How to ask for a raise

Dan Miller —  October 2, 2012 — 3 Comments

The classic way to ask for a raise seems to be to demand it, or to threaten to quit if you don’t get it.  Hopefully, it’s obvious that this does not work well, as we know that managers tend to give raises to the people they like most.  And with unemployment what it is there are probably 10 people waiting in line to take your job.  So, being liked is a great Begging hands2start to being given a raise.  At the same time, your request must be backed up by facts, not just warm fuzzies.  Here are some additional tips:

  • Ask professional organizations how much someone in your position should be paid.  Or check out the standards at
  • Ask for a review.  Some companies are notorious for not doing regular evaluations.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting with your supervisor.
  • Be prepared to document your accomplishments.  Then you can ask, “Seeing my accomplishments in the last six months, what do you think a fair salary would be?”  Don’t push to make the boss uncomfortable, but ask, “Can I have an answer in the next two weeks?”
  • Ask for more responsibility when seeking more money.  Just being there another year is not a reason to get a raise.  More responsibility or productivity is.  Ask how you can help your boss or how you can make a larger contribution to the company.
  • Be willing to be paid for “results” not “time.”  Being paid for time is an old model and ultimately a destructive business plan.  The only thing that keeps you in your job is your contribution to revenue.

What have you used successfully to get a raise?

  • Jeremy C. Jones

    I have requested a meeting with my boss in the past, asking to review how I have done more than was expected…we agreed on a raise. It helps to be bold and do more than minimums, then when the timing is right, go for it, ask.

  • Deb Ingino

    Another great post Dan! Great ideas in there.

    Another idea is to begin contributing more to the business, volunteering to take on more responsibility and projects, without asking for a promotion or raise at first. Then perform…big time.

    Hit it out of the park.

    Then do it again….(don’t want them to think you’re a one hit wonder)

    Raise your contribution to the company and its’ success.

    Then go to your boss and ask her if she was pleased with the results. Once she acknowledges the success ask her what would be required to make a change in compensation that is more in line with the contribution.

    • 48DaysDan

      Deb – thanks for the additional tips. Yes, even in this “economy” people who add clear value are being valued and rewarded.