Asking for a Raise Like a Pro

You’ve worked for your company for a while, and you’re ready to request a bump in pay. But asking for a raise isn’t a simple conversation. You may feel your accomplishments speak for themselves, and it’s obvious that you deserve to earn more. But your manager may not have the same view. You'll need to prepare and approach the subject with your manager in a professional manner to increase your chances of successfully negotiating a raise.

Here are some ways to go about asking for a raise:

Consider your contributions to the company

Before asking for a raise, think about things from your manager’s point of view. What have you done to earn additional compensation? Have you launched any new initiatives or programs? Developed innovative solutions for company problems? Worked to increase morale and employee retention? Document your achievements so you can enter the conversation with tangible evidence of your worth to the company.

Research a reasonable salary range

Consult a reputable resource, such as the 2014 Salary Guide from Robert Half or the online Salary Calculator, to gain insight on typical salaries for accounting and finance professionals who hold your same position and work in the same city. When you ask for a raise, specify a range instead of a specific dollar amount or percentage increase. This strategy demonstrates your flexibility and may make it easier for your manager to grant your request.

Meet face to face

When asking for a raise, don’t contact your boss by email or phone. Schedule an in-person conversation and be upfront about your reason for wanting to meet. That way, your boss won't be caught off guard when the two of you sit down to discuss your salary.

Have a strong pitch

Prepare a strong yet concise pitch supported by specific accomplishments and the salary research you conducted. Plan your key points beforehand so you relay clear information.

Avoid going into personal details

Leave out specifics about why you need a larger salary, such as wanting to travel or buy a new car. Focus instead on why you feel you have earned more money. Sob stories or changes in your standard of living are irrelevant when asking for a raise. 

Keep your emotions in check

There is always a chance that your boss will turn you down. If this happens, don't get angry and walk out of the office or threaten to quit. Instead, ask your supervisor what else you need to do to earn the salary you think you deserve. Once you know your goal, you can start formulating a plan — ideally with your manager’s input and support — to achieve it.

As the economy continues to improve, many employers are becoming more open to negotiating salaries with top candidates. The more prepared you are when asking for a raise, the more likely you are to succeed at getting it. 

Want more insight into asking for a raise? Check out our humorous “Don’t Let This Happen to You” video series for examples of what not to do.