How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

Brooke Pelczynski © The Balance

Are you hoping to get a raise, but realizing that it’s probably not going to happen without some action on your part? When you need to bring up the subject, but you’re not sure how to begin, sending an email message to your manager can be a way to avoid a possibly awkward in-person conversation.

When to Ask for a Raise via Email

Especially when you’re working remotely, an email can be the easiest way to ask for more money. Your manager will have time to consider the best response.

By not asking directly, you won’t put your manager on the spot, and it will be easier to explain your rationale for a raise.

What Your Employer Needs to Decide

The decision to grant a salary increase is not one that most managers make lightly. They need time to consider your request, to evaluate your progress on your career track, and to analyze the contributions you have made to the organization. They may also need to review departmental finances to see whether their budget can accommodate a raise.

Finally, they must consider the underlying message they would be sending to you—and to your peers—should they grant your request. Raises are not merely about money—they are psychological confirmation that an employer values an employee and wants to retain them. So, senior management will have to decide whether you are worth this commitment, based on your work history and pattern of contributions.

They also have to anticipate whether their decision to award you a raise will lead to mass requests by other employees for wage increases. If forced to deny raises to other personnel, will they then have to deal with morale issues?

An email request for a meeting to discuss your compensation is a smart way to give your supervisor time to consider your request, check with human resources or management, if necessary, and decide if it’s possible to give you a pay raise.

What to Write in a Salary Increase Email Message

Your message should include:

  • A request for a meeting to discuss your compensation (in the subject line of the message)
  • Why you deserve a salary increase
  • What additional responsibilities you have taken on in your role
  • Any skills or certifications you have acquired since being hired

It’s also a good idea to include information on how much you enjoy your job and working at the company. You don’t want to come across as a disgruntled employee who isn’t paid enough.

Also, don’t just ask for more money. It’s a better strategy to ask for an opportunity to discuss a raise, rather than to simply ask for a bigger paycheck.

When writing the message, don’t presume your manager knows everything you’ve been working on.

People get busy and aren’t always aware of how much work their employees have taken on. It’s fine to mention what you have been handling and how your role has changed since you started the job.

Write a formal message in a standard business-letter format. Keep it professional even if you are on friendly terms with your boss. Your email may be forwarded to others at the company to review.

The email message format should include:

  • A professional greeting
  • A formal closing

Need a refresher on how to format an email message for professional correspondence? This primer includes all the information you might’ve forgotten, including appropriate fonts, subject lines, and signatures.

Email Message Asking for a Raise Example

Here is an example of an email message requesting a meeting with a manager to discuss a salary increase.

Subject: Meeting Request – Your Name

Dear Mr. Matthews,

I am grateful for the opportunity to work for you as Development Coordinator for XYZ Nonprofit. Over the past two years, my responsibilities at XYZ have grown significantly, and I not only consistently complete all of these responsibilities, but I do so with an exceptional quality of work. I would, therefore, like to respectfully request a meeting to review my salary.

As you know, my salary has remained the same since I was hired in 20XX. Since then, I have happily added some duties to my workload that have allowed me to contribute even more to the company. For example, I volunteered to develop a quarterly newsletter, and am currently in charge of the writing, formatting, and printing of the publication. As you know, I also recently completed a graduate certificate program in grant writing.

I believe that my increasing contributions to the company and my new qualifications justify a pay raise.

I would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss a raise in my salary. I look forward to hearing from you.

Firstname Lastname
Development Coordinator
XYZ Nonprofit
123 East Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
555-555-5555
[email protected]

Key Takeaways

An Email Message Can Be an Effective Way to Ask for a Raise: It allows your manager to consider your request without putting them on the spot.

Take Care When Composing Your Request: Use business-letter format and make sure your message is ready to be seen by higher-ups.

Don’t Just Ask for More Money: Request an opportunity to discuss your proposal in person.

Make Your Case: List ways in which you have exceeded expectations. Include any skills or certifications you’ve added that make you more valuable to the team.

Last Updated: January 19, 2021 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Meredith Walters, MBA. Meredith Walters is a Certified Career Coach who helps people develop the skills they need to find meaningful, fulfilling work. Meredith has over eight years of career and life coaching experience, including conducting training at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business and the US Peace Corps. She is a former Member of the Board of Directors of ICF-Georgia. She earned her coaching credentials from New Ventures West and a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.

