When’s the right time to ask for a raise?

When’s the right time to ask for a raise?

Many people don’t ask for a raise because it makes them feel awkward and uncomfortable. However, as a conscientious and motivated worker who is consistently making budget and/or meeting deadlines, it’s important to get recognition for dedication and work done well. While timing is an essential factor, it’s necessary to plan out how to ask for a raise that reflects performance and dedication in the workplace.

Reasons to request a salary increase

The typical period between salary increases is one year, but just because that’s the rule doesn’t mean staff can’t ask sooner. It’s essential that the pay rate reflects the excellent contribution all workers make to the company. Consider the following circumstances:

  • The original job description

Sometimes, staff end up taking on extra responsibilities or daily duties may increase throughout the year. The workload might increase, including longer hours and a more stressful, demanding role, or a worker may now be in a leadership position managing other staff members. These are prime examples of a role changing from the original job description.

  • Continuously over-performing

Being in a role for a while should accumulate examples of accomplishments or contributions made to the company. If this is the case, there’s a good possibility the boss might agree to that pay raise request. Search back through old daily planners for specific examples of doing more than required so there are concrete examples to present when making a proposal for a pay increase.

  • A big accomplishment

Finalizing a big deal or landing a new client are huge accomplishments that make ideal reasons to ask for a pay raise. Take advantage of the momentum the recent success brings and capitalize on this opportunity to ask for a salary increase.

When to negotiate a salary increase

Timing is everything. From the boss’s mood to the time of day, time the proposal right to ensure a positive outcome. It’s best to wait until mid-week to ask for a raise as earlier weekdays are notoriously tense. Office morale is also typically higher in the mornings, so early discussions could lead to a positive result. Perhaps wait until the boss has had morning coffee first though.

Time and day of the week aside, it’s also essential to consider the company’s financial situation and workload. Employers will consider pay rise requests from a business/numbers perspective in conjunction with staff performance. If the company has had a big win or a string of successes, it’s time to ride this wave. Don’t wait for your annual review to ask for a well-deserved raise, either. Make sure to raise the issue at least three months before so your boss has time to cut through red tape and factor it into his/her budget for the upcoming year.

How to present a salary increase proposal

Before applying for a salary increase, prepare the proposal and gather supporting evidence to back up every example. Get a notepad to prepare key points, then rehearse the pitch to make sure it’s familiar. Make sure to include the significant reasons supporting the request for a raise. Don’t bring in too much personal information, but keep it focused on the job, performance level, and when and how you go above and beyond the original job description.

Use real examples of differences made in the company. Show how you met deadlines, reached goals, and made or saved the company money. Demonstrate that top-performing employees are too valuable to lose and are worth that pay raise.

It’s vital not to give any ultimatums, as this can lead to losing the job. While being assertive and confident is important when asking for a pay raise, don’t appear harsh, rude, or demanding. Therefore, it’s crucial that negotiation tactics avoid demanding phrases such as “I need a raise” or “Give me a raise, or else”.

Being prepared and knowing when and how to ask for a raise can make the difference in achieving a positive outcome. Be confident, but not pushy, and present all points logically to make a brilliant case for receiving that pay raise.