4 Moments When You Should Ask for a Raise

If you’re waiting for your boss to increase your paycheck without any nudge, you may want to sit down and get comfortable. Employers are often happy to avoid conversations about pay increases until an employee breaches the subject. Avoiding the topic, however, means you could be leaving behind a chance to earn more. So, if you’re up for the challenge, here are the four appropriate moments to break through your discomfort and ask for a raise.


After You Ace Your Evaluation

Many employers conduct yearly performance reviews. Either way, if your supervisor gives you 5 smiley faces, you’re in a bright spot to bring up your pay. Really! You aren’t required to settle for that miserly 15 cent increase because that is simply what they offer to everyone. You’re a professional who was told how exceptional you are. Let them back it up with some real action.


When You Rescue the Company

Remember when you found ink toner that was 48% cheaper than what your supervisor always purchased? Or when you found a sprinkler leak that literally drained their operations budget? Employers hate losing money, so if there is any way you can figure out how to keep more cash in their pocket, you’ll breeze by their favorite intern who always kisses up. And that opens up the opportunity to make them prove how much of a favorite you really are. If you can find out the specific number of how much money you saved, the better! Then use the number as an example of why you feel eligible for an increase. However, you need to be reasonable. If you save the company $5,000 a year, you shouldn’t expect a $5,000 a year raise. Not only will they laugh at your expense, they will also be reluctant to offer you the raise you deserve.


When You Reach a Work Anniversary

Longevity at the workplace comes with insider knowledge. You know all the vendor codes by memory, you give the office tours for new hires, and you know how to plan a party! All of this is to say, you’re way more efficient than the noob in sales who still can’t figure out how to turn on the coffee maker. Employers, given they’re humans, love loyalty. So, isn’t it time your supervisor rewards your veteran expertise? Remind your employer how long you’ve been at the company, they seriously may not remember, and the many ways you keep the place together. Chances are, they also may have been oblivious that you’re the reason coffee is freshly made each day and anyone in an office knows this is what matters.


When Your Responsibilities Expand

If your supervisor recently dropped more responsibilities on your lap, consider asking for a pay increase. Your work is a contractual agreement. You make the pie and they cut you a sliver of it. However, when you make a bigger pie, you should expect a bigger slice of it. Initially, you may think, it’s no big deal! You may even be flattered by how much your employer relies on you. However, after a few months pass by, you’ll likely feel different. But by then, your employer may have even given you additional tasks or perhaps they now ask why you’ve slipped on a few tasks. Ouch.


The One Moment You Should Never Ask

Now that we’ve covered the reasons you should ask for an increase, you should know when to avoid the conversation. Whenever you’re driven by emotions, you should wait it out. Perhaps your car broke and you’re hit with an expensive repair with a paycheck that barely covers it. Or maybe you found out Noob James makes more than you–Yep, the same guy who can’t turn on the coffee maker. When you’re hit with emotions, you’re in no place to discuss the merits of a pay increase. Your supervisor will see your personal struggles as unrelated to the company. And what about James? Sounds like you’re jealous, and oh, have you seen how many sales he’s closed? Let your emotions subside and write out how you’ve benefited the company. Then make your case. Once your supervisor hears how much value you offer, they’ll be ready to talk numbers.

By Thomas Guzowski, U of R Employee
Thomas Guzowski, U of R Employee Assistant Director of Marketing Thomas Guzowski, U of R Employee