Saturday, June 22nd, 2024

Is There Really a “Best Time” to Ask for a Raise? Yes.

We’ll be going over everything you need to know about the best time to ask for a raise. If a raise is something you’re looking for this year, you’ll definitely want to pay close attention to what we have to say.

We’ll be covering a lot of information today, which means that it can seem a bit overwhelming at times. This is why we’ve broken everything down into easy to read sections for you.

When is the best time to ask for a raise?

  • Beginning of the year, either calendar year or fiscal year
  • When the company’s performance is doing well
  • A sudden shift in your workload
  • During your performance review

Now, please feel free to skip around as you need, but we strongly recommend that you read over each and every section.

Now, we know that time is money — so let’s get right down to it.

The new year is always a solid time to consider a raise

Most companies operate on a quarterly basis. This is just a symptom of the way countries are set up financially, and each quarter makes up a piece of the fiscal year. Typically, this fiscal year comes to an end when the regular year comes to an end. Therefore, depending on how well your company did last year, the new year could be the best time to ask for a raise.

Why is New Years important?

You’ll want to bounce this idea around in the late December month. This is due to the fact that the company will be adjusting the budget for the new year. When it comes to adjusting salaries this is when they’ll be looking into that. Therefore, if you’re looking for a raise, it’s definitely a good idea to ask during the month of December. Plus, the holiday spirit also goes a long way when the year is coming to an end.

Is the new year always the best time to ask for a raise?

While the month of December may be a great time to ask for a raise, there is one exception. The exception? If you’ve already asked once before during the rest of the year. If your company does reviews every six months then this is a bit different. Otherwise, you’ll want to consider waiting until the next opportunity if you’ve already asked already.

The new year is a good way to take advantage of the company’s changing budget. This is when the annual plan for the following year is finalized. Squeezing a raise in during this period of time is definitely the best time to ask for a raise.

If the company you work at is killing it

When the company you work at is doing better than expected, well, don’t you think you should be compensated for that? This is why the performance of your company should definitely correlate to your chances of a raise. The good news is that it definitely does. When your company is doing well, everyone in that company is doing well. So let’s take a look at how to approach this situation.

Has your performance played a role?

If your performance has played a direct role in the success of your company, you should definitely ask for a raise. While you may think this only applies to small businesses, this is far from the truth. Even if you work for a larger corporation, and you’ve increased the performance of your branch or district, that’s definitely something you should be talking about.

Now, with that being said, you should still make sure that you plan your approach out. Don’t just walk straight into the manager’s office and demand a raise. Instead, maybe suggest the idea during your next performance review or around the new year. This will give you the ammo you need to make your case. Plus, you won’t come off as desperate or aggressive.

Are there new openings? Maybe an expansion?

When companies do well they all tend to do the same thing: expand or grow. This is due to the fact that a business will always do better when it has more of a reach, so if your company is doing well there may be a plan for expansion. Now, if this is the case and you’re feeling a bit ambitious, you might want to consider heading to any new areas.

This is a sneaky good way to ask for a raise, because it will make you seem proactive and bold. Unfortunately, if your company is not expanding this is kind of off the table, but it’s definitely something to think about nonetheless. Plus, to be upfront with you, it’s a very innocent way to ask for a raise.

If the company you call home is doing very well, who says you shouldn’t share in the glory? This is especially true if you’ve played a role, and when the company is doing well, it’s definitely the best time to ask for a raise. Trust us on that one.

Your workload or job is now drastically different

If you’ve suddenly had to take on more work than usual it might be time to ask for a raise. This is usually a symptom of downsizing. While it may seem like a scary time to ask for a raise, it’s actually one of the best times to ask. So in this section we’ll be showing you how to properly approach this situation.

You now have double the work to do

This applies to any and all positions in the workplace, but let’s use the example of a receptionist turned office manager for a second. Now, we know that sounds kind of crazy, but you’d be surprised by how often this type of thing may happen.