There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 1,042,127 times.

If you feel like you have been doing an excellent job at work, don’t be afraid to approach your employer for a raise. Many people are afraid to ask for raises even though they know they deserve them, making excuses like, “The economy is so down right now” or “I’ll never find a good time.” If this sounds like you, then it’s time to stop getting in your own way and to start making a game plan for getting the higher salary you deserve.

How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

Meredith Walters, MBA
Certified Career Coach Expert Interview. 22 November 2019. Be aware that it is a fairly standard tactic to tell you that the business is already over its annual budget, to try to deter you from asking. [3] X Research source This means that you need to know your worth as assessed against objective criteria (see below) and be persistent.

  • If you’ve already negotiated a pay deal with your boss, it may be harder to ask for more. Your boss assumes you’re happy with the amount you’re getting and isn’t not likely to be favorably disposed to adding more financial burden to the company without good reason.
  • Be careful about using another job offer as leverage. Your boss may call you on it; it’s important to really have such a job offer and be willing to take it if you’re rebuffed by your boss. Be ready to walk that plank!
  • How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    Meredith Walters, MBA
    Certified Career Coach Expert Interview. 22 November 2019. Many employers say they don’t give a raise until the employee does 20% more work than he did when he was initially hired. Here are some things you can take into account when you consider your worth:

    • Your job description
    • Your responsibilities, including any management or leadership tasks
    • Years of experience and seniority in the company’s line of work
    • Your level of education
    • Your location

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    What information should you gather prior to pay raise negotiations?

    Want more quizzes?

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    Meredith Walters, MBA
    Certified Career Coach Expert Interview. 22 November 2019. The list will remind you of your own worth, make it concrete, and provide an objective basis for your demands.

    • While some people believe it’s helpful to write down accomplishments to present to your boss, others believe your accomplishments should already be evident and you should only need to highlight those to remind your boss of what he already knows and reinforce that knowledge. [8] X Research source Carolyn Kepcher, Carolyn 101, p. 126, (2004), ISBN 978-0-7432-7034-2 It depends on what you know about your boss’s preferences, your relationship dynamics with your boss, and your own level of comfort with reciting your accomplishments verbatim.
    • If you choose to convince your boss verbally, memorize the list.
    • If you choose to present a written copy to your boss for his or her reference, have somebody proofread it for you first.

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    Meredith Walters, MBA
    Certified Career Coach Expert Interview. 22 November 2019. This is about more than just doing your job well, which you’re already expected to do, but about going above and beyond the duties of your job and, ultimately, it boils down to improving the company’s bottom line. Some questions to consider when developing your case include:

    • Did you complete or help to complete a tough project? And get positive results from it?
    • Did you work extra hours or meet an urgent deadline? Are you continuing to demonstrate this type of commitment?
    • Did you take initiative? In what ways?
    • Did you go beyond the call of duty? In what ways?
    • Did you save the company time or money?
    • Did you improve any systems or processes?
    • Did you empower others with your support and guidance or training? As Carolyn Kepcher says, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” [10] X Research source Carolyn Kepcher, Carolyn 101, p. 130, (2004), ISBN 978-0-7432-7034-2 and a boss wants to hear that you’ve helped facilitate team members and make them stronger, more positive forces for the company.

    Earlier this month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that women should trust “karma” instead of asking for pay raises. Nadella suggested that the “system” would reward their work. In the apology, Nadella said he was “completely wrong.”

    Well Nadella got one thing right. He was completely wrong.

    Why? Because the “system” is flawed. Most reward systems are based on treating people equally. However, equal isn’t always fair. If I’m one of the top performing employees and I receive one percent more in merit pay than an average performer, is that fair? If the system forces managers to rate everyone according to a bell curve and I suffer because of this, is that fair?

    I learned from an early age that if you want a raise, you have to ask for it. I was eighteen years old and working as a file clerk in a law firm and I went to my boss and asked him for a $20 per week pay raise. He said yes.

    Every employee must learn how to advocate for him or herself. In my book Suddenly in Charge, I dedicated an entire chapter to the topic of How to Ask for a Raise and Actually Get It. I think I’ll send Nadella a copy so he can give it to his female employees, now that he’s apologized!

    Here are some tips from Suddenly in Charge on how to ask for a raise and actually get it.

    Timing is everything. Here are situations where you should feel quite comfortable asking for more money.

