How to ask for a raise successfully in 3 steps

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If you’ve been doing a phenomenal job for awhile, you might be feeling like you deserve a raise but are unsure of how to ask for a raise.

When I had just entered the work force, I was very naïve in my mentality. I thought raises were just automatic. I mean, you had been doing the job for a while and you now have the experience.

Shouldn’t your salary just increase every year?

Corporate takes every opportunity to tell you that they value you as an employee. So wouldn’t that be reflective in your salary increases?


If you’re lucky, you may get a small inflation raise. This is a small raise that can be anywhere from 1.5-3%.

However, this small inflation raise is not nearly an enough salary compensation for your years of experience you’ve gained. This is where you must learn how to ask for a raise.

You must learn strategically how to ask for a raise.

This is business. And Business means they are not going to freely spend money when they don’t have to. Which means you have to be smart and plan how to ask for a raise. So here are 3 tips in how to ask for a raise

How to ask for a raise in 3 steps

Make sure it’s not too soon

Timing is the first step in how to ask for a raise. Make sure it’s not too soon. According to CNBC, you should wait a minimum of 6 months in your role before you ask for a raise. 

If you just started a new job, or are working at the same company but in a new role, you should wait at least 6 months before asking for a raise. You need time to be able to prove your value to the company.

Be direct and factual

This may be the most important step in your strategy of how to ask for a raise.

You must be able to support your asking for a raise with facts. You need to tell them WHY you deserve a raise.

Here are some supporting factual examples you can bring up in how to ask for a raise:

Your accomplishments and results

Make sure you list all the projects you were involved in and their results. Include everything you excelled at and how it benefited the company. If possible, quantify your results.

If you implemented a system that increased efficiency by 30%, use it as leverage!

Your increasing responsibilities

If your responsibilities and workload increased because you are covering for someone, or the company is rapidly expanding, make sure you list them.

List all the job responsibilities you took on recently that are on top of your job description when you first started working.

Your performance review

If you have had performance reviews with your boss, they were most likely positive. If they weren’t positive, you may want to rethink your plan to ask for a raise.

In how to ask for a raise, you should bring up all the positive things your boss mentioned about you in your performance review. They should agree with all of these positive points in support for your raise because they’re the one that said it!

The salary market rate

Research what the market rate is for a person with your same job title, in a similar sized company, with the same years of experience. This will let you know how much you should ask for in your raise. The reason you are researching the market rate is to not make it personal.

A good resource to look for market rate is the US bureau of labor statistics (obviously relevant for those in the U.S).

If you are in a FAANG company (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google), is a site where people submit their job offers for you to compare.

If you are bringing up a raise because you found out a colleague makes more money than you, DO NOT bring this up. This is not a reason to give you a raise. This is not going to prove how valuable you are to the company.

Bringing this up can make you look petty and unprofessional. Companies do not like it when employees discuss their salaries amongst each other – probably to prevent things like this!

They do not want employees using other employees’ salary information as leverage. I do not agree with this practice, but it is what it is.

Do not make it personal

In your factual examples above that you bring up in how to ask for a raise, do not include anything personal.

Do not bring up how you need a raise because your spouse lost their job or you’re expecting a child or you now have to support your elderly parents.

Do not give a sob story. Your story may be true, but this has nothing to do with the company. None of these personal things will prove how valuable you are to the company.

Keep your facts professional and not personal.

Adding to the point of not making it personal in how to ask for a raise, do not become emotionally invested in the outcome. Do not become aggressive or defensive in your discussions about your raise.

Related: 5 First job tips for success

I know this can be hard because you’re really depending on that raise but being emotional will not help you in getting a raise. Stick to the facts.

So there are 3 steps in how to ask for a raise. Before you go in to ask for a raise, make sure you are prepared and rehearsed. Make sure you have your supporting facts prepared.

Best of luck!

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