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The pay raise: How do you pull it off?

Newlywed, new mom and first-time home buyer, Sarah is currently playing out her exciting life in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently gave up her job in finance to stay at home with her baby girl, who between bath time and feeding time, keeps ...

Getting that raise you deserve!

Asking for a raise is nerve-wrenching and flat-out terrifying, even if you know you deserve it. Find out when the best time to ask for a raise is, and learn tips on making sure you’re successful.

Woman asking for raise

While it's true that if you don't ask, you'll never know, when it comes to asking for a raise, this statement can be tricky. You don’t want to come off as pushy or demanding, and like anything, there's always a good and bad time to ask for what you want. We spoke with Jill Jacinto, media manager for WORKS by Nicole Williams, for tips on how to go about getting a raise.

SheKnows: When is the appropriate time for an employee to ask for a raise?

Jill Jacinto: The perfect time to ask for a raise is after you've been there for one year. During that year, you should keep your manager up to date on all the successes you've worked on for the company, goals you've achieved and money you've saved/earned for the company. I recommend scheduling a time to speak one-on-one with your manager before your one-year review.

SK: Is asking for a raise a good thing? Does it show initiative in the employee or is it a turn-off?

JJ: Asking for a raise is a good thing — as long as you deserve it! Getting a raise means you've gone above and beyond your job description. You've put in the long hours, surpassed your goals and brought in the all-star clients.

SK: Is there ever a time when an employee should not ask for a raise?

JJ: If you have made more misses than hits, it would be a turn-off to ask for a raise. Also, if the company's economic climate feels unstable or there is a round of layoffs, it's better to wait until the negative tone cools down. Keep in mind, though, that even in a financially strained situation, you can still ask for a raise (once the worst is over). If there simply isn't enough money to go around, you can always negotiate to work from home one day a week or add more vacation days to your schedule.

Essential tips on asking for a raise

  • Never state that you are broke or need more money; always be professional and focus on your achievements, not how desperate you are for more money.
  • State how you will continue to better the company, all while improving your own skills in the industry.
  • Focus on your future. This involves being willing to put in extra hours and extra time to prove you are worth the extra money they're paying you.
  • Never threaten to leave the company if you're denied the raise. This shows you aren't committed and that your boss did the right thing in not giving you the raise.

The best and worst cities to get a pay raise

According to Aon Hewitt and Huffington Post, the worst places to get a pay raise are Columbus, Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco. In all four cities, the average projected pay raise in 2013 is less than 3 percent. The best places to get a raise are Dallas, San Diego, Detroit and Denver — which have a projected pay raise between 3.4 and 3.6 percent.

Tell us

Have you successfully asked for and gotten a raise? Share your secrets in the comments below!

More on raises

How to successfully ask your boss for a pay raise
6 Ways to secure your next raise
How to get the salary you want

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