet. You’ll look, well, entitled. And remember what we discussed about that?

3. Rehearse.
If you practice what you’re going to say before you actually say it for real, you’ll sound more confident, assured and in charge when you actually have your meeting. In turn, you’re also less likely to ramble or flub your words, which can only help your case.

4. Ask if you deserve a pay cut.
Mindf*ck! This is a bit of an underhanded way to psych employers out, but it works: Ask your boss if she’s happy with your performance. If she is, ask if you deserve a pay cut. This will initially confuse them, at which point you’ll explain that the cost of living has increased, and that by keeping your current salary, you’re effectively taking a pay cut because your salary has less value now than it did a year ago.

5. Let your boss determine how much of a raise to actually give you.
Always let them give you a number. You can highball them afterward if you want and maybe meet in the middle, but know that the average raise is 5 to 10 percent per year. If they offer you anything within that range, it’s fair. But be sure to let them throw out the first (and probably final) figure.

6. Have alternative options handy if the boss says no to an actual pay raise.
If they can’t afford to give you more actual money, you can negotiate other perks instead: Can you work remotely once a week? Can you nab an extra vacation day or two? Summer Fridays? You have options, so be sure to include them in your talks if more cold, hard cash isn’t one of them.

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    • KarenMS

      The “asking for a pay cut” thing seems a little passive aggressive or condescending.