How to ask for a raise in a professional way

Asking for a raise can be a nervous and uncomfortable conversation with your employer, but it is essential for your continued growth in your career and financial goals. This conversation should not be dismissed or shied away from but brought forward and discussed at the right time.


Below are some tips that will help you have a professional and open conversation with your manager or direct supervisor in a constructive manner.

1. Be Prepared (Reasoning and Research)


The preparation work for this conversation can be broken down into a few factors. Starting off with the obvious, the reasoning behind you requesting a raise. It must have some support and backing behind it, it cannot simply be “I work hard” or “I deserve it”.


Providing some background information or research to the manner will pay you great dividends and will get you on the right path for the conversation. This research should include searching on LinkedIn, Indeed and other social media networks to compare your current experience, job title and responsibilities and the going market rate.


For example:


An entry level position completing simple entry level responsibilities is placed at $16/hour ($32,000/year roughly).  Compared to an entry level position completing intermediate level responsibilities is placed at $16/hour ($32,000/year roughly).


A company could be offering the same salary/wages for a very similar position. As an employee, you need to know what the industry standard is for your type of role and reflect on your overall output of work.


Remember, not every situation and company are the same. An entry level role can have more responsibilities to prepare the employee for the next role earlier on. Don’t judge a position just on the money, but also consider the overall career growth and potential.


Once your research is complete, organizing your notes and knowledge into a few short sentences is critical. You don’t want to overwhelm your manager with too much information


2. Timing is everything


Approaching this subject at the right time is extremely important to consider.  Asking for a raise or increase at the wrong time can come off rude or unprofessional.


When to Avoid:

  • Too early (first week, month etc.) This will come off very sudden and strange, your employer will question your long-term motivations and if granted your request will be more critical on a small sample size of your work.
  • An extremely busy or stressful time for the team/organization.


Good Timing:

  • Asking for a raise on a high is always a great time, if you have been performing at a high level your employer will have a high opinion of your work and will be more likely to sit and chat at that time.
  • A working milestone, your 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc.


3. What to say and how to say it


With your reasoning, research and timing all put into place, the only thing left to do is to put everything into action.  But simply opening the conversation with “I want a raise” is not the way to do it. Depending on your personal preference, here are a few methods.


  • Sending a well written and professional email stating your request and possible times do have the conversation. A simple sample email can be seen below:


“Subject Line: Performance and Salary Review Request 


Good Morning/Afternoon (manger/supervisor name),


I hope all is well, I would like to set up a day and time for us to sit down and look at my overall performance and salary through this past (year/6 months etc).


I want to ensure my continued growth in the company and to make sure my performance is up to standards of the company.


Let me know if you are free (insert day and time) next week, Tuesday 1:00pm for 30 minutes to 1 hour) or let me know a time that works best for you, and I will fit it in my schedule.


Looking forward to speaking with you more.




(insert signature Sincerely/Best Regards)


(insert first and last name)”


  • A quick office pop in-person (below is a sample conversation starter):


“Hey (manger/supervisor name),


I would like to schedule a day and time to sit down with you and have a performance and salary review.

As it is my (6 months or 1 year) at the company.


Let me know if you have time this (insert week) if not let me know when you are free!”


4. What to say in the conversation


It is important to remember to have your reason stated first in the meeting/conversation. Your reason can be simple, stating you have been there for (6 months, 1 year etc.) and would like your salary to reflect not only your personal growth but the growth in the company.


Be open and honest with your supervisor, if you recognize that there is not salary growth plan ask if both can create one together and ask if the company has one put in place. Creating a structured plan will continue your growth in the company and will help ensure that your motivations with your company are driven by loyalty.


Being prepared for how the conversation is going is critical, explain your reasoning but listen to what the other party is saying closely. This is an open conversation and should not be one sided for you to explain all the research you’ve done. Be ready to answer questions from your employer, a few simple examples can be listed below.


  1. Why would you like an increase in salary/hourly wage?
  2. Where are you getting these numbers? (if you give a number you would like to increase too)
  3. How about we have a proper review in 3 months?


Make sure your research reflects and answers these questions honestly. Not just with “that’s the going industry wage of my job”. Explain how your responsibilities in your current role reflect job opportunities at similar companies.


Asking for a raise shouldn’t be an awkward conversation if it is done with research, reasoning, honestly and professionalism. Being prepared for an open conversation and answering any questions that come your way. Make sure the time is right and that your performance should speak for itself.  And with these tips, it should help you build the confidence and knowledge you need to ask for a raise in a professional way.


Contact us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you find new opportunities for the next step in your career!


Photo Credits: Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

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