How To Ask For A Raise (And Actually Get One!)

By Mike Simpson

“I’m not getting paid enough to do this job!”

Sound familiar?

Of course it does, we’ve all said it…and yet, how many of us sit at our desks day after day, grumbling about pay, but don’t actually do anything about it?

Well, no more!

Today we’re going to teach you how to ask for a raise!

In a perfect world, you’d never have to actually ask for a raise at work. Ideally you’d be in a job where your manager knows automatically when it’s time to grant employee raises.

But what if you’re in a position where your pay isn’t automatically increased, or where you feel you’re regularly going above and beyond in your position and would like your pay to reflect that?

In these instances, it’s up to you to determine if asking for a raise is the right course of action.

Very few people actually like asking for a raise. It’s a tough conversation and, if not approached correctly, can end disastrously…which is why you need to do some serious prep work before you begin asking for more moolah.

Getting your boss to say yes isn’t going to be easy, which is why it’s up to you to make saying no even harder, and that means making sure you’re fully prepared to offer reasonable, well thought out, researched information to back up your request.

How To Ask For a Raise Pre-Planning

Before you even consider asking your boss for a raise, we’ve compiled a short pre-raise questionnaire you should go over.

1. Do You Deserve A Raise?

Let’s start with some honest self-assessment.

Do you deserve a raise?

While you might immediately jump to a “Heck yes, I’m amazing! Of course I deserve a raise!” response, take a minute and look at the whole picture…from your managers standpoint.

Pretend you are your supervisor.

  • Would you be happy with the work you are doing?
  • Are you the only employee doing your job or are there others around you doing the same thing?
  • How are they performing and how do you perform in comparison?
  • Are you bringing more to the table now than you did when you were initially hired?
  • Have you learned new skills or completed additional training that makes you more valuable as an employee?

2. Did You Do Your Research Before You Asked?

Being deserving of a raise is one thing, asking for something outrageous is another.

Before you go into any conversations about raises or promotions, make sure you know ahead of time exactly what you’re asking for and have a solid, well thought out dollar amount in your head. Don’t just make up a number; you’ll run the risk of asking for too much/too little.

It will benefit you in the long run if you take the time to get seriously educated about your position and how much others make doing the same work.

Start by looking at the market that you are in. Is what you’re being paid equivalent to what the market is currently paying?

You can always go online to websites like and see what others in your field are being paid and how you stack up on average.

3. Can Your Employer Afford To Give You A Raise?

Start by first looking at the market and where your company fits into the big picture.

Next, look at your company overall. Is it in a position to be able to support paying you more?

Is it a brand new start-up just getting off the ground or is it a well-established corporation?

Has it grown since you started working there, resulting in increased responsibility and work for you? Is it a good year? Are profits up?

You don’t want to ask for a raise if a company is financially struggling and looking for opportunities to cut costs.

If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to all three of these pre-raise questions, then you need to hold off on asking for that raise until you can.

Answering ‘yes’ to all three questions will make building a case for your raise stronger and make it harder for a manager to say no.

When Should You Ask For A Raise?

Now that we’ve determined that you deserve a raise and you know exactly what you’re worth and that your company can afford it, we need to figure out when to ask for that raise.

Just like everything else in life, timing is everything. You want to make sure you’re asking at just the right moment.

The last thing you want to do is to come across as pushy or entitled, but then again, you also don’t want to wait forever.

So when is it the right time to ask?

Your boss is in a great mood.

This one is a no brainer. You’re far more likely to get a yes out of a happy boss than you will out of an angry or frustrated boss. Read the mood of the room before you ask.

You got an offer from another employer for a higher salary.

You’re a valuable employee and your work is specialized. As a result, other companies have reached out to you and offered you a higher salary.

But maybe you’re happy where you are and don’t want to le