If you’ve been in any kind of job or position, then you have probably found yourself wanting to ask for a raise. Most people have probably been here once or twice. Having conversations like these can always be a little intimidating or awkward. Hopefully this article can help with that. Below we will include examples, tips, sample scripts, and advice for how to best ask for a raise. Sample scripts will be in both formal and informal settings because we understand that not all work places are the same and may require different phrasing.
To start you off in your asking for a raise, think more closely about what you have done to deserve a raise lately. There are a couple of key things to think about when asking yourself if your employer/company will agree that you deserve a raise. Have you:
- Had more hours worked or longer shifts?
- Been performing better than your coworkers or peers?
- Been praised or complimented by a superior more than twice within the past 2 months?
- Taken on any extra responsibilities/tasks lately?
- Gotten a call for a review sometime soon from a manager?
The answer yes to these may point to you needing a raise. If you think about it further and decide you do, we’re going to tell you how.
Before you even set up a time with your boss to ask for a raise, you need to do some homework. Don’t worry, this won’t hurt too much. You just need to think about why you deserve a raise, and then go find numbers and data to back you up. Some ideas on finding those raise winning numbers are:
- Seeing how many extra hours you’ve been working by checking your time clock.
- Looking at the last time you got a raise. If it has been over 6 months, it might be time.
- Make a list of your recent above and beyond actions and figure out how much that work is valued.
- Seeing how much money others in your field or job get paid elsewhere. You can do this by looking on job sites or Google.
Once you ready yourself with your numbers for why you deserve that raise, it’s time to actually ask for the raise. If the job is with a more formal organization this may look like scheduling a meeting with your direct supervisor or talking to Human Resources. If you are in a more informal position, you may just be able to ask your manager about possibly getting a raise. Depending on your employer you may also be able to ask if there is a review or chance for a raise coming up.
Asking for the raise
Now let’s talk about how to actually ask for the raise. This might be the hardest part for some people. Words can be hard. Luckily we can tell you some words that will sound good. When you first start the conversation, tell your boss/employer your positive feelings on the company. Explain why you like working there or how you think it is a good company. Try to drop in some specifics about you, if you can.
- “I have been with this company for six years and I have always repped my work place with pride.”
- “I’m really happy with how this company has allowed me to learn and grow into a more competent professional.”
- “I am very excited about the future of this company and my future with this company.”
Can you recognize the formal and informal example script lines between those first two? If you said the first one was informal and the second one was formal, you were correct. Although it is always a good idea to add in how you have benefitted from working there.
After you tell how happy your experience with the company has been, transition into why you think you deserve the raise. If you did the suggested prep work you should already have numbers at the ready. If you work in a more formal setting, you may want to type out or write down the exact numbers. The following are example scripts of things you could say when explaining why you deserve a raise. Remember to replace our example script situations with your own.
- “In the past two months I have received two written commendations and one verbal compliment.”
- “I have taken on the task of scheduling the night shift for the weekend. This has made shift coverage and communication increase.”
- “For the past few weeks, I have been staying later to help Mark get his work done on target. I love doing this to support our team and make things easier, but I think my pay should reflect the extra hours. This week, I have stayed an extra 4 hours on top of my scheduled shifts.”
Listening for feedback
The person you were talking with will usually acknowledge your comments by responding to the points you brought up. These are often going to be agreements with your statements or stating the companies disagreements.
- “I have noticed you working more. I really appreciate you doing that.”
- “You have been doing compliment worthy work lately.”
- “One of your coworkers just told me the other day how good they thought you were doing.”
- “Actually we haven’t noticed the improvements in your work.”
- “We haven’t seen the extra hours you’ve been logging.”
Think of a disagreement as an invitation for dialogue. Talk to your manager or employer about the concerns they have with your performance and discuss a solution or figure out any miscommunications there may have been. After receiving approval of your reasonings, explain what you think your raise should be and some reasons why. This part may include numbers like how much others in your position make and what you would like to make.
- “Other people working as hostesses get roughly fifteen dollars ($15) an hour with tips. That is three dollars and twenty five cents more than me ($3.25). I would like to be making at least thirteen ($13) an hour.”
- “I have found that people in my position over at a competing firm make an estimated 18% more than me. Comparing our firms workloads I would like at least a 12% raise.”
- I am sorry that I had not been signing my work on those documents so that you could identify them in the system. I will go back and do the ones that I missed previously. After I do that and continuing to signing them for a week or so would we be able to reschedule this discussion of a raise?”
After you give your input into what you think the raise should be they may give a response in agreement or disagreement again. They may not say yes straight away. If they don’t… don’t panic. You may get a “we’ll think about it” or a “I will have to check” or a “let’s discuss this at the end of the quarter for next quarter”. Those aren’t hard “No”s.
If you get a yes, congrats! You get a raise. Go buy yourself something nice. If you do get a no, ask the appropriate questions. “What can I improve on?” “When can I be reconsidered for a raise?” What can I do to get closer to getting myself a raise?” Get any feedback they may have.
Make a list of what you need to do to get that raise next time you ask. Either way, thank them for their time and exit accordingly.
If you are told no, don’t fret! We have a guide on what to do if your ask for a raise is denied.
Here is a summary list of the main points we went over in case you were one of the people skimming this article who just wants the TL;DR version.
The Big Takeaways
- It is totally normal to ask for a raise. Make sure you go through the list of why you think you deserve a raise ahead of time.
- Schedule a meeting with your boss and plan on asking for a raise before the meeting. This way you can get your prep work done.
- Once you are at the meeting, first tell your boss why you love your job and positives about your experience. Try and slip in some self compliments or refer to yourself.
- After listing the positives, make yourself sound good. Explain the extra things you do, cite some compliments you’ve received recently, list any new trainings or certifications you’ve completed.
- When you’re making your points on why you deserve a raise, back them up with numbers. Numbers do a lot of talking. They prove your points. Go through before and write down any data like in the above sample scripts.
- Be honest and tell them what you think the raise should be. Don’t be too greedy, but give an honest estimate. Tell them the math of how you got to those numbers. Explain what others in your position make or give a percentage based on your work load. See the above articles for more details and example scripts.
- Take whatever they say and figure out your next step. Maybe you got the raise, maybe you need to improve some more, maybe you don’t know yet. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions on their final answer. But never exit without thanking them.
Here are some final words of wisdom before you start your prep work. Be clear and concise. Be gracious no matter what they say. Back all of your points up with numbers. Overall, just be honest and yourself. That’s probably why they hired you in the first place.