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how to ask for a raise

By: Cora Gold

Asking for a raise can be nerve-wracking. Some people may think they are unworthy or lack the proper self-esteem. Being confident in your abilities will help you get the promotion, so do your research and bring evidence to support why you deserve the salary boost. Going in feeling secure in your strengths is critical. 

Here are a few tips for managing your self-perception when asking for a raise. 

1. Practice 

Rehearsing what you’re going to say can make you feel more confident. It allows you to refine your request and reflect on your achievements. Try practicing with a trusted friend or family member. This is an excellent chance to get feedback and allow you to get out of your head. You can also rehearse in the mirror or videotape yourself.

Also, make a note when you become more anxious. Identify these moments and the physical symptoms you display, like shakiness. Knowing these triggers can help you practice ways to cope with them effectively. 

2. Try Strategies to Reduce Your Anxiety

If you feel you don’t deserve the raise, you may go in with fear. In this case, you may already expect your manager to tell you something negative. That’s why it’s essential to manage your anxiety so you feel more secure with the outcome. 

As you’re waiting for the meeting to begin, you may start to get sweaty palms, a dry mouth or stomach pains. These physical symptoms are uncomfortable and may be noticeable to your boss. If you seem unsure about your abilities, they may be, as well. 

Therefore, arrive early and take a short walk to redirect your nervous energy. Also, take deep breaths and pause when you need to consider a response. Another strategy is to focus on listening to what your manager is saying. This can allow you to get out of your head and be present in the moment. 

3. Gather Evidence 

You want to list your achievements to show your boss why you deserve the raise. These can include things like leading projects or taking on new responsibilities. See if you can find numerical evidence, such as increasing profit by a certain percent margin. Having this information demonstrates how you have directly impacted the company. 

However, it’s also helpful to see your achievements on paper. This is beneficial for those with a low-self perception who compare themselves to others. Use concrete points to feel more confident about asking for a raise. 

4. Know What You Want 

It’s important to be specific when asking for a raise. Just saying you want more money can lead to ineffective negotiations, so come up with an exact number or salary range. Consider this based on your achievements and unique strengths. Take time to reflect on how you benefit the company and dig into past experiences.

Ask co-workers for their feedback and note any praise you have gotten from your boss. This can help you see your skills from an outside perspective. Also, consider the market. Use salary estimation tools to determine fair compensation. Ask friends in similar roles how much they make, if they’re comfortable sharing. 

5. Consider the Impact on the Company

One way to overcome feelings of unworthiness is to focus on how the raise will bring value to your boss. You can see how your achievements benefit more than just you and let go of insecurities. Would the raise prevent you from leaving and discourage a costly turnover process? Would it encourage you to collaborate more closely with your clients? 

Figure out how you bring value by starting a conversation about your company’s goals. Then tie in how you can contribute to their plans. For example, are they looking to diversify their client portfolio? You could mention how a raise would allow you to travel more to visit different customers. Plus, having this conversation before asking for a raise helps settle your nerves. 

6. Market Your Unique Skills 

Sometimes our self-perception is based on comparing ourselves to others. However, it’s essential to market your unique capabilities. For example, are you a good listener or extremely detail-oriented? Also, highlighting your strong leadership and decision-making skills can impress your employer. Be sure to emphasize hard skills, like graphic design, and soft skills, like public speaking. It’s important to sell yourself to your manager and encourage that promotion. 

It’s also good to have a supportive network of co-workers to help present your case. Find colleagues that can verify your abilities and speak up on your behalf. Just remember, you might need to form this group of people proactively. Many people are self-focused and may not do this naturally. 

7. Consider Your Non-Negotiables  

Think about what you’re not willing to accept. This may seem intimidating at first. However, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about asking for what you need. Remember, you should put your and your family’s needs first, especially if you have multiple children and require a higher salary or more flexibility. 

Feel confident in asking for these things and know your worth. The worst they can say is no, and then you’ll just have to adjust. However, if they agree, focus on doing the best you can and letting go of the guilt. 

8. Use Trusted Friends for Support

Sometimes you need a good friend to lean on. You can share your fears with them and get an outside perspective. This can help calm your nerves and remind you that you’re in control. You can also find others who have asked for a raise. Get their advice and see how they handled their anxiety. They can help you role-play different scenarios. 

Talking with a friend will remind you it’s a natural process many people go through. Remember, it’s about negotiating for money but does not determine your self-worth. It shouldn’t change how you see yourself, whether or not you get the cash. 

9. Figure Out the Best Timing

The best time to ask for a raise is after completing a significant accomplishment. This could include a successful new product launch. You can then use this as direct evidence of why you deserve the promotion. It allows you to have a specific reason for asking, which can quiet down self-doubt. However, just be sure to set up a meeting to discuss the details. 

Don’t just ask your boss in passing. This can catch them off-guard and give you less time to prepare. Also, consider budget cycles so your manager can connect with the financial department. 

When asking for a meeting, don’t use apologetic language. Be confident in your skills and know it’s the right decision. 

How to Successfully Ask for a Raise

Asking for a salary increase is part of advancing with a company. Sometimes organizations have annual reviews to encourage this process. However, others may not, and you need to speak up. Follow these tips to be confident when asking for your well-earned raise.