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Is it possible to get a raise if you are already working in a company for a few months/years?

Yes, it is!!

Conventional wisdom or career-advice states that the best time to ask for/ get a raise is when you are negotiating the job offer. This is true- you have more negotiating power then (if you are a top candidate). However, you might have missed that opportunity, or you might have been happy with what was offered- and you start working, then you realize that you should be getting paid more.

The other suggested option is to switch jobs. There have been numerous studies that state that when you switch jobs- you will increase your chances of getting a higher salary.

But- what if you like where you are, you are very happy about your current organization, and do not want to move elsewhere; but you are unhappy about your pay. Then this article is for you.

In this article, I am going to share some tips/ideas on how to ask for a raise.

Do You Deserve It?

Before you even think of asking for a raise, it is important you ask yourself these questions. “Do you deserve a raise?”. “Are you valuable enough to your boss/employer?”, “How much contribution have you made to the organization?”.

This is extremely crucial. People get promoted and are paid more only when they have done exceptional work if they have gone the extra mile. People who just survive in a job or are lazy do not get promotions or raises.

Time for some introspection – I suggest you analyze your job, your tasks, responsibilities, contributions, etc. Get a clear picture.

Get into the nitty-gritty. Pull out the numbers. Anything that is quantifiable is justifiable. Don’t be vague- talk numbers.

For example; Negotiated a contract with office equipment supplier saving the company $10000 annually.

Responsible for installation of Automation Software – helping the company add $25000 to the bottom line, and completing it 2 weeks ahead of schedule (realizing an additional $5000 in savings).

Do Your Homework

get a salary raise

OK- now you have concluded that you are worthy of a raise. Good!

The next step is to do your homework. Study the market. There are many salary survey sites such as salary.com and payscale.com where you can analyze salaries for your job functions in the area.

Contact a recruiter and ask them for advice. Even research the job market and see what is out there. I don’t recommend applying for a new job just to get paid more.

Know your numbers. Know exactly how much you are worth and how much you want.

The Setup

The worst thing you can do is walk into your boss’s office and straight out ask for a raise. This is unprofessional and this throws them off-guard, and would drastically reduce your chances of getting a raise; you might even lose respect from your boss/employer.

I recommend sending a quick note or email to your boss – suggesting a 10-minute meeting. Keep the email brief and mention that you would like 10 minutes to discuss something that is important to you, and you prefer to meet in person. Don’t ask for a raise in the email. It is easy to ignore or even decline requests in email. The purpose of the email is to set up a meeting.

The Big Meeting

So your boss has agreed to meet with you. Great!! Let’s move forward.

Remember- earlier I asked you to collect all the facts about your roles and contributions. Now it is time to bring them out. I suggest having them printed out.

Make it quantifiable. Bring out the results, bring out the numbers.

So your boss is meeting with you. He/She does not really know what this is about. In the meeting, there are two things I suggest you do.

1. Start with Sharing about What You Have Done for the Company

Share the facts; reinforce to your boss that you are extremely valuable. Showcase your unique contributions. If you are a rock-solid employee, then the chances are your boss already knows this. Now it is time to recap and remind them.

Remember, nobody cares about you (Yes that is the hard fact about business and life). So make sure that you are talking about what you have done for the company, What’s in it for them?

2. Ask for the Raise

Be confident (you deserve this). Get to the point, and tell him/her that you are valuable, and based on your contributions & what the market pays- you should be earning X dollars.

Don’t demand, don’t threaten. Be professional and courteous.

You have stated your case. It is very unlikely that you will get a raise on the spot. Chances are your boss needs to check with HR and management, but that’s OK – you have made it clear about what you want. Congratulate on this feat – I believe about 90% will never do this.

The Verdict

Recruiter Interview - get a raise in salary

I am confident, in the eyes of your boss and management- you have set yourself apart from your peers and earned a little more respect. And respect is hard to buy.

If you work for a reasonable employer – you will get a raise.

Sometimes, you may not get a raise because of conditions (the company is not doing good, recession,etc.). This has happened recently. But things may change for the better, and when that happens you will be a consideration. I had a similar situation. I asked for a raise, the company was going through scrutiny and changes because of the recession. However, a few months later when things bounced back – guess who was the first person to get a raise in the company… Yes, it was me.

Sometimes, you will not get a raise – maybe your employer is unreasonable OR they cannot afford you. In this case, I suggest you look for opportunities elsewhere, where you can get the ideal career and the ideal salary you deserve.

All the best!!


p style=”color: #444444;”>I am curious to hear your story about a salary increase or raise situation. Share your stories here.

Written By
Nissar Ahamed is the Founder & CEO of CareerMetis.com. He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast and the co-host of The C.A.R.E. Podcast

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