Doesn’t Hurt to Ask!

Doesn’t Hurt to Ask!

Audio Version: Let Me Hear It!

Based on a recent survey, it’s likely that you think you deserve a raise, but it’s unlikely that you will actually ask for one. If more money isn’t enticing enough, consider this: receiving a $3k after-tax raise in your thirties could add up to nearly $400k in savings. It could mean retiring early or funding college. We know you’re worth it (even L’Oreal says so), but follow these top tips if your employer could use some convincing.

Know Why You Deserve It  Be prepared to articulate why you deserve a raise. Document the ways you increased revenue, cut expenses or took on new or difficult responsibilities to show why you’re worth the extra cash.

Time It  Ask at the right time for your manager to lobby on your behalf, typically a month or two before your performance review or after you’ve nailed it in some notable way (closed a big deal, took a load off your manager or identified a big timesaver).

Research Your Worth  Research the going rate relative to others with your experience and education so you can formulate your argument for a bump to industry standard or beyond. Just be sure to make adjustments based on location or size of your particular firm. You can start your research online at websites like Glassdoor, PayScale or Also, get input from peers or a headhunter for more specific compensation information in your field.

Practice Your “Ask”  Rehearse with friends and family so that you are prepared to hit all the key points with confidence. Be ready for objections or to provide more details as to why you deserve a raise. Your conversation might go something like this:

In advance of performance reviews I’d like to ask for a raise/talk about my compensation/discuss whether I’m being compensated at the appropriate level. I’ve helped the company profit by increasing sales/cutting costs when I  __________. I believe a raise of $____/___% is fair after doing some research about what others in my position make. What are your thoughts?  

Go In Confidently  Consider walking the stairs to get your adrenaline running or striking a “power pose” in the bathroom mirror before you head in. If you’re told that the company can’t afford a raise, politely ask your manager how compensation is determined and ask for help in developing a game plan to get you the compensation you deserve.

If nothing else, you will establish your worth, how you’re viewed by your employer and what it will take to get what you deserve!