Adriana Herrera, PayDestiny Founder

This article helps you learn How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss. Get scripts and steps to maximize your pay. If you want to jump to examples of what to say to ask for a raise click here.

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Scripts & Steps)

by | Last updated Sep 25, 2022

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Icon)

Are you wondering how to ask for a raise from your boss?

If so, you’re not alone! Asking for a raise can be nerve-wracking. You want to make sure that you come across as confident and credible, but also personable and interested in the company’s success.

Luckily, this article will give you all the steps you need to ask for a raise from your boss in a way that is both professional and beneficial for everyone involved. You’ll also get suggested scripts that can help you successfully ask for a raise.

After reading this article, you will know exactly how much of a raise to ask for after one year and what factors to consider when making your request. You will feel prepared and ready to discuss salary with your boss.

If you’re ready to learn how to ask for a raise from your boss then keep reading!

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Icon)

How to ask for a raise from your boss (Optimize the timing of your ask)

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Optimize the timing of your ask)

The timing of when you ask your boss for a raise is just as important as how you ask your boss for a raise. Prior to asking your boss for a raise ask yourself two questions:
  • Why am I asking for a raise?
  • Am I hitting my goals?

Why am I asking for a raise?

There are several reasons you may want to ask for a raise. Common reasons include you:
  • Discover you’re underpaid compared to colleagues who hold the same position as you and who have the same skills and outcomes
  • Get new job duties
  • Are consistently surpassing goals
  • Represent your company within your industry at conferences and events
  • Want a cost of living increase
  • Need more money because your bills exceed your income
It is reasonable to ask for a raise for all the reasons above except the very last one. Your personal expenses have nothing to do with the company and what it pays you to perform your job duties and responsibilities. Needing more money because you’re not making enough to cover your bills is not a reason to ask for a raise from your boss. It is however a reason to build your skills to get promoted to a higher paying position and/or to switch job tracks and enter a career with a higher earning potential.

Am I hitting my goals?

Prior to asking your boss for a raise you want to take an honest look at how you are performing. Is your performance poor, good, great, or excellent?

Regardless of the reason you ask for a raise your boss will consider your request alongside your performance.

Let’s walk through a few examples:

  • Example 1: You have been consistently exceeding goals and have been trusted with new job duties as a result. In this scenario you are in an excellent position to ask for a raise and get one.
  • Example 2: You have mastered your job description and are consistently surpassing goals. In this scenario you are in a good position to ask for a raise and get one.
  • Example 3: You discover you are underpaid compared to colleagues who hold the same position as you and who have the same skills and outcomes as you. You consistently hit goals or surpass them. Your performance is great. In this scenario you are in an excellent position to ask for a salary adjustment, to bring you up to equitable pay, and a merit raise to reward/compensate you for your performance. You are in a great position to be granted both.
  • Example 4: You discover you are underpaid compared to colleagues who hold the same position as you and who have the same skills and experience. Your performance is poor compared to theirs.
    • In this scenario you are in a tricky position. If skills and experience level are equal between you and your colleagues you should be given a salary adjustment to ensure you are paid equitably (because you bring the same value to the table).
    • However, due to your poor performance your employer can say that they earn more because they outperform you (which is improbable since base pay is determined prior to beginning work). In this scenario you are in a bad position to ask for a salary adjustment or a pay raise. If your performance is really poor, asking for a raise can draw attention to your poor performance. This can result in being placed on probation or even let go.

To increase the likelihood of getting a merit raise, which is different than a salary adjustment when underpaid, you want to optimize the timing of your pay raise ask for a time when you:

  • Demonstrate mastery of your job description which is reflected in consistent good, great, and excellent outcomes, and/or
  • Are consistently hitting goals, and/or
  • Are consistently surpassing goals, and/or
  • Have been trusted with new responsibilities

To further increase the likelihood of getting a raise you want to get your boss invested in your success before you ask them for a raise.

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Get your boss invested in your success)

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Get your boss invested in your success)

The best way to ask for a raise from your boss is to not have to ask for a raise because you’ve gotten your boss invested in your success to the point that they:

 

  • Know you want to grow with the company
  • Know your professional goals and give you feedback to help achieve your goals
  • Are aware of your performance and achievements
  • Recognize your value and grant you merit pay raises to retain you

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Steps to Get Your Boss Invested in Your Success)

At this point you may now be wondering, “How do I get my boss invested in my success?” Here’s how you do it step-by-step:

  • Set a meeting at least 3 months prior to when you want to ask for a raise and at a time you are performing well/hitting goals
  • Let your boss know you want to meet to discuss your growth within the company
  • Prepare a list of your quantified achievements as they relate to your job duties and responsibilities
  • In your meeting share your short-term and long-term career goals and clearly communicate you want to grow within the company, go over your job description, and quantified achievements to-date
  • Ask for feedback on your performance, ask if you’re correctly measuring your success in your role, ask what metrics demonstrate success in your role, and ask what metrics and actions demonstrate you’re ready for the next step with the company
  • Follow up on the meeting with an email to thank your boss for taking the time to discuss your growth goals and for sharing feedback on your performance, in the email confirm the feedback your boss gave you and the metrics discussed that demonstrate success
  • Consistently yet casually send your boss an email every other Friday with an update on how you’ve applied their feedback, how it helped you, and how it improved your outcomes (be sure to include metrics that demonstrate success)

At least three months before you ask for a raise you want to run this process. When you run this process you clearly communicate:

  • You want to grow within the company
  • What you’ve achieved
  • The progress you’ve made
  • The success you’re having as it relates to your job duties and responsibilities and how you listened and applied feedback to improve

Consistently showing mastery of your duties and responsibilities and running the process above gets your boss invested in your success.

Tip: Best Day of the Week to Ask for a Raise

Monday morning is the worst day to meet with your boss to ask for a raise. At the beginning of the week people are more diligent in their duties and harder to persuade. In addition, your boss may be:

  • Tired from the weekend
  • Stressed about things they have to do during the week
  • Uncaffeinated (even cranky) waiting for their coffee to kick in

The best days to meet with your boss to ask for a raise are Thursday and Friday in the late morning (after they’ve taken care of emails and had their morning coffee) or early afternoon. This is because when the weekend approaches:

 

  • People lose a little of the “hustle hard” mentality
  • People relax making them more open to be helpful and persuaded

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Scripts and Steps)

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Scripts and Steps)

When you correctly run the process above, it’s very likely your boss will grant you a merit raise without you directly asking for one. When you receive your raise make sure the dollar amount (and other perks included with your raise) reflect what the market is paying for someone with your skills and experience. If it does not ask if the raise is negotiable and then negotiate for higher pay.

If you find that you need to directly ask for a raise below are steps to help you do so. The steps below assume you have run the process above to get your boss invested in your success.

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss (Steps)

  • Make an updated list of your quantified achievements for the last year
  • Research what company’s in your market at a similar stage as your company are paying someone with your skills and experience to complete the duties and responsibilities of your job
  • Get negotiation leverage such as a job offer from another company, only use your leverage and share that you received a job offer from another company if you are willing to accept the other job offer
  • Decide on a specific pay raise goal you want to be granted based on your market research, contributions to your company, and other job offer
  • Send an email to your boss requesting a meeting to assess your progress since your last meeting and clearly state you want to discuss your compensation
  • In your meeting express gratitude to your boss for meeting with you, remind your boss of your goals to grow within the company, present an updated list of your quantified achievements, share that you received a job offer from another company, clearly communicate (again) you want to grow within the company, and ask if the company is open to grant you a merit pay raise to bring your compensation up to market pay

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss Script (Example 1)

“Thank you for meeting with me today! I appreciate your time.

 

As you know it’s my goal to [INSERT].

 

When we last met on [INSERT DATE] you said I needed to work on [INSERT].

 

Since then I have [INSERT] which has [INSERT].

 

This is in addition to [INSERT LIST OF QUANTIFIED ACHIEVEMENTS THAT CLEARLY COMMUNICATE YOUR VALUE TO THE COMPANY].

