How to Ask for a Raise

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Career-Raise CroppedAsking employers for a raise can be an intimidating and sometimes touchy subject, especially for women, says Communications Professor Danielle Leek. When considering asking for a raise, be thoughtful and patient, this conversation takes practice.

Before you consider leaving your job, schedule a meeting with your employer to talk about the possibility of increasing your compensation. Know what you want before going into an employer's office, Leek says. Learn what dollar amount is typically affixed to your profession and for someone of your experience and level of education. Don't jump ship because you are feeling under appreciated.

"If you are considering leaving your job because you think you can do better elsewhere, or don't feel like you are getting what you deserve, it's time to ask for a raise," Leek says.  

Before you schedule your meeting, make a list of your work-related accomplishments, and include what you plan to do for the company in the future. Remember to credit your employer, after all, Leek says, "the employer has done something right to give us opportunities to feel like we deserve more." Practice your presentation out loud.

When meeting with your employer, be direct in telling her that you are meeting to discuss continuing your employment. Review your compensation needs, and be specific about dollar amounts, benefits and hours. Understand that you may have to wait for an answer.

"Recognize that they may not be in a position to give you what you want. They may need time to talk with other company employees or to review their accounts," Leek says.

No matter the outcome, be professional, even if your request is denied.

"If that happens…politely explain that you appreciate their consideration, and ask if they would be willing to serve as a reference if you choose to seek other employment opportunities," Leek says.

Written by: Erika Fifelski was born and raised in West Michigan, and after a brief stint on the sunrise side, she's home and loving it. Erika enjoys cooking, sewing, vacuuming, and discovering new ways to live sustainably and support local businesses. Photo credit: Daquella Manera. 

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