How to Ask for a Raise? (9 Tips + Script Sample)

Picture by: Scott Warman

A fulfilled life at work is also related to receiving fair compensation for the work that we do. If we’re long enough at a given company, remuneration should increase along with responsibility and experience.

Asking for a raise ain’t always easy. If you want to increase your chances of getting it, you must be prepared beforehand and have a clear objective that you can focus on.

Here are 9 tips to ask for a raise and being successful at it.

1. Breathe!

If you’ve read other posts of The Way Factory, you know I love highlighting the importance of breathing!

Asking for a raise is stressful. This is normal because you don’t know how it will be received and perceived. We are afraid to disturb, to be challenged or to be disappointed…  So before asking… Put your heart rate down to the right levels!

If you don’t really know how to do so, this methodology might help.

2. Make your manager aware of their benefit

You must show that you are an enthusiastic, committed employee.

Managers value the loyalty of their employees, so it is good to show them that you are projecting yourself into the company and that you want to continue to participate in its development. You must make them understand that you are an employee worth betting for.

People invest with the hopes of a decent return on investment, right? It’s the same here. If your manager gives you a raise it’s because he/she believes in you and decided to invest in you.

Therefore, you have to make sure they see a return on their investment.

3. Show your results

This is a crucial step where you must demonstrate your achievements and the added value you bring to the company.

Words are not enough, you have to argue with tangible data, figures and positive feedback you have received. In short, be specific and quantify your results.

If you’ve had to carry out new projects with additional responsibilities, of course, mention them.

Your company must surely promote values on its website like “professionalism, integrity, performance”. Learn them well, and show with a smile that your results are perfectly aligned with the company’s values.

You’d kill two birds with one stone: You show once again your loyalty to the company because you know its values! And you show that you respond perfectly to them. In short, the ideal employee!

4. Don’t talk about your private life. Show that you deserve it, not that you need it

Slipping into your private life and expose personal elements to justify the ask for a raise (cost of living, credit, purchase of a house, etc.) is a mistake.

You might believe that your manager should know them because they have an impact on you on a daily basis and, therefore, justifies the need for having a raise… WRONG!

I understand you though, I made this mistake twice! But I understood that the manager’s role is to remain factual and objective for equity reasons. They will, therefore, base their decision on factors related to your performance and results.

So don’t go into the field of personal life, there won’t be convincing arguments in that territory.

5. Find out about the company’s practices regarding salary revisions

It is important that you find out about the company’s salary policy.

Is there a salary review every year? Twice a year? Occasionally? If so, when exactly during the year? In short, be aware of existing practices in your company.

In the case bigger companies, there is often an established wage policy with an annual salary review, which excludes any request outside this period.

By contrast, in smaller companies, the wage review is less organized and requests are made more spontaneously. In this situation, you can make your request after receiving positive feedback, completing a major project or exceeding goals.

In short, be informed!

6. Conduct market research and give precise figures

It is good that your conduct research to situate you in the marketplace. That will give you an idea of what you can expect.

You can get help from the following websites:

It’s better to be specific, and to give a precise number instead of round numbers.

Researchers at Columbia business school show that people asking for precise number have more change to get a conciliatory counter offer.

It’s better if you say you want $44,200 instead of 44,000.

7. Practice: You must be convincing and look confident

Be confident and you will be unstoppable!

You have to be convincing on the day you decide to ask for a raise. And for that, you must be prepared.

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation

Arthur Ashe, professional tennis player

So write down all your arguments and learn them by heart so that you can talk about them easily while avoiding an impasse. Training will help you be confident and therefore unstoppable 😉

8. Choose the right timing

Do it at a time when you and your manager have time for discussion, without a rush. You must use your Emotional Intelligence to feel if he/she is stressed, or on the contrary in good mood to discuss your request.

Avoid Monday mornings or the beginning of the week! On Fridays, the atmosphere is more relaxed and they will have time to think about it over the weekend and maybe come back to you the following week.

9. Don’t be bossy

Of course, you have to be confident, but not patronizing or arrogant. So be aware of your tone. No authoritarian statements such as “you owe me, the least you can do is…

Don’t threaten to go to the competition either, it will permanently damage the relationship and question your loyalty. Stay professional in all circumstances.

Script sample

Here’s a script you can take as you can use as starting point to practice your discussion:

 I’m glad I can talk to you.

First, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you for the trust you place in me and for the challenging tasks you assign to me.

I see myself long-term in the company and am enthusiastic about future projects and my contribution to our business’ growth.

Our company emphasizes the values of high standards, performance, tenacity and I believe that my results perfectly reflect them! In fact, in the past 6 months, I achieved the following goals:

  • I increased our turnover by XXX
  • I have recruited more than XXX in parallel
  • I led this major project from A to Z on top of my daily tasks
  • I generated 2 new relevant leads
  • We have positive feedback from the clients I’ve been serving
  • On top of that, I have obtained all these good results always with a smile and my good integration into the team reflects it

My contribution is tangible as you can see. Therefore, I think it is coherent to have a raise of 5% which would bring my salary up to $45 725 and will be a fair reflection of my engagement and results.

Now you have all the keys in hand to ask for a raise, so go get it, tiger! 

If your manager says no, ask them for the reasons, show them once again your professionalism by thanking them for the discussion and listening carefully so that you can re-discuss with more arguments in the near future.

But let’s conclude that post by being positive: They’ll say yes!

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