When Is It OK to Ask for a Raise?

asking for a raise

Ever heard the saying, “Timing is everything”?

In many aspects of life, your success at doing something is often related to when you attempt it. Your career is no exception; getting your request for a pay increase approved can be as much about when you ask as it is about your job performance.


Is it the right time to ask for a raise?

Your chances are most favorable if the following holds true:


Your company is stable.

If your employer weathered last year’s instability well and business is good, it’s likely management will be receptive to your request.


You’ve just taken on more responsibility.

Have you been assigned to a higher-level project? Are you volunteering for tough jobs that nobody else wants to do? Are you working longer and harder? If you’re adding more value to your organization, seize the opportunity to increase your compensation.


You have an internal champion.

If your immediate supervisor thinks you’re doing a great job, find out if they’d be willing to help make your case to the decision-maker who would award you a pay increase.


You’ve had a major success on the job.

Ask for a raise while your accomplishment is fresh in your manager’s mind. Detail and quantify your results to clarify the benefits your achievement created for the organization (e.g., how you saved time, increased accuracy, generated revenue, minimized rework or waste, etc.).


Your boss has recently been recognized for an accomplishment or promoted.

Not surprisingly, decision-makers feel benevolent when they’re thriving in their own job. Strike while the iron is hot. And if you’ve contributed to your manager’s recent success, share those details to strengthen your case when you ask for a pay increase.


It’s a low-stress time of year.

Evaluating a request for a raise takes time and effort, so approach your boss when you can get their undivided attention. The best opportunities for success are when decision-makers are not facing tight deadlines or under high pressure.


You can prove you’re underpaid.

If you’re successful in your job and provide relevant data showing that others in your market and role (with similar experience and tenure) are earning more, you make it much easier for your boss to grant you a raise. In this post, we review various indicators to help you evaluate your salary and determine if your pay is competitive – or if you truly deserve more.


Hold off on asking for a raise if:

  • Your employer has cut your department’s budget or laid off/furloughed employees.
  • Your relationship with your manager is strained.
  • You’ve been turned down for a raise within the last six months.
  • You’re just fishing for more money.


Related content:

How to Ask for a Promotion

Making Your Case for a Raise During Uncertain Times


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PrideStaff can help you find a great opportunity that provides the challenge, growth potential, and compensation you need. To learn more, contact your local PrideStaff recruiter today.