What to Say When Asking for a Raise: 5 Empowering Things to Know

Eep, your review with your boss is officially on the calendar and you’re angling hard to get a raise. But if you don’t prep (and rehearse) for the convo, it’s a lot harder to be sure things will go your way, salary-wise. Here, your guide for what to say when asking for a raise, so you get the bump you deserve. 

Advice from Successful Career Women on How to Negotiate a Raise

ask raise notebook

1. Focus On Why You Deserve It (versus Why You Need It)

It’s all about your frame of mind. In the meeting, stick to a script that explains why you’ve earned a salary increase (this is the time to shout out all your contributions) instead of why it’s necessary to your day to day (gah, your rent just increased and you're nervous about paying the bills). Your boss isn’t responsible for your budget, but she is responsible for recognizing—and rewarding you monetarily—for growth.

ask raise laptop

2. Have Three Substantial Accomplishments Memorized

It’s only natural to feel nervous going into a review, so prep by jotting down three significant milestones you’ve reached in the past year. (For example, you brought in new business that boosted the company’s bottom line—or totally nailed training that new hire.) Sure, you can bring a piece of paper in to reference, but you’ll feel a lot more confident if you rehearse these achievements and memorize the specifics for a more natural conversation flow.

ask raise meeting

3. And Explain How Those Accomplishments Help Big-picture Company Goals

Your work matters, no doubt. But when it comes to salary negotiations, it’s all about expressing how your work connects to what’s ahead. Again, do your homework and take a step back: What’s the most important initiative for your department that year? Maybe it’s increasing revenue or building out your team. Speak to your impact on the bigger picture and detail how you rose above and beyond.

ask raise calculator

4. Throw Out A Specific Number

Sure, it’s a scary thing to quantify, but having a salary request in mind is helpful for getting your boss on the same page as you. A couple of things to keep in mind: You don’t want to pitch an increase that’s so off base that it alienates anyone. (FYI, most raises are between one and five percent.) You also need to be prepared for a counter offer or a flat-out no. (If a raise isn’t in the cards, ask to nail down a timeline for when it’s possible to revisit.)

ask raise phone

5. Reiterate How Much You Love The Job And What’s Ahead For Your Role

No matter how the conversation goes, it’s important to showcase your investment in the company and remind your boss of the value you bring to the team. Now go forth and ask for what you deserve! 

7 Things You’re Doing Wrong When Asking for a Raise

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...