How to ask for a raise


New Year’s Resolution number one: asking for a raise. We gotcha. And we are not even blaming you for being a little material, but there are a lot of things money can pay for, such as holidays, fabulous clothes and shoes, high tech gadgets or things like the rent, the gas bill and your student loan.

However, how to ask for a raise is a methodology that you need to study more in depth than other life-daunting tasks: you thought that asking your parents for a tenner required a meticulous study of your family micro interactions, then before you go and put it out on the table with your boss you should really read this pay raise hack guide.

Make up your case

Provided that there is the budget for granting you a pay raise, not being prepared to elicit to your manager all the good reasons why they should invest in you will only lead to disappointment. Make a list of the last projects in which you have over performed and went above your targets. If you work in the creative sector, you really need to quantify experience and hours put in for each assignment and only then explain how according to you, you have been working more than what was expected from you.

When to ask for a raise

There are several ifs to take into account in deciding when to ask for a raise: if the company is cutting budgets in all departments, you should change company rather than asking for a raise. If business is good, chances are you will have to study when your company closes the fiscal year and makes the budget for the upcoming year.

Most importantly, it will be up to the person you report to: avoid stalking your boss hoping for a random and casual chat about your salary. Instead,  make sure you book an appointment in their calendar, so that your talk doesn’t interfere with their daily activities.

How to ask your boss for a raise

You have gone through your case and why you should be paid more, but really you still don’t know how to out all that into words. Why shouldn’t your boss give you a pay raise? Try to focus on this approach in your talk, of course once you have cleared the company is in a financial position to increase your salary and that your performances have really been that good.

Why shouldn’t your boss give you a pay raise if you promise you will be hitting those targets and get even more? If they turn you down, for their own reasons and not for any other company impediment, they know motivation is not on the horizon.Be wary of the whole motivation topic, as according to a study by the MIT, creative and cognitive jobs are not successfully incentivised by a money reward but rather by giving the employee more autonomy, independence and responsibility. Asking for a different job role and a higher position would be the effective way for creatives to ask for a pay raise.

Every manager values loyalty. Start the conversation on a positive note, and explain how much you like working for your manager and the company. Then explain what you want to do in the future, and how you plan to contribute to grow the business 

Said Mandy Gilbert, founder of Creative Niche and tech school RED Academy to Forbes.

Tactful ways to ask for a raise


The gender pay gap card

If you are a woman, one current trending topic that might come in handy in making your case for asking for a raise successfully is the gender pay gap. Simply more and more women around the world have started asking for what is right and, you should do it to!

Asking is about confidence

Politeness and confidence will be your best allies during your pitch: try to be as calm as possible and comfortable with the actual words you are going to be saying, sometimes a little rehearsing at home doesn’t hurt.

What’s not tactful

Comparing yourself to a colleague or threatening to leave the company are not positive ways to go about, instead try to focus on the future and what the pay raise would mean for you in terms of growth within the company.

Best way to ask for a pay raise

The best way to ask for a pay raise is the one you make, by taking into accounts all the above and apply them to your specific situation, the company and sector you work in: it’s all about timing, opportunity and loyalty. Be prepared to negotiate: you might not get exactly what you want, but being diplomatic is the only way forward in any work related situation. Don’t focus just on money, think about benefits, such as a company car, a gym subscription, or flying mileage for free.

Don’t get your hopes up

Always, in life, be prepared for a no, for desires not fulfilled and disappointment: you don’t have to be a pessimist necessarily, but a reality check always eases the pain of a no.

Also, prepare to cope with not having been given a raise and staying in that job happily: try to leave things with your manager to a ‘let’s see things through again in six month’. Just make sure you have a full understanding of why you have been turned down and on how you can meet the requirements to get that pay raise next time.

Or, look at how many people didn’t get a pay raise in the US this year, it should work as a consolation prize, but it might put you off asking for a raise altogether.