How to Ask for a Raise

People think getting a raise is a merely a transaction that you negotiate in order to get. But that’s not true. Trying to obtain a raise is more of a process.

Here are five effective tips on how to get that process going:

Think of Who and When

Whoever it is at your job, which holds the power to say yea or nay to that raise, is a key person.  Make sure your relationship with that person is in good standing. In fact, make sure it’s better than it’s ever been.

Then, think of the timing with that person also. Prior to asking for a raise, assess the situation to make sure it’s a good time to ask. What you don’t want to do is enter his or her office to ask for a raise right after he got back from vacation. Also keep in mind: Your employer may be having financial issues at this time. Maybe this quarter is not a good time to increase employee salaries, but the next one may be.

Do not ask

“Can I have more money?” But instead ask, “Can I have more responsibility?” Many employees have the incorrect mentality of: “I’m doing a good job; I should get paid more.” In actuality, your boss is already paying you to do a good job! When someone takes on even more responsibility, does even more work, and does it even better than the boss is expecting, a raise will generally follow.

Disassociate your personal issues from the situation

It’s about getting a raise, not obtaining a certain amount, by a specific time in order to meet family obligations. Ask your boss if you’re doing well - and then what you’d need to do additionally to make more money. “I’m grateful to be working here, and to make $XX,000. Are you satisfied with the work I’m doing? In your eyes, what other work would I have to take on to be a $YY,000 employee?”  Make sure you have suggestions handy; be prepared to present those suggestions of your own.

Treat your boss like he’s your mother

Be eager to please him. When he/she tells you to do something, do it. And when you’re not told what to do, anticipate what he or she would like you to do and do it. That’s credibility in the bank with them.

Think about this

Getting a raise is not necessarily a reflection of your true worth. Think about how much it would cost to replace you. If you think your boss can replace you for less money, be careful!


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  • As usual, thank you for sharing your wisdom on this very sensitive topic of asking for raise. I wish I have known this information 30 years ago. Keep INSPIRING. Siddique from Atlanta GA

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