How to ask your boss for a raise

Now Available - our 2020 Salary Guide
Tuesday, December 21, 2021

As we head into the new year, you may be thinking about your career goals, including your salary aspirations.

With the number of candidates available for jobs at a near-record low, starting salaries and temporary staff wages have risen at the sharpest rate in 24 years. As a job-seeker or employee seeking a raise, now is a great time to request a boost in your salary!

Broaching this topic with your employer is sometimes easier said than done. For many of us, talking about money is just a bit awkward, if not completely taboo in some of our social circles.

To help overcome your potential concerns, here are our top tips for how to ask your boss for a raise.

Research salary trends for your industry

A key element to successfully securing a raise is research. It’s important to understand current market trends to make sure you aren’t asking for either more than is appropriate, or selling yourself short.

Get as specific as possible; look at salary trends for professionals in your geographic area and industry with similar job titles, qualifications, and responsibilities. Plus research shows that it’s better to give a specific figure rather than a round number, as it makes you seem more informed.

Plus One’s 2022 Salary Guide, provides useful insights into current salary bandings, including at a regional level. Equipped with this information, you can have a realistic figure in mind when it comes to asking for your raise.

A raise typically falls between 1% and 5% of base salary; something else useful to have in mind when preparing to ask for an increase in salary.

Ask at the right time

Has your company just lost a big account? Are you laying off workers to cut costs? It may not be the best time to ask for a raise.

Timing is everything, and it’s certainly true in this instance. Good opportunities to ask for a raise include your annual performance review, after you’ve successfully completed an important project, or when your manager is happy!

Be confident

You are worth a pay raise, and you need to demonstrate this to your boss. You should be clear and specific when making your case as to why you deserve this salary increase. Make sure you have on-hand examples of when you’ve gone above and beyond in your role. If possible, quantify your value to the company with data—for example the number of new clients you have brought in.

Be prepared to negotiate

While you may have a set figure in mind from your research, this may not match your employer’s expectations. Go into your meeting with your boss prepared to compromise on your suggested salary. After all, any salary increase is a step in the right direction!

You should also be prepared for your boss to say no. But this doesn’t need to be the end of your negotiation. Understand the reasons and if there’s anything you can work on, then schedule a follow-up performance review where you can broach the topic again in a few months time.