How To Ask For a Raise – and Get It (with Script)

To ask for a raise or not ask for a raise. That is the question.

But we all know closed mouths don’t get fed. Let’s be honest, there’s only so much budgeting and cutting of expenses one can do.

The goal in a working adult’s life is to be able to pay bills and enjoy a few luxuries so let’s not pretend like having more money isn’t awesome 🙂

You see, when it comes to giving raises, every company’s policy is different. For some, your contract will indicate how often and when your raise will occur i.e. every quarter, bi-annual, or after an annual performance review.

Frankly, only a handful of companies have this clearly stipulated in writing, and guess what?

Only those who negotiate properly during their interview achieve this.

So where does this leave you? Well if I’m going to tell you to ask for a raise, it’s only fair that you know how not to ask for a raise first.

How Not to Ask For A Raise:

Money remains a taboo subject for many of us let alone having a conversation with your boss about a raise.

This could be an uncomfortable and not so pleasant experience which is why you don’t want to mess up your moment. Here’s what not to do when you ask for that raise.

1. Give an Ultimatum:

You might be feeling frustrated and underappreciated but this is not an opportunity to march up to your boss and say, “I need a raise and I’m leaving if I don’t get a raise within _______ time frame”.

Even if you said that, be ready to leave and make sure you actually have another job lined up.

The worst thing that can happen is not following through your ‘mini-threat’ and with a request like that, I don’t think you’ll be getting a raise.

2. Bring Up Your Coworker’s Salary:

It’s no secret that employers do not want employees discussing their salaries and there’s a good explanation for why.

Some employees are hired during or after a recession, others got hired with a bachelor’s, master’s degree and varied experiences or at a time when the company was financially buoyant.

Asking for a raise is not the perfect time to throw your co workers under the bus because you may have stumbled on their salary or they casually informed you during a private conversation.

Don’t use that information as your ammunition. Read on to find out a better way.

3. Ask for an Absurd Amount:

Almost everyone thinks they are worth more money. On average, an employee’s raise is usually about 3% of their salary while the best performers get give or take between 4-5% depending on the industry.

This means you can’t ask for a million dollars. Your request for a raise needs to be a reasonable percentage of your salary. Be reasonable.

4. Ask at the Wrong Time:

If your co workers are getting fired to help the company reduce costs or you are getting emails for ideas on how to reduce costs, or your boss informs you that the company isn’t doing well, then you know it’s not the right time to ask for a raise.

You could stay with a company if there’s a recession because most likely, you won’t be able to find anything else.

If the layoff is company specific, maybe it is time to be proactive and start looking for another job.

5. Bring up Your Personal Milestones:

Did you have a baby? Bought a home recently? Congratulations! But this shouldn’t be the reason why you’re asking for a raise.

Even though these are achievements that require more money these are your personal milestones.

Your raise is tied to your performance at work and has nothing to do with your personal life. So keep the focus on your professional achievements.

How to Ask For A Raise:

Before you ask for a raise, you need to start laying the groundwork and I’ve curated these tips to guide you along the way.

1. Keep Track:

How valuable are you? How have you proven to be valuable lately? Was there a time you went above and beyond your duties?

A raise means getting extra. Have you done anything extra lately?

Did you learn a new skill that has been beneficial to the company? Sure, you’re a good employee but are you keeping a record of all of your accomplishments in the office?

The moment you start working at a new job, create a folder and label it “Bragging Rights“.

Document your accomplishments as you work. It is the perfect and more suitable way to make your case because you’d be coming with facts and numbers to make a stronger case for yourself.

2. Know Your Worth:

You’ll need to do your research so you’re armed with the facts of your position when you have the conversation with your boss.

It used to be extremely difficult to know what other employees were getting paid for the same work in different companies.

But it’s 2018- an era of transparency. With various tools like Payscale and Glassdoor to help you compare salaries for similarly situated positions, there is no reason to not do the research.

3. Be Professional:

Being professional doesn’t mean being uptight or always serious. It simply means your general character at work. Are you always late to work?

Do you complete your projects on time or do you wait to be constantly reminded of what you need to do? Are you a team player?

Are you a cheerful and positive person to have around or do you have a belligerent attitude?

4. Update Your Resume:

You need to have a great resume because you could either ask for a raise and be: denied, approved or told to wait a while.

If the outcome of your request is not favorable to you, you need to be ready to take the next steps.

If you’re still nervous about meeting with your boss to ask for a raise, here is a script you can tailor to suit your position.

Asking For a Raise (Script):

Hello ________,

I’d like us to have a discussion about my salary. It’s has been a year and half since my last raise and in that time, I have taken on additional responsibilities.

I have not only worked overtime since Ken quit abruptly and Simone was out sick for a month, but I’ve also trained and managed the new employee, Chris, to ensure that he fits into our customer service department properly.

In our last meeting, you mentioned that we’ve achieved a 90% satisfaction rating from our customers which is a 15% point increase from a year ago and I was rated a 5 star by all our customers when they were surveyed anonymously. 

I have also scored 95% in my call monitoring weekly evaluations and have not received any negative feedback from the assistant manager. 

Can we discuss increasing my salary to reflect the contributions I’ve made within the department and the company overall?


If you’ve been patient, proved your value, and nothing has worked, then it might be time to find another job. Have you asked for a raise recently? How did the conversation go? Share what worked for you below.

About Ogechi

Hello, I'm Linda Ogechi. I'm a financial educator, real estate investor, and founder of OneSavvyDollar. I write to empower you into saving more, paying off debt, increasing your net worth, and building real wealth so you can achieve financial freedom

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