Asking for a raise? Here’s exactly what to say to your boss.

Exactly What to Say When You Ask For A Raise

You’re well researched, you know your numbers, and you’ve calmed your nerves. Let’s get ready to rock and roll. But before you walk in that door to ask for a raise from your boss, let’s go over a few situations you may find yourself in and how to respond.

1. You don’t know when you should ask for a raise

Find out when your company makes compensation decisions, and then schedule time with your manager to find out the right time to ask for a raise. This meeting is not about money, but rather your path for growth at the company. Use this as an opportunity for you to demonstrate your wins and learn from your manager about what they need to see from you to get rewarded.

“I’d like to make sure I’m on track for a growth path here. Can we schedule a time to chat?”

2. Your manager is avoiding having the money talk with you

Don’t spring the conversation on your manager when you ask for a raise. Set up a meeting with enough lead time, positioning it as discussion about your impact on the company and how you can move up. If you can have the meeting in a neutral space like a conference room or a coffee shop.

“I’m enthusiastic about my career at this company. Can we schedule a time to discuss my potential path forward?”

3. You got the meeting. Now what?

The way you begin the conversation is important. It’s known that juries remember a lawyer’s opening argument rather than the closing when you ask for a raise.

Option A: “Thanks so much for meeting with me. I’m glad we’ve had a chance to talk about this.”
Option B: “I’m excited to have the opportunity to discuss my growth here.”

4. You’ve taken on more responsibility

Your current salary is based on your original job description. If that scope has changed, and you’re responsible for more work, bring a copy of the old description and a new one that lists out everything you’re doing. Root that in market research to make your case.

“Since I’ve started here, I’ve increased my scope of work, so I’d like to ask for a raise in-line with market rate based on my new responsibilities.”

5. They said that no one else is getting a raise

If you hear a no, find out why not. This is the time to bring up full compensation, or total compensation. Don’t let that stop you from asking for a raise; you’ll just have to get creative.

Option A: “Is a year-end bonus or increased equity a possibility? Can we get creative to getting us close to this number?”
Option B: “I’d like to revisit this converstaion at a future date. Can we get something on the calendar when the timing is better?”Option C: “I’m incredibly grateful for my role at this company, but I need to feel that I’m advancing professionally. What is your advice for what I should do here?”

6. You have an offer from another company

Congratulations, you’re crushing it! This is a great opportunity to use leverage when you ask for a raise, but be sure to stress your enthusiasm for staying at your current company.

“I’ve received another offer from x company that’s very compelling on salary, but I’d really love to stay here. Is there a way we can get closer to their offer”

7. They surprise you with a number

Amazing work! But here’s the thing: ask for more time. This will allow you to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward, which will increase your chances of succeeding when you ask for a raise.

“Wow, thank you! This is a major life decision and I’d like to take some time to think on it. Can I get back to you within the next week?”

In Short, remember that you’ve done your research and you know your worth. Don’t always feel like you need to have an answer for their questions right away, and remember, you’re worth it!

Want to take the next step on the path to a higher salary? Enroll in our salary negotiation course today! On average participants earn a 15% raise!

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