How to Score Yourself a Raise

Alright, let’s dive into a topic that can make even the bravest of us break a sweat: asking for a raise. Don’t worry, though – while it might feel like entering a dragon’s den, with the right steps, you can totally nail it. This quick guide will walk you through the art of asking for a raise without losing your cool.

Step 1: Time it Right: First things first, let’s talk timing. Don’t ambush your boss and drop the raise bomb when they are juggling flaming swords. Pick a moment when things are relatively chill, and the company ship is sailing smoothly. For many office jobs this will be on a Friday morning when your boss is in a good mood and it’s a more relaxed day. Schedule a sit-down so you’ve got their full attention – multitasking ain’t your goal here. 

Step 2: Google is Your Wingman: Time to do some undercover research. (Do this on your own time, not company time.) Get the lowdown on what your fellow heroes are getting in your industry for similar roles. You can get salary reports at or  You can also get good information on LinkedIn, and Glassdoor.  This will give you the data you need to determine how much of a raise you should ask for.

Step 3.  Show Them You’re the Bomb: How have you saved the day, handled tough situations, taken on more responsibility, and/or or made the company money?  What new ideas do you have that have not been put into place yet? What praise did you receive on prior evaluations? Having real life examples of how you have been, and will continue to be, valuable to the company will make your case that much stronger. (Pro tip: Keep a “brag list” in the future of specific projects or situations you have crushed!

Step 4: Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse: Sure, it might sound cheesy, but rehearsing your “raise talk” can save you from an epic word stumble and rambling. Practice in front of your mirror, your dog, or a random houseplant – whatever floats your boat. Confidence is your secret weapon, so get those lines down! Here are a few tips: 

  • Be respectful, positive and show sincere gratitude.  What have you learned, gained, or appreciated about your job and/or the company? 
  • Give a range.  Don’t just ask for a raise without a specific range to back it up based on the research you did. For example, instead of asking for a 8% increase say that you are looking for a 8%-12% increase in pay. 
  • Your request could look something like this: 

Step 5: Pop the Question: Time for the big showdown! Lay out your request like a poker player showing their hand. Be clear about the moolah you’re eyeing but be ready to shuffle if they counter. Spin your ask as an investment in the company’s treasure chest – your invaluable treasure chest, of course.  And don’t apologize.  You’ve done your research, you have a basis for your request, and you should be paid for that. Your request could look something like this: 

“Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.  I love [what you like about the company/job i.e. working with such great people and have enjoyed working on the recent projects].  

I wanted to share some of my accomplishments with you and discuss my salary.  Over the [time period] I have [examples of how you have added value].  Considering all of these factors and the average salary of the people in my role in the area I think a raise of 8%-12% is appropriate.  Does that sound fair?”

Step 6: Ears Open, Mouth on Standby: Okay, you’ve just put your heart on the line. Now, time to lend an ear. Your boss might have questions or concerns – be ready to parry those with facts and charm. If they need some time to think, ask for a follow-up. (Example: “Absolutely, is it okay if I touch base with you on Tuesday afternoon?”) Keep the conversation flowing, no matter the outcome and send a follow up email to summarize. 

Step 7: Keep Calm and Professional: So, you’ve crossed swords, and the outcome is in the wind. Whether you’re riding the victory chariot or regrouping for another round, keep it cool. If it’s a yay, high fives! If it’s a nay, ask for feedback on how to sharpen your blade for next time.

Asking for a raise doesn’t have to be a cringe-fest. With good timing, some Google-powered ammo, a bit of pep talk practice, and a sprinkle of charm, you’ve got this. Remember, even if you don’t walk out with a pouch full of gold, you’ve shown you’re not afraid to fight for what you’re worth. You’ve got this!

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