Someone who is in reception usually just handles incoming calls, emails, faxes, and some of the other day-to-day operations. Now, if the office manager position is deleted, who do you think covers the more mundane office management responsibilities? The answer would be the person sitting in reception.

Now, instead of doing what you signed up for, you’ll be handling things like:

  • Scheduling meetings
  • Handling client appointments
  • Reporting directly to management
  • Onboarding new employees
  • Reviewing company finances
  • And many more

While those may seem like some large responsibilities on their own, this is on top of the tasks that we briefly mentioned before.

Now, keep in mind that this is just one example, but you can apply this to any job. If you find yourself in a situation like the hypothetical we presented just before, it’s definitely time to ask for a raise.

When should I ask for a raise in this case?

Now, in this case, you definitely don’t want to sound like you’re complaining. So don’t be too upfront and bide your time. This means that you should give it at least a week or so before you start asking for a raise.

Luckily, management should be sympathetic, so just make sure you prove why you should get a raise in the first place. Plus, and now this should be a given, you want to make sure you’re doing a good job with the added responsibilities. Once it’s been a little while, and the workplace has adjusted, pull your manager aside and talk about your new role and the possibility of compensation.

When you’re thrown to the wolves with added responsibility it can seem like a death sentence. While this may be true, that doesn’t mean that is has to be. This is due to the fact that added responsibilities build out the perfect case for you to ask for a raise. So trust us on this one, that downsizing operation may be the best time to ask for a raise.

Your performance review

Another aspect we want to take a look at is your performance review. Now, this is obviously a good time to ask for a raise, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be simple. That’s why, in this section, we want to make sure you know exactly how to approach this situation.

How often are your performance reviews?

If you want to figure out the best time to ask for a raise, you’ll need to take a look at your performance reviews. This is due to the fact that these reviews are usually company mandated. Most of the time management has to have them. This is also the best time to ask for a raise. After all, it’s when a company is evaluating your work.

If you have a performance review every six months, while it may be tempting to ask for a raise at each one, try to keep it to once a year. This is due to the fact that repeated asking can actually hinder your chances. It can turn your manager off to the idea. So when it comes to performance reviews, try to keep it to once a year anyway. Of course there are exceptions, as we’ve shown you in other sections, but once per year is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow.

Performance reviews can definitely be the best time to ask for a raise. This is due to the fact that the company is considering it already, and that most companies have a policy in place to give you a raise during these review periods.

What if I’m new to the company?

Okay so this one is a bit more tricky, because you haven’t shown the company that you’re valuable enough to them yet. This doesn’t mean that you haven’t been, or can’t ask for a raise. But it does mean that you’ll need to plan this out a little bit more.

So when is the best time to ask for a raise when you’re new?

If you’re new, you’ll want to wait at least 6-8 months. This will give you plenty of time to prove yourself, and to be quite honest with you here, it will help you to not come off as greedy. Plus, during the first 6 or so months of your employment a company is really monitoring you anyway. So make sure that you give it some time, and be patient if you’re new to the company.

Being new to a company doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a raise. But most of the time you haven’t had enough time to prove yourself in just a few months. So during your first 6-8 months — before you ask for a raise — really work hard. Show management how much of an asset you are to the company.

Recap: When should I ask for a raise

Now, we know that we covered a lot today, but you can take comfort in knowing that you know all about the best time to ask for a raise. The best time to ask for a raise is not the same at every company. More often than not, any of the situations we’ve shown you are definitely great times to ask for a raise.

Asking for a raise can be really uncomfortable. And to be blunt, asking at the wrong time can actually put your chances of getting on in harm’s way. This is why it’s absolutely crucial to make sure that you know when, how, and why to ask for a raise.

Now that you know the best time to ask for a raise, are you ready to go for it?

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What to do next?

This is just one step in getting paid what you're worth. Master this topic and everything you need to get the raise you deserve. Get our full Ask Guide to know how, when and how much to ask for.

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