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How To Ask For A Raise & Actually Get It (Scripts)

Written by Millennial In debt on November 11, 2023
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I know it may feel scary and overwhelming to ask for a raise in your salary, but it is super important to ask for what we want and deserve! But... that means doing it the right way so you have a better chance at successfully landing that raise. Asking for a raise because of inflation or the current state of the economy simply won't cut it. So let’s get into the how so you can be confident and prepared during your annual performance review 🔽

how to ask for a raise

How To Ask For a Raise

and actually get it

how to ask for a raise
1. Know your worth + be able to prove it:

First things first:  you’ve gotta know your worth. Prepare a list of your achievements (I like to call this my brag folder) and wins for your annual review. Then... put that list to work. This is not the time to be humble or beat around the bush. You’ve worked hard and  you deserve to be compensated for it.

Go over the outline of your achievements and remind yourself all the ways you were/are an asset to your company. If you haven’t made your list yet, set aside some time to write down all the ways you met or surpassed your goals within your team and company.

Once you have this in front of you, you can begin preparing to pop the big ($$$) question.

[helpful tip 1: Be sure you ask at the right time. Asking for a raise is 50% preparation and 50% timing! Keep the work environment in mind when you start preparing your information to ask for that raise]

[ helpful tip 2: You will need to have solid information about your performance. That includes any documented praise you've received, as well as the numbers! Data will be your best friend when it comes to negotiating a larger salary. If you've increased sales, productivity, brand awareness... always have the exact numbers as your source of truth ]

2. Research Market Value:

It’s important to be reasonable with your proposal so you have a greater chance of getting that increase. There’s a time and place for delusion – and we don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot here by being TOO delulu. Shoot for the stars within reason. 
Research the average pay within your industry and city. Dependent on where you fall within that spectrum, determine a percentage increase that reflects how valuable your wins have been to the company and your industry.

Usually the sweet spot is a 10-20% ask. You can also ask for a larger pay increase depending on your performance, changes in your duties or the length of time since your last raise.

To help with research, you can utilize Payscale or the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the average or median salary for someone in your industry and city.

how to ask for a raise
3. Prepare a strong defense:

I like to think of this as being prepared for what your opponent (in this case your boss) may say or ask. You are putting yourself in their shoes for a moment and preparing your responses. This means you'll want to consider things like :

  • What will you continue to bring to the company. How can they benefit from you in the future as you grow professionally?
  • Why should your boss give you this raise? Basically... what is in it for them? If you can't answer that right now... stop to think about it before you head in to the conversation.

[helpful tip 3: Do not head into salary negotiations asking for a raise because of inflation or other aspects in this wild economy. The truth is... corporate America does not care that inflation is collectively whooping our asses. Corporate America cares about their bottom line and the bottom line is always going to be that dolla dolla bill!]


4. Put Together Your Pitch:

Now that you’ve figured out the numbers and the reasoning it is time to jot down a solid pitch to deliver to your boss during your performance review. That means you'll also need an exact number you're looking for. YIKES I know... I cringed too. But we're not here to play small... EVER!

Have 3 different numbers in mind --

  • Your reach number: this is the number you would love to get but won't likely happen)
  • Your practical number: This is the number you're looking for that mostly aligns with industry standards
  • Your base number : This is the lowest number you'd really like to accept and will try to negotiate somewhere between your base and your reach -- to hopefully land at your practical number.

The annual review is a great time to ask for a raise because you will already be discussing and breaking down the ways your work has contributed to the overall company goals and success.  But it is not the only time you can do so! These types of career conversations are important to have in weekly and quarterly meetings so your manager / supervisor can start to gain a sense of understanding on a) your accomplishments b) your career goals and c) your desire for more compensation.

It will be very important to be prepared and ready to defend your reasoning. Managers don’t want to lose their best workers, so usually if you make a strong case and there is room in the budget they will be likely to at least listen if not grant your request for araise. At the very least escalate the suggestion to upper management. 

You’ll first want to present the hard stats. Think; “by leading campaign X, I helped increase profits by X%” versus “I led campaign X successfully”. [the script below will help you tremendously in putting together your pitch]

You’ll want to leave no question that your contributions have led to an increase in the value of the company which is a reflection of your value as an employee – hence why you should receive a raise! After presenting the metrics, also add in qualitative successes. As important as profits are, there is also something extremely valuable about an employee who elevates the company culture versus creates a negative one.

Think about the times you’ve led or been part of a team effort and how you contributed to making the project a success through cross functional collaboration.  Perhaps your communication and collaboration approach has allowed your subordinates to grow and contribute towards a common goal! Something along these lines.

All in all, it’s a good idea to have this pitch be succinct (you don’t want to be talking for 10 minutes) and representative of you, your accomplishments, and your value. Give your boss time to reply/ speak! It take a lot of the pressure off of you and also lets you know what the next steps will be.

Mistakes to avoid doing when asking for a raise

We've talked about the things you should do -- now let's quickly take a look at mistakes you absolutely want to avoid when you ask for a raise.

  1. Bad timing: Let me tell you -- I was incredibly close to asking for a raise at my last job during performance review time. Except... I never made it to my performance review because I was a part of the first wave of mass layoffs. So... needless to say... even if I didn't get laid off, asking for a raise at that time would have not been wise since the company did not have the financial means to do much of anything let alone give me a raise. Be sure you time your

    [Watch my tech layoff story here]
  2. Lying: If you're going to bring up metrics to justify your raise, make sure they are actual real numbers. That means if you've done your research, you're reporting back the data you've found. Don't fudge the numbers -- it may be tempting, but I promise you it is not worth the embarrassment of being caught lying. If you discuss your past accomplishments and work on particular projects, stay as close to the truth as possible. Do not embellish, because a lot of it can be fact checked rather easily.
  3. Personal Stories: It can be tempting to want to overshare when it comes to manipulating your boss's heartstrings. Don't do it! You don't want to say that your rent is going up so you need a raise, or mention other financial hardships due to the economic climate. That will not land you the raise, and it may create an awkward relationship between you and your supervisor. Stick to the data and the hard facts when it comes to your increased salary.

Sample Script To Help You Land The Raise:

"Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. In my current role, I’m excited to keep working towards key company goals and grow my personal responsibilities. As a result, I’d also like to discuss my current salary.

Based on industry research, I’ve noticed that average salaries for my job title in this metro area and considering my tenure, years of experience and skill set, a salary increase of X% is appropriate.

In the time since my last salary adjustment, I’ve worked on several initiatives like [ _____ ] and [ _____ ] that have added significant value to the company. For instance, in the last few months, I [insert example of your most impressive accomplishment]. With these achievements in mind, I’d like to further discuss the opportunity for a salary increase.

If you're looking for more I've got 3 more scripts to help you land that raise for different scenarios you may need.
Grab the free template here!

Hey there! I'm Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I'm busy teaching the future of society.
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