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  1. Blog
  2. Salary
  3. April 14, 2019

When to Ask for a Raise & How to Arm Yourself for the Conversation

Ready to start making more money? Here's what it takes to ask for your next raise.

A dollar bill on a table representing asking for a raise

Megan Hageman is a Columbus-based freelance writer specializing in social media and content marketing.

Let’s talk about when you should ask for a raise.

According to InHerSight’s March 2019 survey, the majority of women have not asked for a pay raise in the last year. There are many understandable reasons why women don’t head into the office and demand more money for their hard work. However, don’t let nerves or a lack of confidence and know-how hold you back.

How long should you wait before asking for a raise?

Don’t make your request too soon. Six months into a new job or new role is roughly when you can consider asking for a raise.

As a typical rule of thumb, anytime before three to six months into a new job or role is too early unless you are a superstar that completely rebuilt your company.

If you’re a brand new grad, you should consider waiting nine to twelve months.

4 times when you should ask for a raise

1. When you have taken on new responsibilities

Maybe you just upgraded to a new job title, or maybe you have just been acquiring various projects that didn’t use to be in your scope.

Take a minute to review what your position entailed when you were first hired, you could start by reading through your initial contract. If you find your day-to-day tasks have increased or have become more complex, you could make a strong case for a larger paycheck.

2. When your colleagues rely on you

Have you noticed coworkers (maybe even with the same title as you) coming to you when they have questions or need an urgent problem solved? If you often take on a leadership role —even if it’s informal—and are able to display expertise in multiple areas, it’s likely your boss has taken notice as well.

3. When your company is performing well (and so are you)

When your company just landed a big client or drastically increased its revenue could be a perfect time for you to swoop in and ask for a raise.

According to a recent New York Times article , it’s even more important for women to be prepared for the conversation with specific documentation and comparisons.

When asking for a raise, provide details such as profits from the last period, costs that were cut, or outstanding reviews from customers/clients. Insert yourself into all of your details to show how you helped the company reach these goals and to prove the vital role you play.

4. You just learned a new skill or earned another degree

Have you been taking classes outside of work hours or teaching yourself how to code or how to build a website? New skills and knowledge are valuable to your company and can make you a key asset when it comes to important projects.

It’s easy to present your boss with information on a new degree. But, when you're sharing information on a new skill, show your boss how you implemented it on a recent project (or how you might do so in the future) and provide detailed reports on how it sped up production or how it optimized for better results.

Read more:6 Surprisingly High-Paying College Majors

So, how do you ask for a raise?

Now that you know when to ask for your raise, you need a killer plan for what you will say and how will convince your boss you’re worth it. Here is some advice from managers on how to be successful when asking for a raise.

  • Focus the conversation on why you are deserving of the raise—not why you need it.

  • Get into the mind of your boss and ask yourself, how would I react if I were in their shoes?

  • Don’t ask for a pay raise during busy season or a stressful time.

  • Write down your reasoning and rehearse exactly what you will say so you sound—and feel—confident.

Follow a format such as: I have cut company costs by 20 percent and optimized our website, bringing an increase of 10,000 visitors a month. I’d like to talk to you about my position and compensation.

Avoid words like “believe” and “think,” as they don’t exude confidence.

  • Find your timing sweet spot. Mornings tend to be better than afternoons.

And most importantly...

Always ask for your raise in person.

This is more professional and personal than an email, resulting in a more understanding reaction from your boss and shows your level of confidence directly.

If you work remotely, ask for a raise via video call.

Read more:How to Negotiate Your Salary (For Career Newbies & Industry Vets)

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Megan Hageman


Megan Hageman is a Columbus-based freelance writer specializing in social media and content marketing.

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