 

I recently received a job offer from another company. The position offers me more than I am currently making and [INSERT OTHER PERKS OF THE JOB SUCH AS CAREER ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES].

 

I would like to respectfully ask for a merit raise that reflects what the market is paying for someone with my skills, experience, and track record of success and [INSERT AND OTHER PERKS OF THE JOB SUCH AS CAREER ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES].

 

Is the company open to granting me a merit raise?”

In the script above you:

  • Express gratitude
  • Are not demanding
  • Present your value to the company
  • Present salary negotiation leverage
  • Do not state the base pay the other company is offering you in order to avoid setting a negotiation anchor 
  • Ask for a merit raise raise but intentionally do not provide a specific value at this time in order to prevent setting an anchor
  • Make a respectful specific ask for other perks and career advancement opportunities
  • Open the door to a salary negotiation in which you use your market research and job offer to negotiate a higher raise

Being a valued team member and having another job offer gives you significant salary negotiation leverage. If you don’t have another job offer it is still possible to make a strong ask for a pay raise.

Below is an example script of how to ask for a raise from your boss when you don’t have a job offer from another company to use as salary negotiation leverage.

How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss Script (Example 2)

“Thank you for meeting with me today! I appreciate your time.

 

As you know it’s my goal to [INSERT].

 

When we last met on [INSERT DATE] you said I needed to work on [INSERT].

 

Since then I have [INSERT] which has [INSERT].

 

This is in addition to [INSERT LIST OF QUANTIFIED ACHIEVEMENTS THAT CLEARLY COMMUNICATE YOUR VALUE TO THE COMPANY].

 

I would like to respectfully ask for a merit raise that reflects what the market is paying for someone with my skills, experience, and track record of success and [INSERT AND OTHER PERKS OF THE JOB SUCH AS CAREER ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES].

 

Is the company open to granting me a merit raise?”

Variables that can impact your boss’s decision to grant you a pay raise and the amount of your pay raise include:

 

  • Budget available
  • How clearly you communicated your achievements and their value to the company
  • How hard it would be to find someone with your expertise and/or specialties to replace you if you leave the company
  • How important your role is to the company
  • If you’re authentically appreciative, professional, and polite versus arrogant and demanding
  • The company’s standardized pay raise practices (or the lack thereof)
  • The cost to give you the pay raise you ask for versus the cost of losing you to another company and having to hire and train someone else to be as productive as you
  • Their direct and implicit bias
  • Their rapport with you
  • Their personality (are they professional or will they take it personal if you have another job offer)
  • What they perceive the market is paying

How Much of a Raise Should I Ask for After 1 Year

How Much of a Raise Should I Ask for After 1 Year | How to Ask for a Raise from Your Boss

In our article What percent is a good raise? we shared data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stating that the “average salary increase from September 2020 and September 2021 was 3.73%.” The pay raise breakdown for the time period is as follows:

  • 4.2% for civilian workers
  • 4.6% for private industry workers
  • 2.4% for state and local government workers

When you’ve mastered your job description and are consistently hitting and surpassing goals it’s unlikely that a 2.4% – 4.6% pay raise will sit well with you.

On average an employee that leaves their company to perform the same or similar job duties at another company will increase their pay by 10 – 20%.

The average pay raise amounts for September 2020 and September 2021 are minimal compared to a pay increase someone experiences when they job hop.

So why is this relevant to answering the question “How much of a raise should I ask for after 1 year?”

Well, losing great employees that seek equitable compensation based on what the market is paying for their skills and experience costs companies millions of dollars.

It can cost as much as nine months of a productive employee’s annual salary to hire and train a replacement (to get to an equal level of productivity). The average 100 person company loses between $660,000.00 – $2.6 Million in operational profit replacing employees that voluntarily quit to move to a company where they will earn an average of 10 – 20% more performing the same job duties.

As a result, employers are becoming more generous with pay raises and their openness to negotiate a pay raise.

