How to Ask for a Raise

Consider whether you merit a raise and whether your company is in a position to give you one. Then choose your moment and your methods carefully.

1. Evaluate your worth. Make a list of your accomplishments, skills and contributions.

2. Arm yourself with information. Know what a normal raise is for someone of your experience and occupation.

3. Assess your supervisor's mood and outlook. Is he or she ready to consider your request?

4. Choose an appropriate time of day. Make an appointment or ask if there are a few minutes to spare. Plan for an end-of-business-day meeting.

5. Consider asking for a specific amount that's a little higher than what you want. Say 8 percent when you would be happy with 6 percent.

6. Be realistic. If your company is going through tough times but you still feel deserving, decide how you'll respond if a lower amount is offered.

7. Be flexible. Would you consider a supplement in perks, time off, flextime or vacation time in lieu of a raise? Negotiate.

8. If your supervisor turns you down, have a plan ready and regroup.

If you can, print out an outline showing that you're paid less than others in your position according to industry statistics ' but are producing more and better results.

Avoid losing your temper or your sense of humor.

Prepare yourself mentally in case your request is denied. The last thing you need is a bad attitude; by maintaining a positive approach, you will probably get the raise in due time. Plus, keeping a positive approach gives you more job satisfaction.

If you also want a promotion, don't work too hard on one area or else they will keep you there forever because that's your strength. (And you won't get the raise either.)


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