    • Bait and switch-The job is significantly more work than what was described when you were interviewing.
    • Atlas in the workplace-The weight of the department is on your back, now that half the staff has been eliminated.

    Preparation and planning is key

    Know your worth. This is quite easy to do today because you can use online resources. Some of my favorites are sites like Payscale.com or Salary.com. However, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. These sites are free. Therefore, you have no idea how frequently the data is updated, nor can you perfectly match your job to the jobs in the database. The best you can hope for is a ballpark figure. Many associations conduct salary surveys with their members to keep the membership informed of current pay practices. The results are usually free for participants and those who are paid members. Or you could simply place a few calls to executive recruiters. Provide them with information about your job title and background, and ask them what other opportunities are out there for someone with your skills. Ask the recruiter what type of pay range someone with your experience should expect. Do not be surprised if he immediately tells you that you are being underpaid. Keep in mind that a recruiter’s job is to get you to make a move to another company; if you stay where you are he won’t receive a commission. You are less likely to leave your employer if you are feeling well compensated.

    Know your value

    There is a difference between worth and value. Suppose you are the only person who can manage a particular function for your organization and that you also possess a unique set of skills that are extremely hard to find. This makes you much more valuable than someone who is one manager in a sea of thousands of managers, all of who could easily be replaced tomorrow.

    It’s your job to remind your boss of the value you bring to the organization. Be prepared to explain what you have done for the company lately, and don’t forget to do so using dollars and cents. Be specific as possible as in this case, more is more. Don’t be shy. If you saved the company $100K because you negotiated a better contract than your predecessor then say so.

    Plan for the conversation

    Remember when you were a kid and you blurted things out just to get the conversation over with? Do not try this approach when asking for a raise, as most bosses do not like surprises. These kinds of conversations go better when you have a well thought-out plan. Consider the logistics. Is it better to meet off-site with your boss so there are few interruptions? Is there a better time of the year or day for you to have this kind of discussion? For example, if you work in retail, anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas would be off limits for this type of conversation as the company requires all hands on deck to service customers during the Christmas season.

    Ask for What You Deserve

    Of course it would be great if you could double your salary, but is this appropriate given your responsibilities, performance and size of your company? If you’ve done your homework, you’ll know exactly what you should be asking for. Don’t let karma get in the way or your self esteem. Be confident and be sure to come back and let us know how it goes!

    Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Matuson Consulting and author of the newly released Talent Magnetism.

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    Related

    • How to Communicate Unequal Workload
    • Things to Bring Up in a Meeting With Your Boss
    • How to Make a Case for Salary Increase
    • How to Write a Raise Proposal
    • How do I Get Paid More at a Current Job for Speaking Spanish?

    Plan before you ask for a raise. A raise, such as $2.50 an hour, might be reasonable if you have done your research and determined it falls in the range for your position and experience. It could also be reasonable if you have spent the last three years preparing for this raise. However, what is reasonable to you might not be feasible to your company and you shouldn’t take anything personal.

    Research the Market

    The only way to really know if $2.50 is reasonable is to do some research. If your company has a salary range for your position and this raise fits within the range, then it might be reasonable. If you know with certainty that your same job is worth $2.50 more per hour at other companies in your area, then it might be reasonable. You need to be able to support your request and provide evidence that $2.50 makes sense. Keep in mind, when doing research, that salary information you find on the Internet could be outdated or may not reflect a tough economy.

    Inventory Your Value

    If the amount you are requesting is reasonable, you need to build a case that justifies why you are more valuable than your current pay. Track your accomplishments in a notebook, or write down a list of achievements and problems you have solved for your employer. Never complain about your financial problems or use them as the basis for asking for your raise. Your request should be solely based on the value you bring to the organization and what you think that value is reasonably worth.

    Time It Right

    There is a right time for everything – asking for a raise is no exception. Be sure to time it right. Ask after a good performance review or schedule a meeting toward the end of the week to discuss a raise. Take into consideration your company’s financial situation and avoid asking during times of the year where your company frequently tightens its belt. You may also want to ask for the raise earlier in the day, before decision fatigue sets in and your boss is more likely to say no (see Reference 2).

    Keep it Professional

    Go into it knowing your boss could say no. Be prepared to accept this answer and never threaten to quit if you do not get the raise, even if you will be forced to consider changing jobs. Ask your boss why the raise is being denied and ask when the two of you can re-evaluate it. Begin working on the future raise by making yourself indispensable. Share accomplishments as they happen – don’t let them go unnoticed by your boss. Next time around, your boss might be able to give you the extra $2.50 you want.

