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How to Talk to Your Boss About a Raise

Updated on November 18, 2016

Many employees don’t have the courage to request a higher salary because they are afraid that they will be rejected, or even fired. A large number of people comply with the salary they have, and due to fear they give up asking for money in which they actually deserve.

How to talk to your boss about a pay rise is a very common question, so here is some tips on how to best approach the situation.

1. Be well prepared to talk about a raise

How can you talk to your boss for a raise if you’re not prepared? Before you even initiate a meeting with the boss on this subject, you must be 'armed' with numbers and statistics to show him/her that your work is directly influenced by an increase in revenues (or reduction of expenses). You should compare the description of your work and tasks set to you, and then show him/her the way you exceeded them. The key thing to show your boss is the comparison between what is regularly expected from you and what you’re actually doing. If there is a significant difference between these two things, it is up to you to present it.

2. Explain your contribution to the company with non-financial terms

If you are employed in the workplace that does not directly deal with exact financial results, explain to your boss the way you contributed to the company culture. Perhaps there are processes or solutions that you implemented in the company's business? Basically, you should be well prepared to answer the question "Apart from being here for x years, why you deserve a bigger salary?” from your boss.

3. Examine the market

If you’re sure that you have strong arguments in favor of seeking a raise, you should be realistic with the amount that you’re going to request. This means that you need to know the maximum amount that you could obtain within your sector and compare the amount across different companies for the same job role. Be prepared to scale down the price due to the general wage policy for your company, however. Today, such information is easy to found on the Internet, especially on the websites related to employment (such as Glassdoor).

4. Choose the right moment

Never ask for a raise immediately after you perform really well (or badly). If you ask for a raise immediately after a good performance, your boss could make the conclusion that you are motivated entirely by the financial gain, rather than that you’re actually a very hard-working employee. It is best to wait a month or two after a good achievement, i.e. while the boss still has a fresh memory of it.

5. Evaluate whether your company can afford to pay you more right now

It makes no sense to ask for a raise at a time when the company isn’t in a good financial situation, even though you just have reached a very good result. On the other hand, when you notice that the company’s business is growing or hiring new employees, it’s a good time to ask for a raise. At a meeting with the boss, it’s important to emphasize your willingness to take on more work and thus take on more of a responsibility or simply to take a part of the work that should be performed by the newly employed workers.

Hopefully, after these tips, you will no longer be afraid of how to talk to your boss about a pay rise!


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