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How to successfully ask your boss for a pay raise

You want to make more money. In fact, you know you deserve to make more money. It’s time to sit down and ask your boss for the dreaded pay raise.

Bussiness woman

Asking your boss for a raise is similar to asking your best guy friend to take things to the next level — it’s awkward, nerve-wracking and just plain tough, but it’s necessary. With the start of the New Year, step up to the plate and ask for what you probably should have been getting all along. Be confident and get the long-awaited pay raise you deserve.

Step 1: Determine your value

Your value is what you bring to the company — it’s what you’re worth. Write down reasons you’re a valuable asset to your company and what exactly separates you from the rest. Ask yourself, “why do I deserve this raise?” and “what sets me apart from my fellow workers?” Communicate the answers to your boss when asking for a pay raise.

Tip: Research how much others in your field are earning to help determine your worth.

Step 2: Constantly strive for improvement

Start to work harder and improve your skills months before asking for a raise. Go above and beyond what is expected of you. Ask your boss if they need additional help with anything and volunteer to assist coworkers who may need extra guidance. This shows you’re a team player and worthy of a raise.

Tip: If you’ve been going above and beyond for months, it will be much easier to ask for — and get — a raise. Make sure to emphasize that you will continue to go above and beyond and are excited to continue to advance your skills.

Step 3: Present and wait

Don’t go into your boss’ office and expect to immediately get a raise. Present your case with positive energy and be patient. Your boss may need to go to their boss to get the go-ahead. If you haven’t heard back within two weeks, set up a follow-up meeting with your boss.

Tip: When presenting, focus on your accomplishments and what makes you valuable to the company. Leave out any personal information, such as “I need a raise to be able to support my family” or “I’m having trouble making ends meet.” Statements such as these do not constitute valid reasons for getting a raise.

What if your boss turns you down?

Go in with confidence and expect to get the raise, but be prepared if your boss rejects your request. Ask why and determine what to do depending on the answer. If you can’t get a raise because of the budget, you may want to consider switching companies. If, on the other hand, the reason for not getting the raise is performance-based, ask for constructive criticism and feedback from your boss. Take these points to heart, do what it takes to improve and ask for extra feedback along the way. Within a few months, it’s safe to say you can ask for a pay raise again.

More tips on getting a raise

6 Ways to secure your next raise
How to talk your boss into giving you a pay raise
How to ask for a raise — and get it!

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