    December 29, 2020

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    There’s a right way to ask for a raise, and it isn’t telling your boss you want a nicer apartment, so you need more cash, stat.

    But since you probably do want a nicer apartment, asking for a raise is a skill you need to learn.

    Your full-time job is probably your biggest source of income, both now and over your lifetime. So while, sure, increasing your income via a side hustle is a great option (and one that’s entirely in your control) spending a few hours effectively asking for a raise is one of the most impactful things you can do for your money.

    If there’s another way to legally earn $5,000 or more in a few hours, I haven’t found it.

    You’ve got work to do before you ask

    You need to start off with doing your homework. Research what people in roles like yours get paid in your area. You can use tools like Glassdoor and LinkedIn’s Salary Tool to get a sense of whether you’re drastically underpaid for your work, or whether you’re rocking the top end of the salary scale.

    Once you have a good idea of what your role should pay, it’s time to set up a meeting with your boss. Yes, you can still ask for a raise if you’re at the top end of the salary scale – you’ll just need to frame it a bit differently.

    When you sit down with your boss, you want to have a conversation about what it would take to be a top performer in your role, and ideally, which metrics matter most to them. If your boss only cares about one or two things, your best bet to get a raise is to move the needle on those things.

    For example, if your boss is measured by total sales, and you can bring in additional business to help exceed this quarter’s sales numbers, you’ve definitely demonstrated your value to the company – and value is what gets you a raise.

    Spend a few months focusing on building a plan to impact the key metrics you discussed, and once you’ve got progress to show, then it’s time to make your case for a raise.

    Now it’s time for the “give me more money” moment

    You’ve laid the groundwork for your raise by discussing what would make you a top performer with your boss, and now you’re ready to have the “please give me more money” conversation with those results in hand. You go, top performer!

    To make sure you’re prepared, review everything from your key metrics, to those local salaries you researched, to all of your other job duties.

    In the meeting, use that info to make the case for why you deserve a raise. And yes, you need to specifically ask for the raise, and go into it with a number in mind. Your boss, as great as they might be, doesn’t spend their days thinking about how to justify giving you more money – which is where you come in to make a compelling case for it.

    If you can show how you’re driving results for the company – results that are worth more to them than the amount of money for which you’re asking – then you’re in the best place you can be to get a raise.

    How to handle it when you don’t get what you asked for

    There will be times when no matter how great you are, or how much you’re valued, or how many results you delivered, you just don’t get what you asked for in dollar terms.

    When that happens, you’ve got some choices to make.

    Do you stick it out and accept that for now, you’re not going to get more money?

    This is, actually, a good option in some cases. If you truly like your team, your work and your workload, it might be worth sticking around for the short term. Those things do have value, and you might not find the same balance somewhere else. Sure, you won’t want to stay forever if a raise is out of the question, but for now, it might not be the worst thing.

    Can you ask for anything else instead of salary?

    Since you’ve put in the work to demonstrate your value to the company, you might find yourself in a situation where their hands truly are tied when it comes to cash, but there are other incentives they can offer. In this case, make sure you know what else matters to you. I’ve seen people leverage this situation into everything from a desk by the window to an extra week of paid vacation.

    Last but not least, is it time to start looking for other jobs?

    Thanks to all the hard work you put in angling for this raise, your resume just got a serious boost, since almost every hiring manager loves to see concrete results like the ones you just delivered. Especially if you’re being paid under market value, shopping around for new jobs and going on some interviews might be the best way to score the extra money for which you’re asking.

    Whatever you do, don’t do this

    If you’ve read this whole piece and resolved that while sure, positioning yourself as a top performer sounds like a good call, but you need more money now so you’re just going to bite the bullet and say “I want more money”? Proceed with extreme caution .

    This is where awkward conversations tend to happen, and you won’t have a leg to stand on if your boss shoots back with an ultra-intimidating, super reasonable “Why?”

    Because, pro tip: “I have been here for five years” and “I do what’s expected of me” are bad answers, and won’t score you any extra money.

    Have something to add to this story? Comment below or join the discussion on Facebook .

    Requesting a raise isn’t so simple. It’s daunting to approach managers to ask for more money. “Will they think I’m ungrateful? Is the timing right? Will they laugh me out of the room?”

