Asking the dreaded question: how to ask your boss for a raise

No matter how confident you are, asking your boss for a raise is a bold move that many people dread. Yet, there are moments in your career when you have to show initiative yourself, with selling yourself short being the alternative. It could be that it’s been a while since you got your last raise, or think it’s completely justified given the work you’ve done lately. Whatever your reasons, in this Josie article we’ll show you how to best tackle what you’ve been postponing for so long.

Nobody likes to ask for money, whether it’s asking your friend to pay you back that loan, or let alone asking your boss to be rewarded for doing a decent job. Luckily, there are ways to be successful, but not without making the proper preparations. The process starts with self-assessment: am I really worthy of a raise right now? To answer this question, you need to start being an honest judge of your own past performance. Ask yourself if you’re an irreplaceable asset to the company and why you always go above and beyond, adding a lot more value than just doing what you’re expected to do. You can even ask some of your co-workers for some honest peer feedback, if you are confident enough they will actually praise you and your work. Maybe you even took on a recent project that nobody else wanted and excelled at it. Only if you’re able to list examples of how you truly excelled and had a major influence on company’s success, you’re able to bring a strong case to the table of why you should be rewarded for your hard work.

The right time to ask

Once you are convinced that your argument is substantiated in such a way that it’s hard to counter, it’s time to determine when the time is right to start the conversation. It makes perfect sense that once you are ready you want to get it over with quickly as possible, but there are suitable and less suitable times to schedule an appointment with your boss to discuss the matter. The most obvious moment might be your annual evaluation meeting since it’s a common timing to negotiate. If it’s still far away you should find a different timing since you don’t want to wait too long with the risk of forgetting your plea. You can also choose to use a recent, successful project in which you made a major contribution to discuss a salary increase. What you should especially not do is choose a stressful period: in the end, the wrong emotion on the part of your manager – despite your extensive preparations – can throw a spanner in the works. Therefore, always make sure that your manager is cheerful and relaxed to significantly increase your chance of success.

Sealing the deal

Now that you’ve set up a meeting to confront your boss with your request, it’s time to think about framing it the right way. You can’t just barge into the office asking for more money without there being an incentive for your boss to give you what you want. Aside from the aforementioned list of strong arguments to back up your case, you could consider presenting a personal growth plan of how you are planning to continue being of value to your organization. With asking for a raise, you always automatically ask for more responsibility which means you need to define how you are going to do just that. If you are able to present this plan with a proper amount of enthusiasm and dedication, your chances of a successful mission will drastically improve – since your boss will be blown away by your strong presence and actual willingness to work even harder in the future. That being said, never make promises you already know you’re not capable of sticking to. Last but not least, you should conclude by asking for the right feedback on your past performance. If all goes according to plan your boss will confirm and agree with your monologue, and in the very worst-case scenario you’ll receive plenty of pointers on where you can still improve to eventually get what you came for – even if it takes a little more effort. Either way, you’ll never end up empty-handed, whatever the outcome.

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