10 Signs It’s Time To Ask For A Salary Raise

As with so many things in life relationships, investing in the stock market, getting a raise can depend on good timing. If you’ve done your salary research, know what you’re worth in the job market and have determined a pay increase is warranted, you’re far more likely to get it if you think strategically about when to have the raise conversation with your boss. Here are just a few things to think about before you mark a date on your calendar.


1. Your Company’s Good Financial Health.

If things are good, revenue is up, and goals are being met across the board, then have at it. You stand a much better shot of getting what you want if everything else is falling into place. But, on the other hand, if the company is laying people off, losing money, and spiraling into ruin, asking for a raise is going to seem pretty tone deaf.

2. Your Boss’s Good Mood.

If you’re in a good mood and someone asks you for something, aren’t you more inclined to grant the favor? That’s just human nature, and your boss is no different. So before you ask for a raise, gauge your boss. Is he ecstatic over a recent big win? Did he just get a promotion or accolades himself? Is his team well on their way to meeting goal and garnering him a bonus?

3. Other People Have Received Raises.

People generally play this close to the vest, but it seems word always gets around when coworkers are receiving raises. So if you’ve confirmed that other employees are asking for and receiving raises, and you’re either at their level or do better work, then that can be a positive sign to ask for a raise of your own.

4. It’s Time for Your Performance Review.

Most companies plan out a schedule for performance reviews and subsequent raises. Try to coordinate your raise request with that schedule, because it’s easier for your boss to convince the top brass at the designated time for raises, as opposed to a request out of left field at some other point during the year.

5. The Company Just Had a Big Win.

If your company had a huge win or, better yet, a string of big victories, then it might behoove you to strike while the iron is hot. And if you played an integral role in those wins, then all the better. You worked hard to benefit the company and it’s perfectly reasonable to use that goodwill in your favor.

6. You’ve Picked Up A New Skill Or Degree.

Proving yourself invaluable and indispensable is perhaps the greatest way to earn that pay increase. The more you can set yourself apart the better. So if you have specialized training or skills that no one else has, or if you’re the only one in your department with an advanced degree, then you’re in a great position to ask for a raise.

7. You Have Other Job Offers

Fear of losing valuable employees to other companies is a company’s biggest reason to approve raises. So if you feel you’re underpaid and you’ve tested the waters and been offered a more lucrative position elsewhere, that’s a valuable card to play. Don’t be boastful or pushy about it.

8. Staying On Top Of Industry Trends.

Taking a broader look at your industry and understanding the external forces that may be impacting it may help with timing your raise discussion, but it will also help you make good, strategic decisions about your career overall.

9. After Completing A Challenging Or Important Project. 

You are more likely to be considered for a raise because of the work you do, so performing well on a difficult task or a big project is one way to provide support for your argument. You may also request a raise when you have been asked to take on additional responsibilities that do not fall under your job description.

10. When Earn Less Than Others In The Same Role.

You should periodically do some research to find out how much others in your industry or job position are making. And if at any point you realize that you’re being unfairly underpaid, it may be time to request a raise.


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