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How to Ask Your Boss for a Raise

Blog / October 17, 2019

Certain life experiences are just difficult. Asking for a raise is one of them. It seems that the world rewards more assertive, outspoken people. Almost 60% of Americans say they’re too afraid to ask for a raise. They don’t want to seem too pushy or risk losing their jobs. But there are really effective ways to approach a raise if you prepare well. Here’s how you can fight your instincts and approach your boss about a raise. 

Choose the right time 

Don’t just hope an opportune moment to chat pops up. Set up a time to meet and let them know ahead of time what you want to discuss so they have time to prepare. Or plan on talking about it at your mid-year or annual review. 

Timing is everything 

Pay attention to what’s going on at your company. If you catch wind of budget cuts or restructuring, that’s probably not a good time to mention a raise. On the other hand, if you just achieved something major or received some notably positive feedback, that’s a great to ask. If you’ve just received negative feedback, though, or had a project that really struggled? Probably hold off on asking. 

Have a number in mind 

Don’t go in blindly asking for more money. Know how much you want and declare it so everyone’s on the same page. Do a little research so you know what’s competitive and fair in your industry and geographic area. 

Brag on your achievements 

As you make your case for your raise, highlight your achievements. Prepare a list of them ahead of time and don’t be shy—prove to them that you’re worth more. What contributions have you made? What brilliant ideas did you have? When have you gone above and beyond?  

Put it in writing 

Though you may be totally comfortable conversing with your boss, it’s still smart to put your request in writing. In fact, it might be your company’s proper HR procedure. And it might help you to craft the eloquent words before your meeting—you’ll seem more mature, professional, and confident. 

Focus on what you deserve 

Don’t mention any of your colleagues during your meeting. Don’t compare yourself to others or bring up that it’s unfair that Bob in accounting makes more than you do even though he’s lazy makes crude jokes. Limit your conversation to YOUR accomplishments and what YOU deserve. 

Rehearse your speech 

Don’t simply accept the number they throw back at you just so you can end the awkward conversation. Instead, be prepared to counter their offer. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel. And be mindful of your body language too—stand (or sit) tall, with your chest out and shoulders back, and maintain eye contact.


For tips on asking for raises and preparing for performance reviews, check out our website at

Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh