How Soon Can You Ask Your Boss For A Raise?

Elizabeth Witbeck

Are you frustrated with how much you are getting paid at your current job? Asking for a raise can be nerve-racking, since you don’t know what your boss is going to say. You want to make sure that you are prepared.

If you are currently planning on asking your manager for a raise, here are some things to keep in mind.

Negotiate in the Beginning

When you begin any job, it is important to look at the salary being offered. Take the time to figure out the numbers and if it will truly work into your lifestyle. Research salaries in your industry to see what most people are paid. Negotiate with your management if the salary is too low or if you would like additional benefits.

It is much easier to negotiate salary when you first start a job than it is later on. Bosses are not required to give raises, so assume that the salary you agree to when you start your position is the salary you will always have.

Once a Year is Appropriate

If you have been in the position for a while, you may want to ask your boss for a raise. It is appropriate to ask for a raise in salary after working with the company for at least one full year. Also, only ask for a raise once a year.

For example, if you asked for a raise earlier this month, you should wait for another year before asking again. This will give time for you to make many contributions to the company, which you can use to present your case to the employer for why you should get a raise.

Your Wages are Your Worth

  • Remember that a raise is a symbol that your value to the company has increased.
  • What types of things have you done at the company that are going above and beyond the call of duty?
  • Are you exceeding expectations, or merely showing up to work?
  • You need to spend time at work making significant contributions to the business.

Whether it is the fact that you have brought in more customers, or sales have increased because of you, you need to be able to point to achievements you have made on the job. These should be things your management has seen and recognized. If you have not made these sorts of accomplishments, it is important to think about the ways you can step up and contribute to the team. Raises are given based on the value of your work – not because you wish you earned more money, or because you have worked at the company a long time, or a similar reason.

Has Your Role Changed?

Sometimes we get hired to do a certain position, and then our job responsibilities change. We are asked to work more hours or do more tasks than we originally planned. In this case, it would be appropriate to ask your manager for a raise. You can negotiate a new salary at the time they ask you to take on the new position or responsibilities. The rule to wait a year does not apply in this case.

Prepare Yourself

Before you go see your boss and ask for a raise, you need to be prepared. You need to research your industry and figure out what is the average salary being paid. This will vary based on what geographic area you live in, how many years of experience you have, what industry you are employed in, what certifications you have, and other factors.

It may be helpful to talk to other people in your field to see what they are paid. This information is important because it will help you understand what salary you can reasonably ask for.

You Might Want to Wait

There are times during the year when you may want to wait to ask your management for a raise. If your company is currently in a tough financial period, such as doing layoffs, downsizing, or something else to that effect, then the company is looking to cut costs, not increase them. In this situation, you would be best advised to wait until the business has a better financial status.

Also, many industries are seasonal, where sales are higher during one time of the year than other times. If you work in an industry where sales are at rock bottom during the winter, that may not be the best time to ask for a raise. You may want to consider postponing this conversation with management until your company is seeing higher sales figures.

It is important when you ask for a raise that you come prepared. Show your manager your accomplishments, and your research on salaries within the industry. Be sure to ask for a salary increase only after you have worked for a company for at least a year, and don’t ask for raises any more frequently than once a year. Go into the meeting with confidence, and be prepared to show your case for why you deserve a raise.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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