Asking for a Raise in Salary – A Few More Thoughts

So what does it take to get a boss to give you a raise – even in a tough economy? Basically, you have to ask for it.  Not that you get it every time..but sometimes you do, so it’s at least worth trying.

Take for instance the wonderful post I just read about this on This Writer’s Wallet by GradGirl:

I Asked for a Raise, and Here’s What Happened

In her post, GradGirl offers her own success story asking for a raise (I guess I just gave away the ending) using personal ingenuity, tips she learned in a Forbes article, some inspiration from other places, and of course…courage. Congratulations on a job well done GradGirl- and on asking for what you deserve!

But I do know how hard it is to ask for a raise, so I also want to share some of my own thoughts as well as a few previous posts on this subject. I was happy to see that I did mention a few of the same tips found in the Forbes article, and I’m hoping you’ll also find other things here to help and/or inspire you:

My Boss Promised Me a Raise and I Got ZILCH!

A Case for ILORs (In Lieu of Raises)

This one offers several links to other articles I find useful:

Why Won’t My Boss Give Me a Raise?

And more recently, a post on simply daring to ask!

Negotiating Job Salary: You Mean You Have to Ask?

One of the things I didn’t mention in any of my prior articles relates to the way GradGirl went about asking for her raise. She e-mailed her request!

Now, if at all possible, I suggest face-to-face discussions with your boss when asking for a raise – and all along the way since it helps build a better working relationship and opens you up to information and new possibilities you may miss otherwise. . But I know not everyone out there feels comfortable doing that. And, as in GradGirl’s case, sometimes logistics (being in different towns, for instance) makes it difficult to sit down with your boss.

So because of the logistics, she chose to use e-mail to present a clearly written, bulleted case for the raise, along with comparative salaries. And it worked. I give credit to her boss too, for recognizing her value and responding to her request. (As we all know, not all bosses are like that. But more than you may think are.)

Now, if you’re down the hall from your boss or you see each other all the time, please consider asking for a meeting rather than going the e-mail route. There are so many (sometimes intangible) benefits to building an in-person relationship with your boss – or using regular e-mail, phone, and or even video conference contact if you are not in the same location. Regular contact is the key.

But I’m mostly writing this just to let you know if needed there is another way. And it certainly did work for her.  Don’t ever let distance stop you from asking for a raise or promotion or even suggesting a new project for yourself. This is your life, after all.

But whether it’s e-mail or face-to-face, when asking for a raise:

  • research your facts, including comparative salaries (you can use
  • prepare a written presentation, including a bulleted list of things you’ve done to add value above and beyond the job’s basic stated responsibilities
  • keep your presentation simple and to the point
  • stay away from extraneous information like what other people are getting or doing – keep the focus on yourself and what you offer the company
  • and above all…don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.

Thanks to GradGirl for showing us another way. And good luck putting these tips to good use and getting what YOU want!


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. Hey, thanks for the nod! And thanks again for your help and advice back when I originally brought up raise-asking. I really appreciate what you do here.

  2. Awwww shucks. Thanks GG. As you know, I’m a fan of your blog too. And congrats on reaching your budget goal and going on that vacation! You inspire us all. 😉

Speak Your Mind