How To Ask For A Raise [With Scripts]

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Table Of Contents

If you’ve exceeded every goal your manager has set for you, you may be trying to learn how to ask for a raise. We know that this conversation makes even the most self-assured professional tremble on the inside. But don’t worry. We’ll share everything you need to know (including some scripts!) to get the bump in pay you deserve.

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What To Do Before You Ask For A Raise

Your upcoming money discussion with your boss will go much more smoothly if you do some prep work. So here’s what to do before you ask for a raise:

Compile Your Achievements

You’ll need to convince your manager why you deserve a pay increase. You can demonstrate your augmented value by putting together a list of your most impressive accomplishments since your last raise. Wins you may want to mention could include:

  • Exceeding a quota
  • Inventing a new tool, process, or procedure that greatly benefits the company
  • Leading a successful project
  • Spotting and correcting a potentially costly error
  • Saving the organization a significant sum
  • Taking on new responsibilities
  • Earning a job-related degree or certification
  • Getting regular praise from customers and colleagues (save their quotes!)

Quantify your contributions whenever possible to have the most impact. Example: “I exceeded my Q3 sales goal by 37%, which resulted in $378,000 additional revenue.”

Pro Tip: Keep a running log of your achievements throughout the year. That way, you won’t forget anything!

Research Your Market Value

It’s tough to ask for a raise when you don’t know how much you should get paid. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to get that insight for free. Visit ZipRecruiter or Glassdoor to see what other professionals in your area are making. The information will help you determine if you’re being fairly compensated — or not.

Understand Your Company’s Pay Scale

Knowing what the general market is paying is only half the equation. You also need to understand your company’s pay scale. Some organizations publish salary data. But, if yours doesn’t, consider asking a few coworkers in your role what they earn. Then, you’ll know how deep (or shallow) your employer’s pockets are.

Pick A Number

Based on your due diligence, you can determine how large of a raise to request. Of course, as a rockstar, your new salary should exceed the average pay for the position. However, remember that you probably won’t get a 25% bump all at once — even if you truly deserve it.

Plus, your human resources department likely won’t approve a raise that would throw off the pay equity within your peer group. So, if everyone else in your role earns around $60,000, you likely won’t get the $80,000 you want.

Join The Break Community

Pro Tip: Your manager may try to negotiate with you. So, ask for a little more money than you want. That way, you’re more likely to end up at your target salary.

Set The Stage

Give your boss a head’s up that you’d like to discuss your salary. Then, send them a calendar invitation for the meeting at least a few days in advance. That way, they have time to prepare for the conversation, too.

When To Ask For A Raise

When you time your salary increase request just right, you boost your odds of getting a “yes!” Here are some rules of thumb you should follow when deciding when to ask for a raise:

  • Catch your boss in a good mood. If they’re always stressed out after the Tuesday afternoon staff meeting, plan to chat on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.
  • Ask sooner rather than later. If you wait until the end of the fiscal year to request a raise, your company may not have any funds left.
  • Ride the momentum. Did you just lead a project to successful completion? You may be able to capitalize on it!

Pro Tip: If it’s been 365 or more days since your last pay increase, it’s appropriate to start the dialogue. However, if you’ve taken on additional duties or hit a major milestone, it makes sense to ask sooner.

How To Ask For A Raise 

On the day of your meeting, it’s natural to be nervous. But, remember: you do a lot for your company, and your salary should reflect that. Here’s a sample script that shows how to ask for a raise:

Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. I really enjoy working for XYZ Corporation, and I see myself building a long-term career here. I’ve made many significant contributions to the organization in recent months, so I’d like to discuss my salary.

Since my last pay increase, I’ve:

  • Assumed leadership responsibilities for a team of five.
  • Negotiated with three vendors to save $85,000 per year.
  • Caught two major errors before a product was manufactured, saving the company $2 million.
  • Consistently exceeded my sales goals by at least 30% each quarter.
  • Developed a new post-sale follow-up process, which increased customer satisfaction by 25%.

Based on my achievements and extensive research on salary trends, I’m requesting a 15% pay increase, bringing my annual compensation to $115,000.

Once again, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with you and make an impact here. I look forward to continuing to grow and crush goals alongside the company.

Remember: This script is only an example. You should tailor it to your situation, company culture, and relationship with your manager. Plus, while it’s wise to practice what to say ahead of time, let the discussion flow naturally. Then, once you make your official ask, pause and wait for your boss to respond.

What Happens After You Ask For A Raise

Your manager probably won’t approve or deny your raise request on the spot. Instead, they’ll likely tell you they need to consider what you’ve said and get back to you. That’s OK! Be sure to follow up with them in a week or so.

If your boss ultimately denies your request, ask why. For example, perhaps your timing was off, or you asked for more than your company could afford. If either is the case, you may be able to get a “yes” if you ask again in a few months or negotiate down to a lower amount. You might also get your employer to agree to additional paid time off or a remote work arrangement in place of the raise.

Warning: If it seems like your organization isn’t even willing to entertain the idea of giving you a raise, it could be time to find a new job.

What To Avoid When Asking For A Raise 

Here are some things you should absolutely avoid when asking for a raise:

  • Requesting more money when your firm is struggling financially. Doing so makes you appear unaware and insensitive.
  • Waiting to talk about money until your annual review. Chances are, the budget for yearly raises gets set months in advance. You need to get ahead of the budgeting process!
  • Overstating your accomplishments. It’s important to be honest and give others credit when due.
  • Understating your accomplishments. Bragging about yourself is totally valid when you’ve earned the kudos!
  • Threatening to leave if you don’t get your raise unless you’re prepared to follow through. If you make the threat and stay, your work environment will be tense.

The big one to avoid: Believing a raise will make a bad place to work your dream job. More money is nice, but a salary bump won't make you happy for long if low pay isn’t at the root of your dissatisfaction.

The Bottom Line

While talking about money can be tricky, you should now know how to ask for a raise. Armed with these tips, we’re confident you can convince your employer to pay you more. But, if you feel like it may be time to move on, we encourage you to consult with one of our selections for the best resume writing service. That way, your resume will be ready to go when you start applying for a new job on ZipRecruiter!