You’ve been working diligently, putting in those extra hours, and consistently exceeding expectations at your job. But there’s one thing that doesn’t quite match your stellar performance—the size of your paycheck. It might be time to chat with your boss about a raise. 

7 Steps to Asking for a Raise

Here are seven steps you should take to work towards getting a raise. 

1. Choose the right time.

Choosing the right moment to pop the raise question is akin to catching a wave when surfing. You want to ride the momentum. Schedule a meeting with your boss when you’ve recently achieved a significant milestone or completed a successful project. This way, your value is fresh in their mind, and they’ll be more inclined to consider your request positively.

2. Do Your Homework

Before entering the lion’s den (figuratively speaking), do your research. Investigate industry standards and salary benchmarks for your position. Armed with data, you can confidently argue that your current compensation isn’t aligned with market rates.

3. Outline Your Achievements

During the meeting, highlight your accomplishments, emphasizing how they’ve contributed to the company’s success. Be specific. Quantify your achievements whenever possible. Saying you “increased sales” is less impactful than stating you “boosted sales by 25% in six months.”

4. Craft Your Pitch

Think of your request as a pitch to an investor. You’re selling your skills, and your boss is the potential investor. Clearly and confidently articulate why you deserve a raise. Mention your research on industry standards and emphasize how your performance aligns with or surpasses those benchmarks.

5. Be Ready to Listen

Be open to feedback and counterarguments. Your boss might raise concerns or ask questions. Be prepared to address them calmly and professionally. Listening to their perspective demonstrates your maturity and willingness to engage in constructive dialogue.

6. Be Prepared for Different Outcomes

There are three potential outcomes: acceptance, negotiation, or rejection. If your boss agrees right away, fantastic! If they want to negotiate, be open to finding a middle ground. If they decline, don’t lose hope. Use this as an opportunity to seek feedback on how you can improve for future consideration. Or start looking for a job that will pay you what you’re worth. 

7. Stay Professional

Regardless of the outcome, maintain your professionalism and gratitude. Continue to excel in your role, gather more evidence of your value, and revisit the conversation when the timing is right.

Your boss may need time to evaluate your request, consult with superiors, or review the company’s budget. Avoid pestering them with daily inquiries; it’s more likely to annoy than persuade.


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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.