IIE Los Angeles

How to Ask for a Raise – and Get It!

When was the last time you asked for a raise? If you are like most people, you waited until you were frustrated, angry, and resentful. Not the best frame of mind for trying to make a positive change. You probably made some critical mistakes. You may have:

  • Made your appeal based on emotion
  • Given your boss an ultimatum
  • Failed to plan ahead what to say figuring you could just “wing it”

And how did that strategy work for you? Did you get everything you hoped for? Probably not.

There is a better way to ask for a raise that doesn’t involve emotions, ultimatums, or even slamming doors. The answer is planning. Be prepared with objective documentation that proves beyond doubt that you deserve a raise, and have a strategy that puts that information forward in the best possible light.

1. Research salary surveys.

If you suspect your current earnings are below average for your industry in your state, verify your suspicion by checking out salary
surveys. Your state employment service agencies probably provide a salary survey for your industry. Make copies of any salary surveys you

Additionally, if you suspect your earnings are low within your own company, ask your human resources representative if he/she can provide the normal salary scale for your position. Ask for a copy if possible.

These two documented sources will help support the fairness of your request for a raise.

2. Prove your worth.

If you are waiting for your boss to notice what a great job you are doing, forget it. No one is paying that much attention to you. It’s up
to you to prove how much you are worth—literally.

Keep a weekly journal of what you’ve done that proves such things as:

  • Creating revenue opportunities
  • Discovering costs savings
  • Helping a coworker meet or beat a deadline
  • Developing a better process
  • Completing tasks ahead of time
  • Generating good will with clients or customers

Use your list of accomplishments to update your resume illustrating the positive impact you’ve had on your company. An updated resume is your
most convincing evidence that you deserve a raise. It will also put your boss on the alert that you are ready with an updated resume when a
recruiter calls.

Plan your strategy.

Too often, people don’t think about what they’re going to say until they’re actually in their boss’ office. That’s too late. Practicing how
you want to present your case can be the final key to success in getting your raise.

Choose a friend or family member who has been in the position of hiring others, and ask them to let you practice your request for a raise.

Once you have your documentation, your updated resume, and your strategy in hand, you’ll be ready to approach your boss with confidence. And you’ll be well on your way to getting the raise you have truly earned.


Deborah Walker, Certified Career Management Coach
Read more career tips and see sample resumes at:
email: Deb@Alphaadvantage.com

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