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If you are looking to increase your income, analyzing your salary at your full-time job is a good place to start. Do you think your work merits an increase in pay? While you (and many others) probably feel like you do deserve a raise, it is important to remember that the decision to increase your salary ultimately rests with the person or company you work for. Evaluating yourself and your work through this lens can help you determine whether or not you should talk to your boss about a raise.

Self-evaluation: Do you deserve a raise?

Asking for a raiseBefore you decide to ask for more money, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do you meet and exceed the expectations of your job description?
  • Are you known as a person who gets things done?
  • Do you take on additional responsibility outside the realm of your job description?
  • Do others look to you for advice and leadership?
  • Are you constantly increasing your knowledge of your industry?
  • Would at least one person at work describe you as indispensable to the company?
  • Do you deliver consistent or exceptional results?

If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, you may be a good candidate for a pay raise. Even if you feel confident about the work you do, asking for a raise can be intimidating. Following are some tips to help the process go smoothly.

Tips on asking for a raise

Know your worth. When asking for a raise, it’s important to know what you bring to the table. Make a list of your accomplishments and contributions to help strengthen your case.

  • Quantifiable measures (for example, the percentage you have helped increase sales or the amount of money you have helped the company save by implementing a certain procedure).
  • Emails from coworkers and clients praising your work are social proof that you are worthy of a raise.

Do your research. Consult with others in your industry and conduct research online to find out what the going rate is for your position. Be sure to consider your level of experience, education, and city of residence as all of these factors will have some bearing on salary.

Timing is everything. Before asking for a raise, consider your organization’s finances. It is often less expensive for a company to pay slightly more for an employee who already knows the job than it is to hire and train a new employee. That being said, there are certain times when your company’s finances are tighter than others, and there are times when the budget is more receptive to change. Be sure to take into consideration your employer’s financial outlook when planning to ask for a raise.

Think win/win. The relationship between employee and employer should be based on mutual benefit. When you discuss your salary with your employer, try to keep this balance in mind. Be assertive in asking for what you think you deserve, but leave ultimatums like “give me a raise or I quit” out of the discussion unless you are really ready to move on to a new job. Remember that if your company cannot grant your request for a raise right now, increased benefits and vacation time are other “wins” that your employer may be willing to discuss in lieu of a higher salary.

What if your employer says no to a pay raise?

Your employer may decline a salary increase for a number of reasons, which is why keeping the relationship amicable when you are discussing a pay raise is important. A “no” now is not necessarily a “no” forever. Strive to enhance your worth at the company by increasing your knowledge of your industry and broadening your work responsibilities.