How to Ask for a Raise and Get It

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Just because you deserve a raise doesn't mean you'll get one-especially if you don't ask for a salary bump effectively. Before you waltz into your boss's office demanding a raise, prepare yourself by completing the following seven tasks, which give you a far better chance of getting that much-deserved increase when you ask for it.


1. Check your position's going rate
Make sure you research what other people are making in similar positions across the industry. Salary.com is a good site to check. Keep in mind salaries vary depending on location, level, and size of company. Make sure your raise request stays within reason-don't get too greedy. If you ask for too much, your chances of getting turned down increase.


2. Showcase your accomplishments
This is hands down the most important part of asking for a raise. While you don't want outright brag, it's not the time to be bashful. When possible, let the numbers and facts do the talking-in writing. If you're in sales, show how your contributions helped your company reach its annual goals. If you don't work in a numbers-based position, be sure to highlight how your work is helping the entire company, not just your team. If you're a manager, review the problems you've solved or the programs you've launched. Regardless, create a column that shows what you were hired to do and compare it with a column that outlines all that you do now-along with major accomplishments. No win is too small to discuss.

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3. Be direct and clear
Once you've laid out your accomplishments and contributions, it's very important to clearly state your request. Give the amount you'd like and explain why you think it's fair. Don't make your manager guess what you what-assumptions are likely to miss your mark.


4. Check the timing of your request
If your company is cutting costs or going through layoffs, it's probably not the best time to ask for more money. Wait until the dust settles before approaching your boss. It's highly unlikely you'll get a raise when others are getting laid off. Another option: get creative with your ask. Though money might be tight, think about asking for other perks like parking, education, childcare, or extra paid time off.


5. Avoid springing it on your boss
Don't bombard your boss with your raise request. Instead, set up a meeting and let him or her know what you'd like to discuss. Make sure you pick a time when you'll have his or her attention and focus. It's best to avoid Monday mornings or Friday afternoons.

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6. Don't get emotional
This may sound obvious, but under no circumstances should you cry, stamp your feet, pound the desk, or act disgruntled in any way should the conversation not go as planned. You should be on your best professional behavior. Adding drama to the situation is only going to hurt your case. It will never, ever help.


7. Don't threaten to quit
Threatening to quit while asking for a raise is premature and shows you're not that committed to the company. Even if you intend to pursue other opportunities if the raise doesn't happen, don't mention it during your initial discussions. Focus on your contributions and keep your request fair. Trying to force your hand will just leave a bad taste in your manager's mouth.

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