    These are the questions that bounce around in our brains.

    A reluctance to broach the subject with a supervisor comes from a fear of rejection. Like asking someone on a date, the fear of hearing “no” can dissuade action.

    On the other hand, sometimes it’s simply a matter of not knowing how to ask. There is, after all, a right way and a wrong way to ask for a pay raise.

    How to Ask For a Raise

    The reality is that if you are asking for raise, there should be no doubt in your mind that you deserve it.

    You aren’t going to get paid more simply because you say the right thing to your manager.

    For this reason, the right way to ask for a raise is mostly about laying the groundwork so that your value to the organization is so obvious that asking becomes easy, if not unnecessary because management will beat you to it.

    How to Earn a Raise

    Management in different businesses will perceive value in different ways. While there is no universal roadmap for earning a raise, there are measures you can take that no manager would overlook.

    Be the most productive: Some people might think that being the first person in the door in the morning and the last to leave at night is a sound strategy for promotion or a pay increase. This thinking is misguided. What matters is that the hours you work are highly productive.

    If you want to get a raise, work longer hours, but make those hours count. Don’t ease into your day by answering emails over a cup of coffee. Instead, get to your desk early and tackle the most pressing and relevant tasks.

    Don’t just raise problems, solve them: Bringing problems forward might show that you care about the success of the organization, but it stops one step too short. Identify a problem and figure out how it can be solved. If you have the tools and resources to rectify the situation, take the initiative. If the problem requires someone else’s attention, go to your manager with a game-plan for collaborating towards a solution.

    Take on side projects: You were hired to perform a specific set of tasks for a specific amount of compensation. Why would you expect to get a raise simply for fulfilling your duties? Go beyond your job description. Identify new areas where you’d like to work, including collaborating with different teams throughout your organization. This proves you are passionate about growing your skills and experience and that you care about sharing current expertise with others.

    Demonstrate a long-term view: If management has a sliver of doubt that you are not committed to the organization, this diminishes your chances of getting a raise. To avoid this problem, think about how your daily work can contribute to the long terms goals of the company and talk about this openly with your supervisor.

    3 Steps to Ask for a Raise

    In the perfect world, the above-mentioned efforts will gain you the recognition you deserve and you won’t have to ask for a raise.

    But expecting management to come to you might leave you waiting for a while. In that case, be prepared to ask for a raise. Here are a few tips for doing so.

    1) Be Confident: You’ve spent a great deal of time and energy establishing yourself as an asset. Don’t downgrade this effort.

    Chances are that your manager is well-aware that you have been productive, expanding the scope of your work and troubleshooting problems: all cause for a discussion about the pay increase.

    Therefore, all you will have to do is say “I would like to talk to you about my compensation.”

    2) Pick the Right Time: Even if your efforts have been heroic, you still need to time your request properly. If you’ve heard that your department is scaling back due to financial constraints, you may want to hold off.

    Apart from these broader considerations, there are also times when your manager is more likely to be receptive to discussing your pay.

    The best time to ask for a raise is just before you take on new responsibilities or right after you complete a project.

    3) Prepare to Negotiate: Like any negotiation, you should go in with a clear set of demands that are within reason.

    Do some research online to try and find out how much high performers in your position are earning. Also, keep in mind that most pay raises fall somewhere between one and five percent.

    Based on this knowledge set a number that you wish to be paid to share it with the manager and justify it if needed.

    Though your case should speak for itself, expect to have to outline in detail how you have gone about adding value to your company over a specific period.

    DONT’S When Asking for a Raise

    Ensuring you’ve earned a raise and asking for it in a smart way is your best chance of getting what you are after. Just in case you need a primer how not to persuade your manager, here are some approaches to avoid:

    1) Don’t compare yourself to others: You can’t possibly know all the circumstances surrounding a co-worker and why he or she gets paid a certain amount.

    Comparing your work to that of others also suggests to your manager that you are more focused on competing with others rather than collaborating.

    2) Don’t bring in personal matters: It may seem harsh, but having a new baby on the way or health problems in the family won’t get you more money.

    Management may be compassionate by giving you time off, but they need to avoid setting a precedent of financially supporting employees for personal issues.

    3) Don’t mention how long you have been in the role: One year, two years, five years: these are empty numbers that may represent how long you’ve been working in a role, but not your actual impact.

    4) Don’t give an ultimatum: Threatening management because you think you are underpaid is a sure sign that you only care about yourself, not the organization. You won’t be rewarded for that type of attitude.

    To recap, if you wish to be paid more, there are no shortcuts. You really do have to earn your keep. Making sure management recognizes your contributions is the starting point for asking for a raise.

    The good news is that once you’ve made yourself a clear asset to the team, you can approach conversations about pay increases with confidence and with improved chances of being rewarded.

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    The reality is this: The salary gap persists. And while it is getting better (slowly), according to the American Association of University Women, at the current pace of change women will not reach parity with men until 2119. But we can do something about it as individuals — and we must.

    Getting paid is good. Getting paid more is better. Not earning up to your potential isn’t good for anyone: you, your family, the kids and younger women in your orbit who are watching your every move or, frankly, society as a whole. Research has shown that women who do earn more are more likely to learn about our finances, take control of them and be confident about the actions we do take. We have a stake in it — and when we have a stake in something, we are more likely to be invested and engaged.

    It is a difficult challenge tangled up on centuries of gender stereotypes, historical norms and, yes, our own personal money stories and relationships with our finances. But changes can be made. It is so critical to finally reaching our financial potential that I have devoted an entire chapter of my new book, “Women with Money,” to getting paid what you are worth… plus tax, and I’m happy to share an excerpt with you here.

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    Women with Money: The Judgment-Free Guide to Creating the Joyful, Less Stressed, Purposeful (and, Yes, Rich) Life You Deserve

    The voice may be the hardest to harness. Think about how easy it is to advocate on behalf of a child who needs your help. You’re doing something for someone else. It can be equally difficult to advocate for you — particularly when you’re asking for money — because it feels selfish. So flip the equation. By putting, and keeping, yourself in the equation, you’re doing something for your clients, for your organization.

    As for the friends, there are people who propel you forward and those who hold you back. If you’re surrounded by the latter, it’s time to get some more supportive ones. And if you’re having trouble finding them, I suggest looking among the younger women you know. Julie, 30s, the marketing analyst from Baltimore, says that she is the one her friends come to for this sort of advice. “I’m confident in my skill set because I went the digital marketing route, which more veteran marketers are afraid of. I’ve gone to my employers and said, ‘Give me more money or I’m going to walk.’ It’s worked every time—maybe not to the full extent, but a conversation is had where we come to a middle ground.”

    And when Jessica, 30s, a beauty marketing executive from New York, didn’t have the skills, she turned to her best friend. “I really didn’t know how to ask, but my best friend taught me that if you don’t ask they won’t give,” she says. “So, I put together a deck of everything I’ve done to grow the company, to bring in revenue. You have to show them why you deserve more money. That’s the only way to do it.”

    Now, I wouldn’t suggest going with Julie’s actual verbiage—”Give me more money” is a little harsh (insert wink emoji here). If you’re stuck, try this conversational flow.

    Have a Revenue-Boosting Conversation

    1. Express excitement.

    You can say, “I’m so looking forward to joining your team.” Or, “I’m so excited about taking on this project.” The idea is to start with some words that tell the other person you’re jazzed. Do this in some way that implies this is or will soon be a done deal (even though it’s not quite).

    2. Confirm that you’re the right one for the job.

    They already suspect this or you wouldn’t be talking money, but it’s a good thing to do. Say something like, “I know I’ll bring just the right skill set to the team.”

    3. When it’s a salary negotiation, cite your research and experience in asking for more.

    “I’ve done some market research, and people with my experience and expertise are earning more along the lines of X.” Or, “I can’t justify making a move from my current company unless it’s a salary of X.”

    4. If you’re raising your rates, emphasize how much you value your client’s business and the relationship. Then, be straightforward and honest. “My rate for 2019 is going up to X.”

    Two more points before we wrap this puppy up. One, when you’re negotiating, remember there is more than money on the table. There may be highly subsidized health insurance (valuable), a 401(k) match (valuable), stock options (valuable), and extra vacation time (priceless). Factor those into the numbers you run as you’re evaluating your possibilities.

    And two, remember that when you’re negotiating for a position with a new company, you have more leverage than you will—likely ever—have again. Searches can be lengthy and pricey. Even a small company may spend hundreds of dollars on ads, countless hours weeding through them, and even more hours on interviews. They are already invested in you because you are the one they want. What they do not want to do is go back to square one, making this the absolute best time for you to ask for what you want and get it.

