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How to Ask for a Raise

Presenting Your Case for a Raise

To begin the conversation, mention in an e-mail or conversation that you'd like to set up a meeting to discuss your role in the company. Don't panic if you send an e-mail and don't hear back right away. They'll get back to you when they have an opportunity.

Timing, as they say, is everything. Knowing when to ask for a raise is just as important as knowing how. Asking during a performance review is a great time, or when you've been assigned additional responsibilities or duties [source: Chapman].

Opening the discussion immediately after a meeting about layoffs or bad sales numbers may not seem like the best time to ask for a raise, but here's where being fully aware of your situation can pay off. Keep in mind that in a negotiation, you bring something to the table, too. If your company is hurting, this could be your opportunity to shine.

Being concise in your approach saves time and will demonstrate your value in the eyes of your employer, so limit the type of material you bring to the discussion to only the most relevant. Leave out any personal reasons for a raise -- that's not the organization's responsibility and will all but guarantee a denial. If you're discussing how you've helped the company so far, focus on those parts of your contribution that you can quantify.

If you're already doing extra work for whatever reason, asking for a raise is little more than asking them to honor their part of the bargain, and that would be your strongest argument.

Think of ways you could contribute that you're not currently doing; better yet, ask your employer how they see your position developing in the coming years. Ask what their needs are and listen closely to the response [source: McGrath].

Consider your employer's remarks and think of ways you can make that happen. Show them how you can make their vision a reality, and they'll most likely see a good reason to reward you for it.

Now that you've gained a better understanding of how to present your case, we'll look at some good tips to keep in mind and explore how to react to whatever answer you get.