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Tips to Ask Your Boss for a Raise

Tips to Ask Your Boss for a Raise

By Matt Diehl • February 14, 2017

Statistics show that 75% of people who ask for a raise end up receiving one1. In addition to preparation and choosing the right time, there are other factors to consider to improve your odds of success.

If you need help preparing your case, here are some tips to ask your boss for a raise:

Determine your worth

Before you start thinking about dollar amounts, it’s important to determine your worth. A key factor in getting your raise approved is clearly explaining your value and justification. Presenting clean and hard data points should help your boss understand your case and see your point of view better.

Here are some valuable components to consider:

  • Personal accomplishments - From driving up revenue to executing on a large project, list your notable achievements and use numbers to quantify whenever possible.
  • Industry research - Look into what others in your field are getting paid while considering variables such as education, experience and location.
  • Salary surveys - Fill out an online salary survey to receive a free, detailed salary report based on your answers.

Practice your pitch

The phrase “practice makes perfect” can certainly apply to asking for a raise. In addition to getting your facts straight, rehearsing could sharpen your delivery for the actual pitch. If you roleplay with someone, you may also be more comfortable fielding and answering questions when the time comes.

Some ways to practice and tighten up your pitch include:

  • The mirror - Seeing yourself speak could help you identify ways to improve your speech and body language.
  • Family and friends - Getting honest feedback from someone you trust can help you finetune your presentation.
  • A coworker - If possible, deliver your pitch to a coworker before you talk to your boss.

Choose the right time

When it comes to choosing the right time, there are several variables to consider. Here are some signs to recognize a good window of opportunity:

  • You just completed a successful project
  • You just took on new responsibilities
  • You acquired a new skill or degree
  • Performance reviews and salary discussions are underway

Once you’ve determined the time is right, schedule a meeting to speak with your boss.

Be prepared to hear “no”

Rejection can be hard to hear but don’t let it discourage you. In fact, it could help you find the answer to receiving your raise in the future:

  • Ask questions - One example could be, “What areas of improvement can I focus on to better position myself for a raise?” Use this opportunity to get the answers you need to earn the raise you want.
  • Request a review - If you’d like a more clear and timely appraisal of your work, request an interim performance review. By defining goals and timetables that you both agree on, you can set expectations together.
  • Seek other incentives - If raises won’t be offered in the foreseeable future, look beyond salary. Extra vacation time, bonuses and other incentives may be available as alternatives.

Deliver with confidence

In order for your boss to believe in your worthiness, you must first believe in yourself. Stay positive, trust in your preparation and deliver your proposal with confidence. Good luck!


The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. The companies and individuals (other than OneMain Financial’s sponsored partners) referred to in this message are not sponsors of, do not endorse, and are not otherwise affiliated with OneMain Financial.