Here’s What To Do (And Not Do) When Asking for a Raise

It’s been a year of #GirlBoss to say the least. With Shalane Flanagan winning the NYC Marathon to Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year,” it’s been a year filled with awe-inspiring moments that make us proud to be women. And surely, we have a lot to be proud of! But witnessing these incredible moments and experiences should only inspire us to push further beyond what we think we’re capable of, including advances in our career.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always gift us the rewards and recognition we deserve. Sometimes, we have to work for it…a lot. But with 2018 on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to ask for the raise you’ve been hoping and wishing for, for awhile. And since you clicked on this link and have read this far, consider this a sign from the universe that it’s officially time to ask for a pay increase.

But before you either get too intimidated or worse: rush to set up a meeting, hear this: there’s a strategy to asking for more money at your job…and actually getting your boss to agree to it. Read this step-by-step guide to learn how:

1. Do Your Market Research

First things first: know what is considered typical when it comes to your job’s pay. Are you making a salary that is close to what others with your experience and background make? You don’t want to enter the room blind and ask for a salary that is nowhere near the norm (nor do you want to get jipped, either).  A quick Google search is really all that’s necessary to do the research, so no excuses!

2. Consider The Timing

A good time to ask for a raise? After your team just scored a big win. A bad time? When your boss is under major stress and you hear rumors of layoffs. Know the arena you’re playing in before making your first move. Not only will good timing be key to getting the raise you want, but you also don’t want to come off as inconsiderate if the timing isn’t right.

3. Give Specific Reasons Why You Deserve It (Not Need It)

While we’d all love to make more money, expressing how you need the raise (even if you really, really do) is not a smart tactic. Your boss won’t give out handouts based on how badly he or she feels for you, but will be more willing to consider your salary increase based off of your merits. Instead of stating that you need more money or that you should be making as much as Laura in Accounting (which by the way, is another huge no-no), focus on why you deserve this raise. And be specific! Be prepared to list several, clear reasons why your boss should consider increasing your salary, whether it be that you grew your brand’s audience by x amount this year or that you brought in x amount of new clients.

4. Don’t Give an Ultimatum, Unless You’re Prepared to Quit

Don’t say you’ve got another job lined up with better pay unless…you’ve actually got another job lined up. As confident as you are in your abilities and achievements, you just never know how much your company is willing to adjust your salary and giving an ultimatum just isn’t worth the risk. Unless, of course, you’re willing to leave and get another job. Then by all means, what do you have to lose?

Stephanie Limiti is a born and raised New Yorker living out her dreams of palm trees and sunshine in Los Angeles. When she's not zenned out in yoga class, she's reading biographies and volunteering at dog rescue shelter. Follow her on Instagram.