How to Ask For a Raise

dollars in the air

You are afraid to ask for a raise because you feel asking for help is akin to begging.

Nothing is further from the truth. Have you ever heard the saying, “it never hurts to ask?” You have nothing to lose and everything to gain when you ask for a raise. When your pay raise comes through, you can put money in the bank.

Okay, you’re shy. So you hate asking for help, or of all things, slinking into your boss’s office for the purpose of asking for a pay raise. So when and how to ask for more money?

Just be patient. The opportunity will present itself when your boss asks, “How’s it going?” Or she mentions what a good job you’re doing. That’s the appropriate time to discuss your success with a current project and to bring up the subject of money.

Before you ask for a raise, you need to justify it by first asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What does your manager expect you to accomplish on the job?
  2. Are you fulfilling those expectations? If your answer is “no” you had better work harder and smarter to satisfy your employer’s needs before asking for more money. If you answer “yes,” write down some examples of your accomplishments. You’ll present them to your boss to justify an increase in pay.
  3. How much is a position like yours worth in the open job marketplace? To be underpaid is enough justification to ask for a raise.
  4. What is your company’s salary range for the job you’re doing? If you’re at the lower end of the scale, or midrange, there’s room for discussion. However, if you’re already getting top dollar for the job you’re performing, abort your mission for a pay raise and try to get some perks instead.

Fringe benefits you can ask for include another day off, a parking space, a cell phone, or anything else that would be the equivalent of money.

When you can prove that you’re worth more money or are entitled to some fringe benefits, asking will not feel like begging. But don’t ask for something that’s over-the-top. Be reasonable. Then you’re likely to get what you ask for.

Over twenty “secrets of negotiating a salary and getting a raise,” can be found in chapter 13 of my book“Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.”


Copyright ©2015 by Ransom (Randy) Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.