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The 5 Golden Rules to Asking for a Raise

Published on July 13, 2016 12:00 AM EST
how to get a promotion at work

About to ask for a raise? Here are 5 best practices when asking for a raise.

So you think you’re doing your very best at work? You come first and leave last, you’re always up for a challenge, and you never complain about the workload. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether you are worthy of a work raise and a promotion.  Here are 5 useful tips to keep in mind when you decide to ask for a raise.

Do your research

First off, you should research if you are currently at a salary level that is competitive for your position.  What is the average pay for your current title?  Look at sources such as or Glassdoor. Take a look at possible job openings that include salary ranges, in order to understand how competitive the market is. If you are in a competitive range and your salary meets the upper limits, you might want to consider how your work stands out from the rest. After you’ve done your research, you must keep in mind the timing. Find out when your boss is feeling generous and jump at the occasion. If your company offers raises at certain points in the year,  however, be prepared for a turn down, if you don’t ask at the appropriate moment.

how to get a promotion at work

Update your CV

When preparing to ask for a raise, it’s best to first take stock of your recent accomplishments and projects completed in the last year.  Did you lead an important initiative? Did you increase sales or production levels–if so, be sure to quantify it.  Instead of just stating, “I lead the XYZ project”, state “I was the lead on the XYZ initiative, a priority for our company, which has already lead to a 120% increase in sales and a 80% increase in production which works out to a 500K savings for the company.”  That is much more impressive than just going in cold stating you “deserve” a raise because you’ve been with the company for however many  years.

Have a prepared “why”

Also think about why you want the raise/promotion. Do you want additional responsibilities to grow the company or is it only a “title thing” for you?  Be clear on how and why you want the increase in responsibility–is it in the company’s best interest or just yours?  Think about how to articulate that statement. Take note that this is not the moment to whine about your roles and responsibilities. Commenting on your workload should only occur in a possessive matter and you should expect to be challenged in the future. Sell yourself in a way that will make your employer question why you haven’t received that promotion yet, instead of you asking that question directly.

Practice your “salary elevator speech”

Practice your “salary elevator speech” with a trusted friend that doesn’t work at your company – the last thing you need is to bring in office politics to this situation. You need to be clear, concise and show you have your company’s best interests in mind, while also increasing your stature.  Inviting colleagues from other departments to essentially vouch for your abilities can sometimes be a useful tip.  Just make sure to consult with team leaders and people of higher positions, in order to avoid chaos in the work place.


Ask for feedback

If you don’t get the promotion when you ask for a raise, expect feedback

Asking what you can do to increase your changes of receiving a raise in the future is a must. Show them that you are a team player and a simple “no” will not turn you off from working hard. Collaborate with others and illustrate through your actions that you are the leader they will promote in the future.



What is your best advice when asking for a promotion or raise?

Let us know in the comments!

how to get a promotion at work
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