How to Ask for a Raise

June 27, 2019

When it comes to asking for a raise, there are a few factors you need to consider.

Before I get into them though, there is one thing I need to address.  Some people will go out, get another job offer and then use that job offer as leverage to get more money from their current employer.  This is a terrible idea!

When you do force your employer’s hand like this and ultimately do accept the counter offer, all you have done is put a target on your back at work.  Your employer will also be questioning your loyalty and commitment to the firm. 

Don’t do that!  Instead take this approach when asking for a raise.

First – you need to do your research.  You need to know what the typical salary ranges are for someone of your experience and skill set.  You can research this online, connect with others in the industry, see if any industry associations have salary guides or speak to recruiters, like me.

After you have done your homework, then timing becomes important.  Don’t ask 3 weeks into your new job or a month before your performance review – as you can save the conversation for then. Definitely don’t ask during a very stressful time either (for example during a big trial or on the day of a big closing). 

Instead, you want to ask after a big accomplishment or after a length of time where you have taken on greater responsibility.

How you do it is also vital.  Don’t do it over email! Ask for a meeting with your supervisor or lawyer. 

In the meeting, be sure to communicate the successes you have accomplished, the added responsibility you have taken on and overall, why you feel you deserve a raise.  It is important to demonstrate what added value you have brought to the firm. Also, talking about your future career plans within the firm and highlighting how you see yourself growing there will also help you.  You can also explain what added responsibilities you would like to take on.       

Be sure to practice this speech in advance.  Be prepared for questions or to support your ask with further examples.  Finally, after doing all this, you still need to be prepared to hear “No”.   When this happens, you can ask for an interim performance review with clearly defined goals and salary. This puts you in line for a possible increase sooner and also lets your supervisor know that you are serious about your career.

Thanks for reading!  If you have any further questions on this topic or any others which are on your mind, feel free to contact us. 

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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