Joseph Feibel – August 8, 2020

One key to getting a raise is asking for one. You have to ask. You can’t sit around and expect a raise to be given to you. Why would your boss ever give up more money when many managers are rewarded for keeping their department costs down? Don’t just expect it to to happen, you have to ask for it. Timing is everything; don’t ask for a raise when your company is undergoing financial difficulties or has gone through layoffs. The best time to ask is when it has won a big contract or at the beginning of year, or the time at which departments receive their operating budgets. The second best time to ask for a raise is when you have done something that added value and brought your employer more money or prestige. You need to show the proof of your value. In order to do this, you need to keep track of all the things you’ve done since you last increase; don’t assume your boss knows about them. What did you do to help your company get clients, save money, or make money? Be specific: show dollar amounts, if you have them. The facts will be part of your presentation proving you are worth a higher level of compensation. You have to do your research and understand your market rate of pay for your position. You can google this information. You need to be able to provide the market rate information for your position. Don’t worry about other people working in your department or company and what they make. That is not the true market rate, if it is internally based. Care about what other companies are paying, especially if they are ones who could potentially hire you. Once you have the supporting evidence, you need to make a formal presentation of the accomplishments you have achieved to help your company both financial and non-financial. Your presentation should have a suggested increase you are recommending for your supervisor’s consideration. You are selling yourself in order to convince your sup that your “worth” matches the pay you’re requesting. Just present the facts. A one page summary pitch should do followed by your back-up for your assertions. You don’t want it to be too complicated or look like you’ve spent an inordinate amount of time preparing it. Keep it simple. Get to the point. You aren’t asking for a raise, you are proving your worth.


1. Don’t ask for an increase that is substantially above what others make. If you don’t think you can consistently continue to deliver on it and produce at a higher level than they do. You don’t want to be the first person laid off when hard times hit.

2. Don’t whine. Don’t openly whine or compare salaries with your coworkers or ever refuse a raise given no matter how small. Always be thankful and show appreciation no matter how token of a raise it may be. You don’t know how hard your sup may have fought to get you that small increase.

3. Don’t be unrealistic. Don’t overestimate your worth. How obvious to others is your value, attitude, work ethic, support and enthusiasm? It doesn’t matter what you think of your performance; what matters is what the person controlling the money thinks. If others can’t see it, it is not really there. If you are wondering what to ask for, 10 percent is a reasonable starting point. Anything beyond that should include a solid justification and proof to back it up.

4. Don’t be a pest. Only ask for a raise once a year and leave it at that. If you don’t get the raise, you can start working on a case providing backing for asking for a raise next year. Make sure you’ve been so valuable during that time, that you can’t be turned down.