    That is one reason switching jobs is the best way to make more money. And it’s why if you really want more money and can’t get out of the cost‑of‑living- increase cycle, you may have to take a leap and pretend. When I was a staff writer at Smart Money magazine, I was in this position. I knew I was underpaid, so I went to my boss, presented my case, and asked for more. He told me his hands were tied. In order to pay me more, he was going to have to make a case against losing me to his boss. “Go get another offer,” he said.

    Now, I know that may not feel very good. You’re wasting other people’s time by getting them invested in and excited about you. (And if the new employer catches on to the game you played, they may have the same reaction that I’ve seen my husband the recruiter have. He says: “They’re dead to me.”) But it does work. It can produce a significant salary bump. That said, you can get away with this only once with each employer. And if your current employer doesn’t come to the table with more money — which may happen if a) they don’t have it or b) you’re not as valued as you think you are—you may have to jump ship anyway.

    But it may also open your eyes to your true value in ways that surprise you. You may learn that your current skills translate to opportunities that you had no idea you were qualified to take on. And, as a result, you may decide to go anyway. More Money + A New Challenge = What Could Be Better Than That?

    Know Your Value editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, Know Your Value does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    But if you’ve been going above and beyond, or you realize you’re making less than the average worker in your position, it’s time to ask for a raise.

    Once you decide to take the plunge, start constructing your argument, suggests Katie Donovan, salary negotiation consultant and founder of EqualPayNegotiations.com . The more prepared you are going in, the easier the conversation will be.

    1. Do your homework.

    Before ever speaking with your boss, research the market value for your job to figure out what someone in your position with the same level of education and years of experience typically gets paid, and where your salary falls in relation. “Look for what companies typically pay, not what you need to survive on,” Donovan says.

    She suggests looking up your position on jobs sites like PayScale or Glassdoor; checking out the trade association for your industry; or speaking with a headhunter to garner a better idea of what the average pay looks like.

    2. Don’t wait.

    Start preparing your research the minute to realize you’re not getting paid enough. Don’t wait for your annual review or for your boss to to start the conversation. “You need to ask for it or you won’t get it,” Donovan says.

    3. Ease into the request.

    4. Treat it like any other business meeting.

    “Whether you’ve helped the business save money or make money, mention those accomplishments in your argument,” Donovan says. “If you’re having a conversation about dollars, mention your impact in dollars.”

    5. Ask questions.

    If the boss initially denies your request for a raise, you need to begin negotiating. Start by asking questions such as, “Why?” or, “How can I improve in my role to ensure a pay raise in the future?”

    “But remember: questions, not demands,” Donovan warns. “You want to see how you can get what you want, which is to be paid appropriately for the job, and still play within the rules.”

    6. Change your language.

    If you aren’t getting anywhere by asking for a raise, rephrase your argument to ask for a “salary adjustment” instead. While the word “raise” implies you’re asking for something extra, the term “salary adjustment” emphasizes that your salary isn’t on par with the market value for the position. Making this distinction can open up a new realm of negotiations, Donovan says.

    7. Don’t get discouraged.

    Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as smoothly as you had planned. Donovan says a raise can be a series of conversations over a few months.

    Learn exactly why it isn’t possible right now, what you can do differently, and if there’s a potential for one in the future, she suggests. However, you should also prepare yourself for the worst. “If you realize there’s no way your company can afford to give you the pay you deserve, it’s time to start looking for a new job,” Donovan concludes.

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    The reality is this: The salary gap persists. And while it is getting better (slowly), according to the American Association of University Women, at the current pace of change women will not reach parity with men until 2119. But we can do something about it as individuals — and we must.

    Getting paid is good. Getting paid more is better. Not earning up to your potential isn’t good for anyone: you, your family, the kids and younger women in your orbit who are watching your every move or, frankly, society as a whole. Research has shown that women who do earn more are more likely to learn about our finances, take control of them and be confident about the actions we do take. We have a stake in it — and when we have a stake in something, we are more likely to be invested and engaged.

    It is a difficult challenge tangled up on centuries of gender stereotypes, historical norms and, yes, our own personal money stories and relationships with our finances. But changes can be made. It is so critical to finally reaching our financial potential that I have devoted an entire chapter of my new book, “Women with Money,” to getting paid what you are worth… plus tax, and I’m happy to share an excerpt with you here.