How Much of a Raise Should I Ask for After 1 Year (Variables)

Variables that go into how much of a pay raise you should ask for after one year of employment include:

  • If you are equitably paid compared to colleagues in the same role with the same level of experience and same skill set producing the same outcomes
  • Your contributions to the company
  • Your level of performance throughout the year (i.e. poor, good, great, excellent)
  • What companies in your market at the same stage as your company are paying someone with your experience to perform similar job duties

Let’s walk through an example…

How Much of a Raise Should I Ask for After 1 Year (Example)

Let’s say you were hired with a base pay of $60,000.00. When you accepted your offer you made the mistake of not confirming if the offer was equitable resulting in you being underpaid by $8,000.00 compared to other new hires who started at a base pay of $68,000.00 annually.

You research what companies at the same stage as your company and in the same market are paying people with your skills to perform your job’s duties and responsibilities. Your research concludes that on average a person with one year of experience in your position should earn $73,650.00.

This results in you needing a minimum:

  • Salary adjustment of $8,000.00 to get to a equitable pay level (you could also seek back pay, be aware that if you choose to seek back pay for the year there are additional implications), and
  • Pay raise of $5,650.00, or 8.3%, to reflect what the market is paying someone with one year of experience (it’s important to note the $5,650.00 is based off a equitable base pay of $68,000.00)

In this scenario a fair and equitable salary adjustment and annual pay raise based on what the market is paying would be $13,650.00.

What this amount doesn’t account for is the value contributed to the company. This is where keeping a weekly log of your quantified achievements comes in to help you. The pay raise of $5,650.00 can be increased by presenting how value was added to the company.

Below are a few quantified achievement statement examples. The examples demonstrate how to clearly communicate value contributed to the company in a way that supports asking for more than $13,650.00:

 

  • “I saved the department $118,000.00 in operational costs by increasing efficiency by 32% by building workflows that automated manual tasks.”
  • “I increased client happiness by 15% resulting in clients expanding their budgets. This brought in an additional $302,420.00. I did this by creating a system to personalize follow up based on the company’s goals, objectives, and the client’s personality.”
  • “I saved us $23,000.00 by ending subscriptions with software companies we weren’t using by sending the team a survey that listed our tools, asking which ones they use, and discovering several tools weren’t being used at all.”

As demonstrated in the example above, how much of a raise you ask for after one year is dependent on is your base pay is equitable, doing market research, knowing what the market is paying, and your value to the company.

How to Ask for a Raise From Your Boss (FAQs)

How to Ask for a Raise From Your Boss Script (FAQs)

How to ask for a raise from your boss (FAQs):

How do you politely ask your boss for a raise?

To politely ask your boss for a raise, start by researching what companies at a similar stage as your company and in the same market as your company are paying for someone with your skills and experience to complete the duties and responsibilities of the job.

Then, use your research to set a specific dollar value pay raise goal you want to be granted.

Schedule time to meet with your boss. Start your meeting by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to work at the company and share your goals to grow within the company.

Explain why you deserve a raise by sharing your quantified achievements and how they’ve positively impacted the company.

Politely request a pay raise that reflects what the market is paying for your skills, experience, and track record of success.

Finally, be prepared to negotiate a pay raise if your boss doesn’t immediately agree to give you a raise.

By following these steps, you’ll increase your chances of getting the salary increase you deserve.

How do you professionally say I need a raise?

Here is a script to professionally say I need a raise…

“I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me today!

 

It’s my goal to grow with the company. I have worked hard to master my job duties and responsibilities.

 

They are to [INSERT JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES].

 

To-date I have [INSERT LIST OF QUANTIFIED ACHIEVEMENTS THAT CLEARLY COMMUNICATE YOUR VALUE TO THE COMPANY].

 

I would like to respectfully ask for a pay raise that reflects what the market is paying for my experience and [INSERT AND OTHER PERKS OF THE JOB SUCH AS CAREER ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES].

 

Is this a possibility?”

Questions? Leave a Comment.

Now, I’d like to hear from you!

Did it surprise you to learn that the process to successfully ask your boss for a raise starts at least three months before you want to ask for a raise? Did anything else stand out to you?

Let me know in the comment section below.

Also, please feel free to share this article so other people can use the information to successfully ask their boss for a raise! Thank you!

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