Experts weigh in: How to get a raise

Learn what works from managers who have had the “salary conversation.”

…

If you have a performance review coming up, or just want to set up a meeting with your manager about your career growth, the thought of asking for a raise has likely crossed your mind. But how do you do it?

While confidence is key when asking for a bump in pay, you also need to be tactful and well informed to get your boss to sign off on a salary increase. We talked to a group of seasoned CEOs, business leaders, and managers to help you lay the groundwork and successfully navigate the raise conversation.

How to ask for a raise - Robin Schwartz 1. Don’t hesitate

“Many employees take the opportunity to ask for a raise during their annual performance review out of sheer convenience. However, it’s not necessary to wait until a mid-year or annual review. If it becomes clear to an employee their salary is lower than average or they can provide valid reasons for a raise, that’s when an employee should ask. The only time it’s too late to ask for a raise is when you’re walking out the door for a new job.”
Robin Schwartz, Managing Partner at MFG Jobs

How to ask for a raise - Talia Beckett Davis 2. Put your raise meeting in writing

“Treat this meeting with the same level of professionalism as you did in your initial job interview. Email a meeting request to your boss asking to discuss how you’ve demonstrated value to the company and how you plan to demonstrate value going forward. Ask for your salary to be ‘reassessed’ rather than simply asking for a ‘raise.’”
– Talia Beckett Davis, founder of the Organization of American Women in Public Relations, Managing Director of Pink Pearl PR

How to ask for a raise - Chere Taylor 3. Go in with realistic expectations

“Unfortunately, most companies rarely offer up additional compensation to employees outside of a standard cost of living 2–3 percent increase, unless the employee asks for it and it’s justifiable. Many companies will let years go by until they undergo a compensation analysis.”
– Chere Taylor, President of Fulcrum HR Consulting

How to ask for a raise - Brian Clayton 4. Craft a unique approach

“I’ve had several hundred people work for me, but one project manager took a unique angle on asking for a raise. He said something like, ‘I understand that you can’t give out raises to people just because they’ve been employed for a certain amount of time. However, I’m letting you know that I’m looking to earn a pay raise by year’s end — let’s brainstorm five actionable things that I can do between now and the end of the year and agree to review my progress and my raise before the New Year.’
Bryan Clayton, CEO of Your Green Pal

How to ask for a raise - Blake Baynham5. Be able to present undeniable evidence of your achievements

“Requesting positive feedback from customers and colleagues is a great way to demonstrate to your boss that you do more than earn or save them money. Your job is to make yourself seem so valuable to the company that they can’t afford to deny you a raise and risk losing you.”
– Blake Baynham, Founder of Ally Recovery Group

How to ask for a raise - Ken Kwan 6. Be prepared to work even harder post raise

“Organizations are looking for loyalty and for employees to add further value post raise. There is an underlying ‘I’m looking after you, so look after the company,’ mentality after a salary bump.”
Ken Kwan, Founder of Talent Management Solutions