Climbing the Ranks - June 9,20140 comments

How and When to Ask for a Raise

Ready to speak up for what you want? Asking for money is never an easy thing to do — and it may be especially awkward at work. If you’ve been going above and beyond, or you realize you’re making less than the average employee in your position, it’s time to ask for a raise. Once you decide to talk to your employer, start considering your reasons you feel a raise is deserved. The more prepared you are going in, the easier the conversation will be.

Here are some tips for asking for a raise we think are helpful.

Do Your Homework

Before ever speaking with your boss, research the market value of your position and figure out what others in your position with similar levels of education and experience typically are paid, and where your salary falls in relation. Look for what companies typically pay, not what you need to survive on.

At Perkins Professional Search (PPS) we have extensive experience in wage negotiation and keep current on salary trends. We can be of great value to you during your career search and can help guide you towards the salary you should be paid. We also suggest using online tools such as and to help you find average salaries around the province and the country.

Ease Into Asking For A Raise

Don’t jump straight into the numbers, start the conversation by asking about your job performance. During the conversation about your performance, hopefully your employer will have complimented your work and raise any concerns about areas of improvement that you need to be aware of. This would be an ideal time to bring up your financial situation. Start off by saying you are glad they are happy with your performance but recently you discovered (during your research) that you are making less than most people in comparable situations. Then, give your employer some time to consider your request. Even though you’ve been thinking about this for weeks, it’s the first time your boss is hearing it — so they may need a few moments to think about what you’ve said.

Don’t Wait!

Start preparing for the conversation with your employer as soon as you start considering asking for a raise. Don’t wait for your annual review or for your employer to start the conversation. Either you could be caught off-guard or your employer doesn’t’t realize you’ve been thinking about asking for a raise. You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

Avoid Being Personal

Focus on your contributions to the company. If you’ve helped the company save or make money, mention that instead of “I work weekends” or “my husband lost his job”.

Ask Questions

If your employer denies your request for a raise it’s a good opportunity for negotiation. Begin by asking questions on how you can improve in order to ensure a pay raise in the future. Avoid demands. PPS suggests open dialogue and discussion about your performance and possible raise are the way to get the salary you seek.

Don’t Be Discouraged

Try not to worry if things don’t go as smoothly as you had planned. Learn exactly why a raise isn’t possible right now, what you can do differently, and if there’s a potential for one in the future. We do also suggest preparing for the worst. If you discover your employer cannot afford to give you a raise, or provide you with direction on how you can achieve the pay you deserve, it might be time to take more active measure with regards to moving your career forward by researching available opportunities via social media, search firms or networking.

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