How to get a raise

Want a raise? Summon your courage and be ready to prove you deserve it.

Get prepared

1. Find out how much other people are making

When comparing salaries, make sure you look at positions similar to your own. To find the figures, check job postings or salary reports published in professional magazines and on the Internet.

2. Draw up a list of your achievements

Has your workload increased? Have you been given greater responsibilities? What are your accomplishments? Did you assist in recruiting new staff or help prevent major errors?

3. Write up a short report of your assessment

Provide your boss with a one-page summary of your achievements. This way, they’ll have something to present to their superiors, if need be.

4. Decide what you think you’re worth

…and what you’re willing to settle for. “For example, when you ask for a 5% increase, you can tell yourself you won’t accept less than 3%. That way your salary will at least increase at the same rate as inflation,” suggests Mrs. Lamarche. For more information, check out Figuring Out What You’re Worth

5. Set up a meeting with your immediate supervisor

Let them decide when it would be a good time to meet.

During the meeting

1. Present your achievements before talking money

The most important thing is to make your boss understand that your contributions are valuable to the company. This will make it harder for them to say no.

2. Be determined without being aggressive

Avoid being threatening (“If I don’t get this raise, I’m quitting!”) or making comparisons (“I work harder than so-and-so, but I make less!”). Confronting your boss won’t win you any brownie points.

3. Ask when you can expect an answer

Line up another meeting. “If not, you might hesitate to broach the topic later,” says Mrs. Lamarche.

Following up

1. Get turned down? Negotiate!

Let your boss know that you understand their reasons for turning you down but that you’d like to strike a compromise. Would a raise be possible in three months’ time? What about if you came down on the amount you requested?

2. What to do if the door is closed

If the company won’t budge, you might want to consider changing jobs. “When the answer is always ‘No,’ it’s a sign that your work isn’t being valued,” states Mrs. Lamarche.