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Admin Pro Forum

Demanding a raise: Impossible to pull off smoothly?

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Question: "It's been three years since I got a raise and I need to have the discussion with my boss about it. If I can't get one, I think it's time to move on. But approaching him about it feels so awkward, no matter what technique I imagine. Requesting a meeting will make that awkwardness hang over our heads until it happens, but I just know approaching him casually will make me scramble for lame words. Is there a painless way to do this that doesn't put us both in an uncomfortable spot?" - Erin, Restaurant Marketing Assistant

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa January 24, 2019 at 5:21 pm

At my last job I knew I was not getting fairly compensated for the high level I was expected to (and did) execute. [For context I reported to the CEO, and supported senior-level and Board of Directors administrative functions]. I did my research so when the topic presented itself I was ready with a number. I wanted the conversation to be organic, rather than book a meeting. So, a few months later my boss called me in to the office to discuss my year-end bonus and I was able to naturally bridge to discussing a raise. While my approach was passive and I didn’t get the raise, the way in which the conversation unrolled it made it less awkward. Going in ‘guns blazing’ would have made the conversation go poorly. I didn’t the raise, but I was able to have the salary conversation when I was interviewing for other jobs.

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Renee December 14, 2018 at 9:07 am

Let him know that you would like to visit with him for a few minutes and is there a good time to get together. If he asks what it’s regarding, say that you want to talk about your job performance and would like his feedback on what you are doing right or what areas you may need improvement on. Start the meeting off by expressing your concern that you have not had a raise in three years and was wondering why that was. Is this an oversite or is it something that you are doing or not doing that is preventing you from receiving a raise? Be confident in your own self value and tell him why you think you have earned it. Write down reasons or examples and take them with you. It never hurts to let your boss know your expectations. I have worked for my boss for 3 years and earlier this year I told him that I wanted a raise, that I thought that I had earned one. During the three years that I have worked for him, every one of my evaluations have been rated as Excellent and Superior. I work for a government agency that is not known for giving raises; would I have gotten a raise if I had not let my expectations known? I would like to think so but I honestly don’t know. Put yourself out there, you never know what will happen. In a worst-case scenario, you can always look for another job. Good Luck!

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Eline M. December 14, 2018 at 8:47 am

Catching him to talk might be difficult, especially if he has time constraints or things on his mind. I recommend you schedule an appointment telling him you need to discuss some things without distraction. Yes, it may be a bit awkward, but it will give you both time to devote to the subject at hand.

Bring with you documentation of reviews, accolades, accomplishments, etc. Do some research on salaries for similar positions in your area and point out that you have not had a raise in three years. Use a matter-of-fact and professional tone, not accusing or emotional.

You have to be your own cheerleader. It’s possible he has never thought about raises and if you don’t remind him, he never will. If you are unable to get that raise after all of that, I would consider leaving for a better opportunity.

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Reg December 14, 2018 at 8:35 am

I would go through the whole conversation in your mind beforehand, paying special attention to your opening lines. In the past I have tacked on a raise request to another issue–I waited until my boss and I were through discussing something and then added, “There’s one other thing….” I think I said something like, “I don’t have to tell you that money is always a concern in life, and it doesn’t feel like we’re quite keeping up with the cost of living.” I tried to make it more about that than about me.

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jss December 13, 2018 at 4:11 pm

It seems you are more comfortable with just approaching him. So have everything prepared on your end, and when the time is right – approach. There will be none of the “awkwardness” by having a meeting hanging over your heads, and you will be more at ease having everything prepared ahead of time.

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Jenni Shaw December 13, 2018 at 4:09 pm

It seems you are more comfortable with just approaching him. So have everything prepared on your end, and when the time is right – approach. There will be none of the “awkwardness” by having a meeting hanging over your heads, and you will be more at east having everything prepared ahead of time.

Reply

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