Asking for a raise is a tiny bit of art and a whole lot of science. Most guides will tell you that there are a few steps you need to take in order to ask for a raise, but they’re wrong. Asking for a raise is a complicated thing. But we’re going to break down exactly what makes a perfect execution of asking (and getting) a raise.
Asking for a raise is going to be easier after you read this guide, but do you actually qualify for one? The most important thing is that your performance merits a raise. You need to be honest with yourself about that. The second important factor is that you’ve been with your company for more than a year. Asking for a raise too quickly after being hired can look bad. Make sure that it’s been a least a year before you bring up this conversation.
Here’s what you should have:
This is the most commonly misunderstood thing about getting a raise, it is usually predetermined in terms of percentages. The average employee receives anywhere from a 6% to 12% gain in compensation when they receive a raise.
Gallup performed a consumer survey and found that 85% of people hate their jobs in the U.S. And 70% are emotionally disconnected from their jobs and careers. Will salary change that for you?
If you feel like 12% isn’t enough to satisfy what you need in terms of income, you might want to consider skipping the conversation about a raise and move towards finding new employment (or asking for a higher paying job internally).
When you ask for a raise, you probably shouldn’t prompt your employer with the percentage that you’re looking for. But if you can explain why you are looking for a raise, that might help. Something like, “I’m moving into a new apartment and it appears as though my rent is going to be higher than it was previously, and I can’t avoid that.”
Our email methods are different than those you’ll see elsewhere. Here’s the true key to ensuring that you get your raise. Before you write your email, sit down, and think about all of the great things you’ve been able to accomplish as well as all of the things you hope to accomplish in the near future. All of these should be company related.
For example, some things that you might have been able to accomplish might be:
Have those written down as we’ll use those for our email.
Whenever asking for a raise, it’s best not to simply ask for more money. Think about it, would you appreciate having someone simply walk up to you and say, “give me more money.” You wouldn’t.
When you ask for a raise, be sure that you are promoting a conversation that you’d like to have with your manager, direct report, or boss. Don’t simply ask for a raise.
Here are some general tips when actively involved in a conversation about compensation:
Explain why you might be looking for a raise, like needing to move out of your apartment and experiencing higher rent than a few years ago.
The worst thing you could do when asking for a raise is to do so with friction. Sure, you might feel like you deserve more money. But instead of coming into the conversation unsettled and ready for battle, try having an open and light-hearted conversation.
Here are some of the mistakes that you want to avoid:
The biggest trick when asking for a raise is to remind your employer about all the great success you’ve shared together. This reinforces the worthiness of a raise. That’s where our “Power Figures” come into play. Be sure that you place them into the template below.
The best email template when asking for a raise:
Dear [Manager] —
As you know, I’ve been with the company for two years now. I’ve really enjoyed working here and have learned so much. Here are a few of the things I’ve been able to accomplish in the past year:
And I hope to continue building on those plus many more. With that, I’d love to have a discussion with you regarding my current compensation package.
When might be the best time to speak with you regarding this?
Thank you so much,
When sending your email you’re going to want to include a fairly simple and straight forward email subject line. Here are some of the best email subject lines appreciated by managers:
This article first appeared on Algrim.co
Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. One of the most popular blog posts he wrote is the phone interview question and answer guide. He writes more articles like this one over at Algrim.co