Asking for a raise graphic


It’s a simple yet sometimes hard to swallow truth: You can’t get a raise if you don’t ask for it. So how then do you ask for one?

  • First, it’s essential to research the industry and local market. The phrase to keep in your back pocket is market value: This is what another company would be willing to pay you to do the same job. How do you obtain this information? Job boards, Glassdoor and even recruiters are good and relevant sources. Assuming you are comparatively underpaid, present this data to your manager or human resources professional as a case for why you merit an increase.
  • The second (but potentially awkward) conversation relates to company value. Try to determine how much it would cost to replace you. Depending on your industry and seniority, it can cost between $2,000 – $25,000 or more to replace you. For those in sales roles or workplaces in which billable hours are the norm, it should be a more straightforward calculation. Look at how much you are bringing in for the company. Again, do the research before you present your case to your manager. More often than not your boss will consider a raise based on the cost-benefit analysis alone. It’s expensive to find (and retain) quality talent.
  • Amount and timing are two variables you want to keep in mind. A realistic range is a 5-10-percent increase. You are less likely to get any raise at all if you go in asking for more, but at the same time you don’t want to short-change yourself. Aim high and maybe your manager will meet you in the middle.
  • As for timing, research shows that the best time to ask for a raise is Friday morning, maybe around 10 am.  Studies shows that people tend to be more generous in the morning before noon—and the added relief that comes from a weekend ahead of you doesn’t hurt. Your annual review is also prime time to pop the question. Chances are your boss is already looking ahead and as long as company performance was competent you are likely poised for a yes.
  • When all else fails, just ask! Don’t leave money on the table just because you are too timid to broach the subject. Most employees don’t know they probably have the upper hand and are more valuable to their boss than they think.

Need some help in gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace? Call on the experts. We use a strength-based approach to discovering, growing, and leveraging your unique skill set and talents. We can help you stand out in the sea of competition, while finding an opportunity that will also achieve your goals.


Written By Toni Widman
Toni Widman is the founder and CEO of Integrated Talent Solutions, part of a family of brands offering unique solutions to organizations in Talent Acquisition and culture fit. Our unique Benchmarking process enables us to be set apart from other typical recruiting organizations. By defining expectations for job success using a data driven approach, we help companies Identify, select and develop the RIGHT Team. If you are looking for the proven path for better hiring practices, please contact us at


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