I'd like to ask for a raise. Where do I start? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

I'd like to ask for a raise. Where do I start?

Get PDF file

by on
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: My problem is how do you ask for a raise? I started seven months ago and was told at the time I was hired that I would be eligible for a raise in six months. Well, it has been six months and I have not heard anything yet from the management.

I am pretty confident they are impressed with my work ethic and the amount I can produce. Do you think it is too soon to ask?  -- SRW


Asking for a raise is easier said than done. After my 90 day probation I wanted to ask for a raise and didn't know how so I made an outline of all the issues I wanted to discuss or reivew. My main categories were: Performance, Benefits, Salary, Task List, and Other. This helped me stay focused when I met with my supervisor and it was easier to read off my outline. I felt that my supervisor was impressed at the detail of my outline. When I approached the Salary portion, I simply asked when salary was negotiable. I received a bigger increase than expected. Our company has standard yearly review every February, if you don't have an expected review scheduled (check your companies policies and procedures)- ask for a meeting to discuss your issues and come prepared. Good luck!

Speaking from the supervisor point of view, I can attest first-hand that we often get sidetracked with so many issues, that it is very easy to forget these types of things. We have even signed people up late for their insurance (we have a 60-day waiting period) just due to not remembering to do it. There is always a good chance that the people who take care of this issue forgot that your six months is up. I would e-mail or ask the person who told you about the six months something like this: "My six-months are up, and I remember you mentioned that I am eligible for a raise at this point. What day and time can we set up an appointment for my review?" It is both polite, and yet to the point.

I've had this same issue before - "after 6 months we'll review and you'll be eligible for a raise" and 12 months later, still no review! I was too dumb to pay attention to this fact and do NOT plan to let this happen again. I would say both the prior comments have it on the head - the only thing I would add to it is research. Research what your position pays with salary.com and payscale.com. For free, you can get not only the national ranges, but also the local ranges. You need to be prepared to say WHY you deserve a raise. It's not ALL about work and performance - it's about what would they have to pay another person in your area. For too long the workplace has been 90% employER directed; it's time for the employEEs to have a little more clout! It's an employEE market right now - with so many companies looking for administrative professionals and I'm sorry, but there just can't be that many out there! I'm not saying to take advantage, but look at what their options are. They already have you, and what would they have to pay a comparable employee in your area PLUS trainig, etc....

Long winded and scattered comment, but that's my thoughts.

Dear SRW - Problem #1 - Being eligible for a raise and being entitled to a raise are two different things. Eligible means that after a certain point they could consider a raise. They may feel that you will have to go above and beyond the job description in your performance to warrant an increase. Its not a question of whether it is too soon to ask for the raise that you are now eligible for, but whether you have enough "amunition" to convince them that you deserve it.

I would begin a dialogue by stating that you have been in the job for seven months and have done everything that has been asked of you in the position plus. . .(and here is where you insert a few things you have done over and above the job description). As such, you thought you would re-visit the mention of being eligible for a raise after six months on the job. Be honest with them and mention that the hope of an increase after six months was part of the incentive for taking the job. Tell them you realize that the first three to six months are a trial period for both you and the employer, but you feel you've more than proven yourself by (mention a few more successes/training) and wondered if they might consider an increase at this point? It would be prudent to have a file documenting your claims (e-mails, notes, certificates, etc.).

If you feel at this point that you have no achievements or further training that would convince them that you deserve a raise you may want to get some of that under your belt before approaching. You don't want to approach them with their having any reason to deny the raise such as stating that you are doing only what is expected of the position. They may come back with something to the affect that no promises were made, simply that once six months passed you would be "eligible".

I would agree that some managers are very overwhelmed and do become sidetracked. I also agree that asking for a raise would be much better put as "I was wondering if we were going to get the chance to meet about my performance and progress". Managers know that means, am I getting a raise in code.

Good luck and don't be afraid

I agree with the above. I work for an employer that is known for not giving raises except for cost of living. Most of the people who don't get merit raises don't go above and beyond but I continued (and still do) to take on new responsibilities.

Like most managers, he is very busy so it took a while to get him pinned down to talk to him.

My husband is very meticulous and helped me write the documentation that helped me get my raise. I also read this article about how IT personnel should look at upgrades and so forth from a business point of view rather than IT. Meaning - go to your boss with how much the new computer will save (time etc.) rather than talking about all the cool things you can do with it.

I approached his point of view by how much money I had saved him over a years period by doing what I had done. I was even surprised when I tallied it all up - it came up to almost $20,000 savings. My raise amounted to 5% over the cost of living raise that is the norm.

I basically handed my boss a document with the different things I had done noting how much money I had saved with each one. This allowed him to look at it at his leisure.

The one promise I had to make was not to tell anyone i.e. the reason I am anonymous!

I hope this helps and good luck!

Where I work they give a review at six months of employment. This can be with or without a raise but it's still part of the process. If nothing else, don't necessarily go asking for a raise, but maybe put the emphasis on your interest in receiving your performance review. This may open the door for them to consider whether they will give you more money or not.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: