How to ask for a Raise

Joel is insightful, extremely experienced and knowledgeable. On a number of occasions I thought I had a situation covered (such as compensation negotiations), but Joel was able to provide me with advice which I found very helpful and useful and which I was able to apply right away in a negotiation. I find Joel’s ability to predict situations that may come up and coach me on them to be invaluable.

Jim Klouder

Thomas Edison once said, “Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” The same is true when negotiating for a raise. It’s important you take the time to plan on how to ask for a raise. This even includes knowing the right time of day to ask for a raise.

As you consider how to ask for a raise, it’s equally important to be prepared for salary negotiation. No matter if you’ve been in your job for 15 years or are just starting out and need tips on job offer salary negotiation, the following information can help you get paid what you’re worth.

  1. Spend four to six months preparing for the negotiation discussion.
    During this period, determine all the reasons you deserve the raise. Be aware of all you have accomplished so that you can present how valuable you are to the organization. Remember, your accomplishments are the currency you use to calculate your value. If you are in the process of interviewing for a job, be sure you accurately convey the value you will add to the company by effectively communicating your accomplishments in other jobs. Understanding what a fair salary range is and demonstrating why you deserve to be at the top of that salary range can go a long way in job offer negotiations.

  2. Know the right time of day to ask for a raise.
    When you finish an important project can be a good time to ask for a raise. So can times when you have accomplished something significant, such as after you saved or made the company a lot of money. Schedule a time during the day that is not very stressful. As you can see, there are many factors that go into determining the right time of day to ask for a raise. Be aware of what’s going on in the company and what kind of mood your boss is in before you approach him or her about a raise. By the way, Monday isn’t the ideal day to ask for a raise. If you are considering a job offer, negotiation of your salary should be addressed before you accept the position.


  1. Understand that your company can affect your ability to get a raise.
    If your company is having financial struggles, this can be a difficult time to get support for the raise you feel you deserve. So have the raise discussion when you can leverage some positive news that the company has experienced.

  2. Consider your boss’s mood—it can affect your chance of a raise.
    Don’t ask for a raise when your boss is stressed or overwhelmed. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea to have the discussion when he or she is planning the budget for next year and is concerned about what is financially available. The right time of day to ask for a raise is when your boss is in a good mood, not stressed and is appreciative of your work.

  3. Ask your boss what you need to do to get a raise.
    To create buy-in early from your boss, determine what you specifically need to do to get the raise. Sit down with your boss and create an action plan. Then follow up with him or her every 2-4 weeks to make sure you are on-target to meet your agreed upon objectives. A good boss will provide guidance and support to help you reach your career goals.

  4. Track your accomplishments.
    Start documenting your accomplishments today by creating a file called “Accomplishments”. Begin by listing everything worthwhile you’ve completed in the last week, month and year. Add to this list whenever you’re reminded of something you accomplished in the past. Meanwhile, track every success from this point on and schedule a weekly 15-minute appointment with yourself to add to your list.

  5. Document what others say about you.
    Over the course of the year, your supervisors, peers, boss and people in senior management will say positive things about you. Take note of their praise, how they enjoy working with you, the value you bring to the company. If a lot of these comments aren’t in writing, transcribe them to use in the negotiation discussion. Having all of this information at the ready can make it a lot easier to think about how to ask for a raise.

  6. Be prepared for the objections.
    Your employer will likely have objections to why you can’t get a raise right now. Be prepared for the rejection. The best way to counter objections is with the fact-based accomplishments you have carefully documented.

  7. For every no, have a yes for why you deserve the raise.
    For every reason your employer can’t give you the raise you’ve requested, have a reason why you deserve it. So if they have six nos, you need to have seven yes’s. Prove your worth by continuing to give all the reasons you deserve a raise.

  8. Know the best time to negotiate.
    The obvious times to negotiate are when you are interviewing for a new job, just received a promotion or during your performance review. The less obvious times (which are just as important) are when you finish a major project, had a huge win, gained great visibility, increased your responsibility or had an extensive amount of success on a project. Job offer negotiation is perhaps the most important salary negotiating you will do. Starting out at a fair rate means you won’t have to fight for raises to bring you up to a fair salary; raises will truly be the reward of a job well done and an acknowledgment of your increasing value to the company.

If you would like more information on how to ask for a raise or how to effectively conduct a job offer salary negotiation, contact Joel Garfinkle. He is an expert negotiating salary or a raise. His experience helping thousands of individuals obtain their career objectives makes him one of the most sought after career coaches in the nation.

In addition to personalized career coaching, you can have access to all the insider tips on how to get the salary you deserve by ordering a copy of Joel’s book, Get Paid What You’re Worth. You will benefit from insights gained from over 17 years of experience in the job search and career transition field, learn how to position yourself to be seen as the #1 candidate for a job, and learn the necessary skills to negotiate the best salary. Sign up for career coaching or get your copy of Get Paid What You’re Worth today!
Get help with how to ask for a raise and job offer negotiations by contacting Joel today!