    How to ask for a raise (and actually get it)

    Women with Money: The Judgment-Free Guide to Creating the Joyful, Less Stressed, Purposeful (and, Yes, Rich) Life You Deserve

    The voice may be the hardest to harness. Think about how easy it is to advocate on behalf of a child who needs your help. You’re doing something for someone else. It can be equally difficult to advocate for you — particularly when you’re asking for money — because it feels selfish. So flip the equation. By putting, and keeping, yourself in the equation, you’re doing something for your clients, for your organization.

    As for the friends, there are people who propel you forward and those who hold you back. If you’re surrounded by the latter, it’s time to get some more supportive ones. And if you’re having trouble finding them, I suggest looking among the younger women you know. Julie, 30s, the marketing analyst from Baltimore, says that she is the one her friends come to for this sort of advice. “I’m confident in my skill set because I went the digital marketing route, which more veteran marketers are afraid of. I’ve gone to my employers and said, ‘Give me more money or I’m going to walk.’ It’s worked every time—maybe not to the full extent, but a conversation is had where we come to a middle ground.”

    And when Jessica, 30s, a beauty marketing executive from New York, didn’t have the skills, she turned to her best friend. “I really didn’t know how to ask, but my best friend taught me that if you don’t ask they won’t give,” she says. “So, I put together a deck of everything I’ve done to grow the company, to bring in revenue. You have to show them why you deserve more money. That’s the only way to do it.”

    Now, I wouldn’t suggest going with Julie’s actual verbiage—”Give me more money” is a little harsh (insert wink emoji here). If you’re stuck, try this conversational flow.

    Have a Revenue-Boosting Conversation

    1. Express excitement.

    You can say, “I’m so looking forward to joining your team.” Or, “I’m so excited about taking on this project.” The idea is to start with some words that tell the other person you’re jazzed. Do this in some way that implies this is or will soon be a done deal (even though it’s not quite).

    2. Confirm that you’re the right one for the job.

    They already suspect this or you wouldn’t be talking money, but it’s a good thing to do. Say something like, “I know I’ll bring just the right skill set to the team.”

    3. When it’s a salary negotiation, cite your research and experience in asking for more.

    “I’ve done some market research, and people with my experience and expertise are earning more along the lines of X.” Or, “I can’t justify making a move from my current company unless it’s a salary of X.”

    4. If you’re raising your rates, emphasize how much you value your client’s business and the relationship. Then, be straightforward and honest. “My rate for 2019 is going up to X.”

    Two more points before we wrap this puppy up. One, when you’re negotiating, remember there is more than money on the table. There may be highly subsidized health insurance (valuable), a 401(k) match (valuable), stock options (valuable), and extra vacation time (priceless). Factor those into the numbers you run as you’re evaluating your possibilities.

    And two, remember that when you’re negotiating for a position with a new company, you have more leverage than you will—likely ever—have again. Searches can be lengthy and pricey. Even a small company may spend hundreds of dollars on ads, countless hours weeding through them, and even more hours on interviews. They are already invested in you because you are the one they want. What they do not want to do is go back to square one, making this the absolute best time for you to ask for what you want and get it.

    That is one reason switching jobs is the best way to make more money. And it’s why if you really want more money and can’t get out of the cost‑of‑living- increase cycle, you may have to take a leap and pretend. When I was a staff writer at Smart Money magazine, I was in this position. I knew I was underpaid, so I went to my boss, presented my case, and asked for more. He told me his hands were tied. In order to pay me more, he was going to have to make a case against losing me to his boss. “Go get another offer,” he said.

    Now, I know that may not feel very good. You’re wasting other people’s time by getting them invested in and excited about you. (And if the new employer catches on to the game you played, they may have the same reaction that I’ve seen my husband the recruiter have. He says: “They’re dead to me.”) But it does work. It can produce a significant salary bump. That said, you can get away with this only once with each employer. And if your current employer doesn’t come to the table with more money — which may happen if a) they don’t have it or b) you’re not as valued as you think you are—you may have to jump ship anyway.

    But it may also open your eyes to your true value in ways that surprise you. You may learn that your current skills translate to opportunities that you had no idea you were qualified to take on. And, as a result, you may decide to go anyway. More Money + A New Challenge = What Could Be Better Than That?

    Know Your Value editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, Know Your Value does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.