CareerPersonal Growth

How to Ask for a Raise and Get It

Receiving raises is not a guarantee in every organization, much to our dismay. To get more money, you need a comprehensive plan that accounts for every factor. Molly Triffin writes for Forbes with help.

Appraise Your Worth

In terms of frequency, raises generally are not granted more than once a year, with the only real exception being if you are a highly skilled person in a field like tech, where people are constantly getting headhunted away from their current employer. Otherwise, bet on annually at best, and if annual reviews exist, do not wait until then to talk about raises. Begin the discussion of a potential raise three or four months in advance, when budgets are still being formed. As for how to actually broach the topic, if you have a boss who likes things straight, then just set up a meeting specifically for the topic of a raise; other bosses might prefer to be eased into a heavy discussion like this though.

In either case, asking for a raise is the equivalent of saying you think your skills have improved and that they are worth more, so make a conscious list of your achievements that prove this hypothesis. This is especially important for high-performers, as bosses can unintentionally take for granted just how much you are getting done regularly. One possibility to get a large raise is with a “promotion in place,” in which you keep your current position but take on more responsibilities—and a higher salary to go with it.

As for how much of a raise to ask for, talk to recruiters and observe local job listings to get a hold of the going rate for your geographic region. Three to five percent is normal for a raise, whereas 10 percent is reasonable for a promotion. Do not threaten to leave if you do not get the size of raise you want, as it just creates a more hostile working environment. Besides, statistically speaking, a large majority of people who accept a counteroffer end up leaving their company within a year anyway. Once you feel undervalued, they have already lost you.

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