It’s a common question, “When’s the best time to ask for a raise?” But when most employees think of this question, they are thinking, “When’s the best time for me to ask for a raise?”
Let this set in, the best time to ask for a raise is when the company is in the position for you to ask for it. Asking for a raise is something you’ll have to do in your career. But the key is knowing when to do it. And ensuring that it coincides with what’s “on the plate” for the company at that time. Here are some of the worst times to ask for a raise.
It might seem obvious, but for many, it’s not. If you know the company is experiencing financial trouble, don’t ask for a raise. This will make you appear selfish and unfaithful to the business. Your executive leadership will communicate when the business is undergoing stress. If you don’t hear it from them, you’ll more than likely read about your sector in news publications. Wait out the storm.
When executive team members are meeting to plan out a new year, usually at the end of the existing year, this is a terrible time to ask for a raise. It might seem apparent to do so, as they might be discussing budgets for the new year. But it is not. It adds pressure to your management and that can again, make you appear selfish.
This is another scenario where it might feel right but isn’t. Your team crossed a major milestone and the business is seeing the fruits of your labors. Right afterward you feel as though you should be rewarded. So your request to sit down with your manager to discuss your compensation. This is a terrible time. When you cross a major milestone, this should be a normal day. You shouldn’t feel the need to request additional compensation whenever you achieve greatness in the workplace. When your request for the raise is too close to the milestone, that’s how it will be perceived.
This feels competitive and slightly abusive toward your leadership. If you know that one of your colleagues got a raise, it doesn’t mean that you should be requesting to get one as well. Your colleague could have been with the company for a longer period of time. Or that professional and their manager could have come to an agreement about additional responsibilities he or she is taking on. Even if you don’t bring up this “insider” information that you have during the request to sit down with your supervisor or manager, they will know it coincides too closely to your colleague receiving a raise and you not having good enough reasoning for requesting one.
While these are just some of the worst times to ask for a raise, many job seekers and employees should recognize that these are also horrible times to write a resignation letter and submit your formal resignation.