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How to Ask For a Raise?

For a lot of us, asking for a raise ranks up there with getting a cavity filled — necessary, but not fun. 

Here’s what you need to know to ask for more cash — with confidence.

1. Pick the Right Time

Planning to ask for a raise during the ‘annual’ review season? Big mistake. 

Annual review season is when most managers are overworked (read: crabby).

Plus, your boss is probably already received their budget and know-how they’ll divvy up the funds. 

Instead, talk to your boss a few months in advance when there’s still time to make your case for a larger piece of the company pie. 

2. Keep Track

Keep a record of all your career wins over the past year or two. 

This includes: 

  • Emails from managers, superiors, even clients and customers praising your performance; 
  • Situations where you saved the company money; 
  • Examples of how you increased business or revenue, or both.  

All of this is ammunition when you go to ask for what you deserve. 

3. Plan Your Future

Coming armed with examples of success isn’t always enough to sway a manager to cough up the cash. 

Remember, raises are actually meant to encourage future accomplishments rather than reward past behaviour. 

To be convincing, talk about specific ways you plan to make a difference in the coming year.

4. Know What To Ask For

There was once a time when a 5% annual raise was standard. 

These days, employers tend to give between 1% go 3%, depending on employee performance and company profits. 

Given that the average annual pay raise was 2.8% in 2021, asking for 10% will make you appear out of touch. 

If you really feel as if you’re being shortchanged, do a bit of research. Call recruiters and ask what the going rate is for someone in your position. Call friends and colleagues and ask what they earn or ask what you should expect to earn, based on your current position. 

5. No Name Dropping During Negotiations

When making your case for a raise, don’t compare yourself to your colleagues — and intentionally or unintentionally throw them under the bus. 

Speaking poorly of a colleague won’t help you convince your boss you deserve a raise, plus it could make you a water cooler pariah!

6. Make a “No” Plan

Even if you plan, document and state your case, you may still hear ‘no’ to a raise. 

Don’t stress. 

Instead, keep your cool and ask what it would take to win a pay hike in six months. 

Listen closely to the answer. Does it make sense? Can you plan to accomplish the goals in the time frame?

Another option is to leave your job — find another job. 

Studies show that people who strategically job hop every two years can make at least 50% more money over the course of their career. 

Now, that’s Common Cents!

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