How to Ask for a Pay Raise

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If you are a valuable employee and have come to the conclusion that your level of contribution isn’t being compensated enough, then it may be time to ask for a raise. In many cases, they won’t offer it up unless it’s annual review time. So, you’ll need to be the one to initiate it. You’ll be much more successful if you can demonstrate your case effectively. Here’s how to handle it:

Give them the whole story.

They’ll need as much information as possible before making a decision or recommendation, so be transparent about why you’re asking for the raise. Were you offered another position elsewhere? Have you received more training and skills since you were hired? Whatever the reasons are for this request, give them a complete picture of why this increase is warranted – not just because you feel like you “deserve” it.


Remind them of your contributions.

You’re a member of the team for a reason, and turnover will cost them time and money. Tell them how much you enjoy working there. Remind them of your experience, skills, and contributions since you’ve been a part of the team. Give them any personal reasons why the raise is important to you as well. If you can show them how they’ll benefit, including your gratitude and loyalty, they’ll be more likely to grant your request.


Be prepared for an awkward response.

Keep in mind that many managers generally feel awkward at this request. This probably has nothing to do with whether or not they want to give you the raise, so be patient – especially if it’s completely unexpected. They may feel uncomfortable because they can’t make the decision completely on their own without some higher level of approval. Regardless of the answer, they probably can’t or won’t say what it is right away.


Ask about next steps.

Listen and ask follow-up questions about what the process and procedure is. Ask them when you should expect to get their decision or next step. But don’t ask them to give their opinion on this. Stay rational and calm while communicating that you are taking this seriously.


Handle the answer like a pro.

The answer might eventually be “no”, so consider your options ahead of time. Remember that they simply may not have it in the budget, so know whether you’re open to other offers. If so, tell them you’re willing to work with them. Perhaps they have more flexibility with schedules, vacation time, one-time bonuses, and more. And if the answer is still no, then tell them whether you plan to stay or go –  or how much more time you need to decide.


Use this as an opportunity.

Either way, it takes guts to ask for a raise, so be proud that you took the initiative. It might not seem like this at first but, regardless of the answer, it can be one of the best things to happen to your career.  You have an opportunity to grow further at your current company – or elsewhere. If you plan to stay, tell them what you want out of your career, and ask how you can work towards a raise and/or more experience in the future.


If you’ve asked for a raise and still not happy with the opportunity or compensation that your current job is providing, call Madden today!  We work with employers that are looking for talented craftsmen like you.