Should I Ask for a Raise?
It’s one of the most difficult questions to ask yourself professionally: Should I ask for a raise? Whether you think you’re underpaid or are just looking for some recognition, consider the following tips before asking your boss to pony up.
By Jonathan Hackman
When to ask?
This is the most important step in considering how to ask for a raise. What is the financial status of your company? If you’re part of a small organization that’s struggling to stay afloat, asking for a raise can seem insensitive, selfish, and shows signs of incompetence. Be aware of the atmosphere around you, and always ask after a organizational success. Did you or your boss just finish a major account or project? Ride the emotional high of a success and vice versa. Timing is everything. Note: Don’t ask your competing coworkers, “Should I ask for a raise?” They may take your cue and ask for one for themselves, which means less money to divvy out to you.
Where do you stand?
Be honest with your self evaluation. Ask yourself: How vital is my role in the organization? Have I had several recent successes? How am I compensated compared to industry averages? If the writing on the wall reads raise, then you have every right to ask and do so with confidence.
What ammunition are you bringing?
The final step before asking is preparing yourself to ask. Do a dry run. Put together a list of pros and cons. You know your boss, so what would he or she say? Be ready to state your case concisely and with passion. If the timing is right and you know where you stand, then you’re beyond asking should I ask for a raise—it’s yours. Load the chambers and go get it.