How To Ask For A Raise

Have you ever known something needed to shift with work or your finances, but didn’t know where to begin? What about a raise? Sounds great, but is that possible? I was afraid to ask for a raise because I felt guilty. Anyone else?

Somewhere deep down all I thought my boss would think is that I am ungrateful for what I have been given. I knew that’s not how they felt about me, but I still thought it.

I worked my butt off but still, something kept me from saying, “I would like to talk about my salary. Is now a good time?”

I talk to my sister-in-law about stuff like this a lot and she had a simple response to my doubts, she said,“Galen, a man would ask.” She wasn’t wrong. So I had to make a choice, to ask or not to ask? This isn’t going to be a feminist rant demeaning men, because I don’t believe that’s what feminism is. I think we can take a few notes from men and just ask for what we want.

Your chances go up when you ask. Period.

People cannot read minds. We are not in a Marvel universe with super powers. Though, that would be pretty cool. But in all seriousness, I had to believe that I deserved it, learn how to be my own advocate, and how to prepare myself for whatever the outcome.

Here are a few things that prepared me:

  1. Know what you are worth (and believe it). Do you get there on time? Do you take direction well? Do you bring something to the table? Do you represent the company well and help them grow? If yes, then you are on the right track. Keep it up!
  2. Discuss your concerns and desires with wise counsel (friends, parents, mentors, etc.)
  3. Be yourself. That’s why they hired you.
  4. Be specific. What do you want? How can they help you get it?
  5. Timing. A few good times to ask: Annual performance review, after a successful project, or when your boss is in a good mood.
  6. Defend your case. Come with a list of ways the company has improved and achieved x, y, and z since you’ve been on the team. Those are facts they won’t be able to ignore.
  7. Take a deep breath. Smile.
  8. Wait…don’t pressure your boss. Respect their time and their response. If they need time to think about it, let them.
  9. And if they say, “No.” You have permission to ask, “If not now, when will it be possible?”
  10. If they do actually say you are ungrateful or never see that in your future, then you might want to take a note from Ariana and say, “Thank you, next!”

If you leave with anything from this little blurb, I hope you are encouraged! I hope you ask for a raise and I hope you get it. They cannot argue with someone who shows up on time, works hard, and contributes to the team. Be a good employee and you might be surprised. I was.

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