Advice » Salary & Benefits» Negotiation Tips » Ask for the Raise You Want
Ask for the Raise You Want

Ask for the Raise You Want

You want a raise. Whether your performance review is around the corner or you've taken on new responsibilities over the past few months, chances are the thought of asking for a raise makes you nervous. "Even the strongest person becomes mush when the topic turns to raises," says Sharon Koss, a principal with Seattle-based human resources and compensation consulting firm Koss Management Consulting. "Just remember that your boss will also be uncomfortable talking about it with you."

Planning is the key to effectively asking for a raise. Long before you even head to the negotiation table, you should be laying the groundwork for a bigger paycheck.

  • Leverage Your Skills: "You could be the organization's PowerPoint guru or possess some skill that everyone comes to you for help with," Koss says.
  • Increase Your Visibility: Volunteer for projects or committees outside of your scope of work, she says. "What you are effectively doing is running a marketing campaign for yourself. You want to make sure you've got visibility with people other than your boss."
  • Keep an Accomplishment Log: Keep complimentary letters from customers or managers, note extra projects you take on, when you stay late at the office, classes you take, new skills you've acquired and any other positive accomplishments you achieve.

Go for Gold

A performance review is a good opportunity to see if you're on a scheduled raise system. Any time you've taken on new roles but the company never coughed up extra compensation can be an icebreaker. Set up a private meeting with your boss to approach the topic.

Your job is to sell your boss on your achievements. To help you do this, take your achievement log and write out a script before the meeting. "A script will help you feel comfortable that you can objectively prove your worth to the organization," Koss says.

However, companies often have policies that dictate specific raises at certain times. "If a company's policy is to give annual raises, it's hard to get an exception to the rule," says Koss. "Usually decisions come from senior management, and your boss won't have any latitude to go outside the company's policy."

Less Than Desirable

If you do get a raise but it's much lower than what you expected, take a step back and wait a couple of days to gain objectivity. "The average person usually can't step aside from his or her emotions," says Koss. "Also, your manager may go on the defensive if you ask for a larger raise during your review."

Approach your boss after the review and ask for a follow-up meeting. Consider these tips:

  • Have an Amount in Mind: "If your manager asks you what raise you have in mind, you don't want to gasp and go blank," Koss says.
  • Be Reasonable: "If you were offered a 3 percent raise, you can't ask for 7 percent -- it just won't happen," she says.
  • Use an "I" Message: "If you got a 3 percent raise but want a 5 percent raise, say, 'I've accomplished XYZ, I possess XYZ skills, I put in extra time at the office and I'm a bit disappointed with the raise,'" says Koss. "Be sure to use an 'I' message rather than a 'you' message. It sounds less accusatory."
  • Don't Threaten to Leave: Threats work against you, because they can put you on the slow track for in-house career opportunities. "It also may put you on top of the layoff list," warns Koss.
  • Be Professional: Don't tell your boss that you heard another coworker received a higher raise than you. "Talking about what someone else received really tends to turn a boss off," Koss says.
  • If You Still Get Turned Down? "I'd nicely ask why," Koss suggests. "You deserve an explanation."
  • Ask for a Follow-Up: If the reason is financial on the company's end, ask your boss to touch base in six months. "But if you didn't get a higher raise because of your attendance or lack of skills, ask your boss if he'll reconsider things in six months, after you've improved in those areas," says Koss.

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/29/2015
US HDQ-Herndon, VA, VA, 20171
Posted: 05/29/2015
US HDQ-Herndon, VA, VA, 20171
Netsource, Inc.
Posted: 05/29/2015
San Francisco, CA, 94111
Autel - MaxAero
Posted: 05/29/2015
Farmingdale, NY, 11735
Posted: 05/29/2015
Minnetonka, MN, 55343

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-214