How to Ask for a Raise Professionally

Under the optimal circumstances, the workplace can be a place that is equal parts hard work and diversion. Rapport among coworkers and superiors definitely helps to make the everyday grind of making the paper more tolerable, but even with such fellowship and mutual respect, there is still the odd situation where a finer level of tact and grace is required. These instances tend to come out of the blue, usually in the middle of the workday.

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The sudden revelation that one is due a raise can be disconcerting, manifesting the stressful burden of broaching the subject with a manager. Even if one is one the best terms with the higher-ups, the feeling of dread spawned by doubt can be hard to shake.

Fortunately, there are many steps that one can take in order to pose the question with tact, as explained in the list below.

1. Be Prepared for the Absolute Worst

Fortunately, in this situation, the worst the manager in question can do is say no. That is, assuming that one is in good standing with the manager prior to posing the question. Regardless of the relationship between self and manager, it is important to be ready to hear the resounding “no”.

2. Look Towards the Future Instead of the Past

While it may be tempting to rattle off all the positive contributions that one has made towards a company’s success (and perhaps a few negative contributions from the manager), it is ultimately a foolish move. While touching on the past briefly may be in order, it should by no means take up the majority of the meeting.

The future will always be bright until it becomes the present, and that in itself is a toss-up. Managers tend to appreciate employees that can think towards the future.

3. Research the Ammo Powering the Proposal

Only a fool would go into a meeting such as this, a joust of wits, without adequate ammunition. Factual data and statistics will be in order when seeking out a raise, and must literally be put in order in order to maximize persuasion.

The more organized, the better. Documents and files must be compiled in a timely and efficient manner, as well as be able to be unpacked with little hassle.

4. Share Ideas

More often than not, managers and superiors are looking for employees who are creative problem solvers. If you feel you deserve a raise, think of ways to increase efficiency in your current workload or workforce. Looking for ways to better the company is a sure sign of leadership.

Also read: Collaboration is the Key to Unlocking Innovation in the Workplace

Whether you are working with shipping systems in your company or you’re the head of sales, always look for ways to improve the company and bring up those ideas and implementations in your meeting.

5. Think of Rebuttals and Memorize Notes

In a way, this is like a reenactment of a high school debate project. While the stakes here aren’t as high as an F on the project, diligence and fastidious composition will be in order. It doesn’t have to go as far as cue cards and notes, but merely as far as it takes to memorize a loose spiel.

In addition, one should be prepared for easily telegraphed follow-up questions from the manager. The debate-style format of this exchange will require quick thinking and a dedication to the prepared material.

6. What Has Been Done VS What is Needed

When engaging this this verbal joust, this foray into the fencing match of the corporate world, it is important to distinguish between what one has done to earn this raise and why this raise is necessary. One resonates far more strongly with managers, and conversation must be carefully steered in that direction.

7. Stay Positive

There is no bigger buzzkill in the eye of an employer than someone with a request that acts like it has already been shot down. Confidence is key when asking for any sort of increase in financial compensation.

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