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How to Ask for a Raise (Without Having a Panic Attack)


Before you even begin to craft your pitch for the pay raise you so deserve, you need to have the knowledge to back up your claims and consider the mood and environment you’re walking into.

Here’s how to prepare.

Collect Your Positive Praise

It helps if you set up a folder on your computer or in your email account to store all those notes from clients, your boss, and your colleagues in which you were commended for a great job. These are regular reviews you do of your work in addition to any formal annual review or performance review you and your boss might have.

Always Bring Data

With your self-evaluations, you’re keeping a detailed track record of all your past achievements and recent accomplishments. Here are some questions to ask yourself in your weekly evaluations:

  • How has your company or department directly benefited from your work? Get specific.
  • Did your team play a role in increasing sales?
  • Were you included in any important projects? What were they and what role did you play? Who were the clients?

Use a Real Number

They’re going to ask what salary you want and you need to have an answer. That number should be based on real research or, even better, you can ask your peers in similar roles and companies how much they make. Try to understand the entire salary compensation of five people—men and women—and industry standards. And don’t forget that you’ll likely wind up losing 10% or more of that number in the salary negotiation phase.

This is not the time to be modest. People, and women in particular, tend to couch their requests, practice talking about what you want without qualifiers.

Chances are your boss won’t be able to say yes or no right away. They’ll probably ask you for some time to discuss with other supervisors and/or review your information. Thank them for their time and give them some space, but make sure to touch base with them if you haven’t heard back after a full week.

Written by

Leah M. Richard

Leah M. Richard




Career Success
Career Development