The Ultimate Guide to Asking for a Raise

John Krautzel
Posted by

Thanks to a strong labor market in 2018, companies are slowly increasing salaries for employees. Keep this in mind if you plan on getting a raise to reward your hard work. Discover this handy guide for how to talk to your supervisor about earning more money for your position.


Getting a raise is all about timing. Before you consider having a conversation with your boss, research your company's policy with regards to raises. Does your employer grant raises once per year, at the end of the year, or do they happen on people's work anniversaries? Does the company only work cost-of-living increases, or can you get a raise based on your merit and performance? Take a look at the employee manual or ask human resources for guidance.

In some instances, you may find that raises happen more often. If you're in a competitive industry, such as tech, where companies vie for top talent on a regular basis, getting a raise may occur every time there's a huge void to fill. When you're an all-star performer, your boss might consider rewarding you for your stellar efforts. If you work in retail or food service, you might earn a raise every six months, but that's usually less than a dollar per hour.

When to Ask About Getting a Raise

A major performance review isn't the best time to ask for a raise. This conversation should happen apart from your boss talking about your hard work. Discuss a raise when your company is setting the budget for the upcoming year. Your employer usually sets aside a certain amount of money for raises. If you want your position to have that budgeted money, you should talk to your manager during the budgeting process. For that, you need to know the timing of your firm's fiscal year.

How to Negotiate a Raise

Research your request ahead of time. That way, you back up your raise with hard numbers. Analyze your industry and the local area's cost of living to show what other people in your position make as a salary. This research lets you put an exact figure on how much more you want to make per year. You can also research your own company's hiring practices by looking at job descriptions versus your job duties.

If you see other people making higher salaries than you, yet you perform much the same work as they do, then you might have a case for a raise. Talk to people in your field to help assess the market value of your job. Getting a raise depends on what you do compared to other people in similar positions.

Gauge your current responsibilities within the company and look at your accomplishments since your last pay increase. Positive reviews help in this regard, too. You should be able to point to hard data, such as sales increases, better productivity or increased output from your position, that denotes how your hard work leads to a better bottom line for your company.

Getting a raise involves timing and hard data to back up your request. Use this handy guide as a stepping stone for a higher salary when you feel the timing is right. Do you have any techniques for asking your supervisor for a pay increase?

Photo courtesy of yodiyim at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch