Time for a Raise? Here’s How to Discuss It With Your Boss!

Time for a Raise? Here’s How to Discuss It With Your Boss!

So you think it’s time for a raise, but you’re not sure how to discuss it with your boss?

You’re not alone. Most employees are terrified to ask for a raise. We found some interesting research from the salary experts at Payscale:

In our survey, we asked workers if they have ever asked for a raise from their current employer. We found that just 37 percent of workers have ever asked for a raise from their current employer. [and]…no single gender or racial/ethnic group is more likely to have asked for a raise at some point than any other.

So the data is in, and it’s official—employees across the board are averse to asking for a pay raise. But it’s actually not as difficult as you might think. We’ll break it down into three steps, starting with the basics.

Define Your Compensation Goals

Compensation awareness is essential.

Negotiating salary is much easier when you’re armed with facts and comparison data. Spend some time researching the compensation ranges for your position, specialization, level of expertise, company (internal salary ranges), and geographical location. Weigh your level of education and any certifications you have in the equation as well.

Talk to your coworkers and colleagues to find out what to expect concerning comp plans within your company, department, team, etc. You can also use sites like Salary.com and Linkedin as salary comparison guides.

Self Evaluation

Your situation is unique from every other person in the workforce. You need to take some time to self-evaluate your individual work-lifestyle goals. These include your preferred work location, schedule, comprehensive job benefits, direct compensation, bonus plans, PTO, etc.

Do a deep dive into the potential value of stock options, retirement plans, and overall job flexibility. Put a weight on each category and determine its value as it relates to your goals.

All of these choices will figure into the equation.

How to Approach Your Boss

You’ll need to conduct an objective, brutally honest, retrospective self-evaluation of your performance on the job. Ask yourself some questions:

  • How have you performed on your employee reviews? (Reviews are often the only documented sources of employee performance.)
  • Have you been an exceptional team member?
  • Is your work timely, concise, and complete?
  • Has your work been well-received by your boss and your team?


If you can candidly answer most, or all, of these questions in the affirmative, it’s time to approach your boss. Good luck, your armed with the facts and confidence you’ll need to get that raise!


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