Firstly, let’s clear the misconception about a pay raise.

A pay raise is recognition that you’re now contributing at a higher level than when your salary was last set. Pay raise isn’t a favor or a gift; it’s a way for employers to pay fair market value for your work and to keep you around, because otherwise you’re eventually going to want to find a different job that does pay you competitively. That means it’s in your employer’s best interest to know when you’ve begun to think along this line of thought. Some employees feel awkward about initiating the pay raise conversation, they’re either worried they’ll sound greedy, or they just have no idea how one would ask for a raise at all. Instead, they rely on their employer to notice their good work and offer them an increase in salary — a strategy that can leave people earning far less than they could be receiving if only they’d speak up.

Asking for a raise is a very normal part of having a job, and as long as you follow the guidelines below, you don’t need to worry about looking odd, greedy, or entitled (assuming you’re working for a reasonably functional employer) … and you might end up earning significantly more money just by having the talk that may not even last 10 minutes.

When Should You Ask for A Pay Raise?

1.    Be thoughtful about your timing: Your manager is a human with normal human emotions, read the room- you shouldn’t ask to talk about raising your salary when they are having a bad day or the company is going through some challenges etc. Know when the atmosphere is right for such a discuss.

2.    If you’ve been doing excellent work over a period of time since your salary was last set, it might be time to ask: Some companies will revisit your salary every year on their own, often tied to performance reviews, in most cases, however, if it’s been a year or more since your salary was last set, and if you’ve been doing excellent work during that time, it’s reasonable to ask to revisit your pay now.

If your salary was already increased sometime in the last 12 months, expecting another one before a year is up/you haven’t worked up to a year yet is not realistic and is likely to come across as out of touch. And of course, the “excellent work” part of this matters. If you’ve been making a lot of mistakes or your employer doesn’t’ seemed pleased with your work, a request for a raise isn’t likely to go over well, and you risk seeming like you’re not assessing your own performance accurately.

How Should You Ask for A Pay Raise?

1.    Know what your work is worth and start by researching online

2.   Factor in your company’s salary structure.

3.    Know what to say if the answer is “no” or “maybe.

If your employer doesn’t give you a firm yes and instead say they’ll think about it or will get back to you, that’s fine! Not every employer would say yes on the spot. However, if you get a “maybe,” make sure you’re clear on what the next steps are. It’s okay to say something like, “Could I plan to check back with you when we meet on the 20th?” or you might just go with a simple, “Thanks! I appreciate it.”

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