How to Prepare and Ask for a Raise

Asking for a raise can be an uncomfortable situation. But you can ensure that you and your boss stay on good terms while asking for a pay increase if you enter the discussion prepared and maintain your professionalism throughout. Just because you are asking for a raise doesn’t mean that you are unhappy with your position in an organization. If you feel you have truly demonstrated your worth and have earned a pay bump, by all means, let your employer know how you feel.

Understand your value. If you don’t know the salaries of other workers in your industry with the same title, now is the time to find out. You can discover what others make on a variety of websites, such as, and You should also search for industry-specific pay scale websites for information tailored to your needs. Online job boards may list how much someone at a similar company with a similar position is making. You can even send these employers your resume if you feel that this job might be a good fit.

Increase your value. Once you know how much your skillset goes for on the free market, fill in your gaps. If you don’t have the requisite skills for advancement, gain these skills. You are in a business partnership with your employer. She or he pays you for your time and hard work. They are (usually) under no obligation to purchase this labor. Make the product you sell something worth purchasing. If something has great value, people will be willing to pay more for it.

Demonstrate your value at work. Sometimes raises can include more work and responsibility. If you put in the hard work and the hours, you might feel ready to ask for more money and more responsibility. Beware, however, of self-promotion. You don’t want to be excessively showy with your work accomplishments.  Do you work well and let it speak for itself. Do the sort of job that you can stand behind—of which you can feel proud. But don’t make a spectacle of yourself.

Ask. You should ask for a raise when you know your value and feel you have outwardly established that value through a job well done. This seems like the most obvious part of the entire process. But for some people, it simply isn’t. Your boss might not even know that you want a raise. Don’t just sit around feeling resentful. Be proactive and resilient.

Manners. Ask politely if you may talk with your boss. You need to keep your composure throughout the entire conversation, and do not sound accusatory, spoiled or ungrateful. Demonstrate your appreciation for all of the opportunities your current station has provided.

Discussing financial matters often makes people feel uneasy, so it is important for you to keep it as calm and untroubled as possible, and try to refrain from giving ultimatums. Bosses are far more likely to react affirmatively to respectful and well-mannered employees, not employees who demand things. Be kind and remain cordial.