General Question

pplufthesun's avatar

I'm asking for a raise, can any of you help provide helpful tips/ templates on how to ask for one?

Asked by pplufthesun (607points) June 6th, 2008

I have an office job and I am asking for a raise, how should I go about doing this. I need something on paper.

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9 Answers

srmorgan's avatar

This is kind of a broad and open-ended question.
At what kind of business are you employed?
What is your job title?
Are you full-time or part-time?
Are you salaried, hourly or on commission?
When was your last raise?
How long have you been there?
Is it a small company or large company?
Are you dealing with the owner who has all the latitude in deciding what to pay you or are you in a corporate environment with employee reviews and salary policies firmly in place?

Give me some data and I can give you some advice.


gailcalled's avatar

@SRM: I’d give YOU a raise anytime. So glad to see you online. G

srmorgan's avatar

Hey Gail

Available leisure time waxes and wanes. Although Fluther is high priority obviously (!)


occ's avatar

the first thing you should do is make yourself indispensable to them. Do a damn good job so that they feel like they would do anything to keep you from leaving and going elsewhere. Then look for job postings for similar jobs at other businesses and see if they pay higher salaries for the same kind of work you are doing – it may help to show your employers if they are paying below-market wages. Highlight the good work you have done, your loyalty to the company, and your willingness to step up and take additional responsibilities in return for higher compensation. Last, dress up for the meeting where you ask for higher compensation, even if you work in an office environment where everyone wears jeans. You want to wear something that makes you feel powerful, confident, and deserving. You should make sure you’re in the mindset to confidently make your case, instead of feeling insecure about it. And have some hard numbers in mind so that if they ask you “well, how much do you have in mind,” you have a stronger response than “Well, whatever you feel comfortable with.” good luck!

occ's avatar

two other tips – I have a friend who, when he wanted a raise, started bringing in the GRE study book to work and leaving it conspicuously on top of his desk as if he were studying to get into graduate school. Presto! He was offered a raise by his boss without even asking for one.

Also, sometimes I get forwarded postings from other people who are trying to recruit for similar positions at other organizations (that often pay more). I sometimes forward those to my boss in a seemingly innocuous email that asks – “hey, do you know anyone who might be a good fit?” It seems like I’m just trying to help the network – but she gets the subtext…

srmorgan's avatar

@occ – I have a slight difference of opinion on a small bit of your otherwise excellent advice to the pplufthesun. I made a similar statement at least one time before on Fluther.

I don’t react well to an employee’s comment or threat about looking for another job if he or she does not get a raise. It just grates on me and my gut generally tells me that there is going to be a problem down the road with this employee, and that problem is generally NOT going to be about money. Displaying that kind of dissatisfaction to me is a red flag.

The other consideration is that depending on where you work, you just may not get anything in the middle of the year. Corporate budgets and corporate rules and procedures may just be too rigid and managers simply may not have the ability to do something outside of annual reviews and increments which are generally tied to the end of a fiscal year. When I worked for General Mills, the fiscal year ended on the last weekend in May and your review would be in May and your raise came in June and your bonus, if earned, was paid at the end of July.

I just mean to say that even if pplufthesun is an A+++ performer, corporate beancounters like me might have tied up his manager’s hands really well, leaving the manager with no discretion and no wiggle room in the middle of the year.


lifeflame's avatar

Ask, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
And don’t be put off if at first you don’t succeed… the act of asking is important.

I asked right off the bat and I got a “how dare you / who do you think you are” lecture… but six months later they raised my salary because they saw that I really could perform and I did deserve the raise. And maybe, as srmorgan said, I asked at an inconvenient time in terms of the company’s financial cycle.


srmorgan's avatar

@lifeflame – that is the exact point that I was trying to make: sometimes you just have to say no even though you really want to say yes.

In my first two jobs, I was not in accounting, I was in sales and I was in no position to know how those two companies were doing financially. So as far as I was concerned, we were shipping product, presumably we were making a fat profit, so why shouldn’t it trickle down to me? The fact that the second company I was working for was undercapitalized and grabbing low margin business in desperation to try to turn things around wasn’t known to the junior guys and gals working the phones in sales.

When they closed up unexpectedly over about a three day sequence, the truth hit home.

Sometimes a boss’s no is no indication of dissatisfaction with your performance, sometimes there are other forces in effect.

occ's avatar

@srmorgan – you’re right. I work in the non-profit world, where things can be a bit different from the corporate world. I’ve also been with my current organization for a long time – so I haven’t had much experience with different places of employment—i just know what works around here. .
The bottom line – put yourself in your boss’s shoes and consider all the various factors at your workplace (and whether or not your boss has the ability to give you what you want, given the corporate structure at your place of employment) before you plan to ask for one.

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