Get Paid! How to Ask Your Boss for a Raise

Money is everywhere. We deal with it every day, talk about it casually at parties, read books on how to invest it - money “makes the world go ‘round”. Yet, for some reason when it comes to talking to our bosses about money, we immediately become tongue-tied and frozen.

Asking for a raise can feel like being asked to conjure magic...impossible! However, asking for a raise is a very normal part of having a job and if you avoid asking out of fear you could potentially be giving up a significant amount of money.

Here are 5 tips that will help you confidently ask for the raise you deserve:
  1. Remember It’s Totally Normal - Asking for a raise does not make you greedy and entitled. Unless your boss has been living under a rock for decades, they’ve most likely had a salary conversation with many people before you and it will come as no surprise when you breach the topic. No one is going to think you’re a bad person because you’re asking for a raise - you work for money, and that’s ok.

  2. Be Smart About the Timing - Think about asking your boss for a raise in the same way you’d think about asking for something from your spouse - timing is key. Don’t bring up the topic on a day that they are particularly stressed or busy. Rather, wait until you’ve just finished a particularly great project and capitalize on that momentum.

  3. Prepare Prepare Prepare - Make sure you’ve done your homework ahead of time and walk into the conversation fully prepared. Know what your work is worth by researching your market rate online or asking others in your industry. Write down a few of your major accomplishments since your last raise and tie those successes back to the overall impact you’ve had on the company.

  4. Be Confident - I know “be confident” is cliche but it is actually incredibly important! The fear of rejection is one of our most basic human fears, and it runs deep. Don’t let that fear keep you from getting the raise you deserve. Walk into the room with your shoulders back, head high, and confidently communicate the worth of your work - you’ve got this!

  5. Know What to Say if the Answer is “No” - If your boss says “no” it doesn’t mean that they don’t like you or you’re doing a bad job. Look at their response as an opportunity to get the clarity you need to determine your next step. Ask them what they’d need to see from you in order to qualify for the raise - you can then assess whether you’re able and willing to follow that path or if you want to consider options at another company. 

Having a big conversation with your boss like this can feel overwhelming. While these 5 tips may be a good starting point, you might need a bit more coaching before you’re ready to take the plunge. If you want to talk about these tips in more detail or need advice about other issues you may be facing at work, you can email me at or call my office at (310) 614-0323.