When and How to Request a Salary Increase

Even when you know your job performance has well exceeded your boss’s expectations, and has even progressed past its original description, it does not necessarily mean it is Requesting Salary Increase_dollar bills with arrow showing increasethe ideal time to approach your boss to discuss a raise in pay.  While requesting a raise is a pivotal stride in the planning and management of your career, it is definitely something that needs to be carefully planned.  It is important to consider the timing of your request so as not to unintentionally end up on less than outstanding terms with your boss, while being sure to make a positive impact through your confidence and assuredness in your value to the organization.

Here, we will explore this factor as well as other aspects which can affect your chances of receiving the raise you’ve worked so diligently to earn.

Pass Your “Probationary” Period.

The notion that you should have been with your company for at least one year certainly holds true when asking your boss for a raise.  Company loyalty speaks volumes, as does reliability and dependability.  It may feel like an eternity in your eyes, but to your boss, an employee who has not even reached their one-year mark with the company risks appearing overly self-possessed and even entitled – even if your boss is extremely pleased with your overall job performance.

Know Where Your Company is Headed. 

If you are truly a present employee, and you have been working there long enough, you should be aware of the general structural plans of the organization.  Are they experiencing cut-backs or downsizing?  Are mergers being discussed or implemented?  It’s an unfortunate situation if these circumstances coincide with placing you with a well-deserved raise, but waiting for a company’s hurdles to pass will certainly increase your chances of receiving that raise in pay when the time is right.  It’s also a great opportunity to show how you are willing to buckle down and stick with an organization through its highs and lows.  Dedication always speaks volumes.

Be Sure You’re Meeting Potential.

While the overall timing of requesting a raise is extremely important, it isn’t everything.  You may feel you are deserving of an increase in pay, but are you positive your boss will agree?  Of course, you are doing a great job in your own eyes.  It is always difficult to ask for a raise, but be sure to be ready and able to provide enough feedback to prove your indispensability and prove you are deserving of the increase.  It’s one thing to simply meet the requirements of your job description; it’s another to truly work to your own highest potential, and this where you may need to self-assess.  If you are exceeding expectations, your employer should notice, even if it takes some spotlighting on your part.  Basically, you should have the work performance behind you to back up your request.

Be Secure Discussing Salary.

Unfortunately, speaking in terms of salary and compensation can be a difficult topic to approach in most companies.  Therefore, your manner of doing so has much to do with the general progression of your request.  It’s always a good idea to refrain from comparisons to fellow employees; remain focused on you and your own achievements and performance.

Stay Positive.

If your boss denies your request for a pay increase, don’t lose hope.  This can be an Requesting Salary Increase_business woman and professional man speakingopportune time to discuss what you can do to enhance your worth to your department or company as a whole.  Opening a feedback-friendly dialog with your boss can create the opportunity for better overall communication between the two of you.  If your raise was not approved due to company circumstances, don’t lose hope; you initiated the conversation, which means when their situation improves, your raise may just be around the corner.  Whatever the reason, it does not mean that the initial rejection ensures a future denial of your request.

In Conclusion.

Once you have contemplated these factors, it is important not to shy away from the notion of asking for a raise in pay at some point in time.  As important as it is to assess your worth within the eyes of your employer, it’s also important to be recognizant of your own efforts and achievements.

By Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200