How To Ask For A Raise At Work (And Actually Get One)

“I deserve a raise! They would be lost without me! I’m such a hard working employee!” Have you thought these very same words to yourself? If the answer is yes, you are not alone.

According to Susan Adams, Forbes Staff Writer, a survey by Glamour magazine revealed that “more than half, 57%, of women have never asked for a raise.” That compares with 46% of men. Another study, conducted by Citigroup and LinkedIn, found that “only 27% of women had asked for a raise in the last year.”

But, what have you done about it?

While I’m sure you deserve a raise and you are a hard working employee, does your boss feel the same way? There is only one way to find out. Ask them. Request a meeting with your boss. Be prepared and know your worth.

But how? I recommend doing an assessment beforehand on yourself. This is especially important if you haven’t had a performance review at your current company. Some employers will actually ask you to complete a performance review assessment ahead of your meeting.

Why not put this into action to help you get a raise?

By knowing your worth, you will become more confident in your abilities, and most importantly (in this case) appear more confident when you meet with your boss. Once you have completed your self-assessment, you will be well on your way to getting a raise.

A raise needs to be framed as a recognition of your contributions at work…What is your personal capital to the company?”

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Photo of Talia Davis by Tiffany Rice Photography

With that in mind consider these 5 tips to help you get a raise (you deserve it!):

  1. Research comparable salaries in your industry. If you work in marketing, research comparable salaries for your title in the “finance industry,” if applicable. Or if you work for a non-profit, research comparable salaries for marketing jobs in the “finance industry at a non-profit organization.” It’s important to be as specific as possible because your boss will be.
  2. Time your request. If your boss is completely swamped and struggling to meet a deadline, you should wait until the project is completed. Better yet, can you lend a hand to demonstrate your worth? If your boss is dealing with something personal outside of work, it’s best to wait until the situation has settled down (within a specific time frame).
  3. Request a meeting in writing. When you apply for a job you would send a very professional email (with a well researched cover letter and resume) to your hiring manager (now boss) correct? Do not take the chance of your boss not hearing your exact request by asking for a meeting in person. (They may also respond by saying they can meet right now and you could be caught off guard and unprepared). Email a meeting request to your boss to discuss how you’ve demonstrated value to the company and to discuss how you plan to demonstrate value going forward. Ask for your salary to be “reassessed” rather than simply asking for a “raise.” Again, treat this meeting with the same level of professionalism as you did in your initial job interview.
  4. Demonstrate your value. This is where your self-assessment comes into play. You should now be able to show an ROI for your job position. This ROI translates into value for the company and more money for you. Jill Sinclair, Author of Pirates, Snakes, Sharks and Miss Fancy, tells us that she learned in Kirsten Stewart’s book Our Turn that “a raise needs to be framed as a recognition of your contributions at work. Salary conversations need to express the idea that compensation-for-work is a value exchange. If you feel you are worth more to your company than you’re being paid, you need to make a business case for why I should spend more on you. What is your personal capital to the company?”
  5. Know your audience. You know your boss better than anyone that is giving you advice. If they are impressed by charts and reports, then come prepared to your meeting with just that. If they are informal, prepare some key talking points, but keep it simple.

Talia Beckett Davis is the Founder of the Organization of American Women in Public Relations and the Organization of Canadian Women in Public Relations. She has worked with some of the largest brands in North America at her PR agency Pink Pearl PR to help them get featured in high profile media outlets and grow their sales.

Join the Public Relations Academy to take your creative ideas and put them into a systematic plan to help you deliver the content you need to succeed. You can also work with Talia one-on-one through monthly strategy calls.

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Isabella Oliver Ltd. (Canada)

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