Asking for a raise is stressful. But time your ask well and you’ll increase your chances of success. Here are the best times to ask for a raise — and some of the times to avoid.
1. When the company is doing well.
Of course, it’s better to ask for a raise when the company has something to give. But how can you tell if your company is doing well or lagging?
Learn about the health of your company by reading quarterly financial reports or sales figures. U.S. public companies’ financials are freely available on EDGAR, Yahoo Finance and Google Finance. Check your company website to find reports, investor communications or press releases. Most likely, your company will be happy to brag about good news or willing to explain when things aren’t going as well.
Search Paysa CompanyRank to learn whether your company is attracting top tech talent in your industry. Not only will you learn how your workplace is faring, but also you’ll get ideas for future employers if your salary negotiations don’t go as well as planned.
2. When you are earning less than others in a similar position or industry.
If you are underpaid, now might be the right time to ask for a raise. But first, find out if you are truly underpaid before you engage your boss in raise talk. Do some research to find out how much peers in your industry or job position are earning.
You don’t have to sneak around your workplace asking about salaries. Instead, that information is easily accessible online. Paysa has collected about 50 million salaries to allow you to search average salary for your job title, education level and where you live.
Also, delve into the salaries paid by similar companies to your employer’s and see if your pay stacks up. If you notice a discrepancy, then review the how to negotiate for a raise resource to get ready for the ask.
3. You’ve been at your job for awhile.
A top reason people aren’t being paid their worth is they haven’t asked for a raise. Expecting your manager or boss to you a raise without asking isn’t the wisest strategy to grow wealth, so it’s time to broach the topic. Having a salary conversation may feel awkward or you fear rejection, but it’s important you take care of your interests. Negotiating a raise doesn’t require exceptional talent or charisma — just preparation and a practice script.
4. Two or three months before your annual review.
Getting a raise usually takes time because your boss or manager must navigate company red tape to advocate on your behalf. By asking before your review, then your boss can take a closer look at your worth and make a better case to his or her boss. Use our annual review prep guide to help you make the strongest case in words and in actions.
5. In November, when your company is planning next year’s budget.
A good way to get a pay bump is to make it easy for your company to give you a raise. Ask for a raise when your employer is planning the next year’s budget. Many companies operate on a January to December fiscal year and November is usually devoted to budget planning. So ask for that raise and maybe, by Thanksgiving, you’ll be giving thanks for more income.
6. You’ve had success that brings value to the company.
Now isn’t the time to be humble. Think about your recent accomplishments and how they have brought value to the company. Imagine yourself as George Bailey in, It’s a Wonderful Life. If you hadn’t been at the company, then what would have they lost? List your successes and concrete ways they have helped your company in terms of money, time-saved, new opportunities, disasters avoided, etc. That list will build your confidence and arm you with reasons you deserve more pay.
7. Your boss is in a good mood.
Your wins matter to the company, but so do the successes of your boss. If your supervisor or department is doing well, then that may mean rewards for you. Perhaps the wave of good will means it’s a good time to ask for a raise. Frame the ask in terms of how you have contributed to team success without appearing to steal the spotlight from your boss. Even If your boss is feeling great for reasons that have nothing to do with work, it can be a good time to ride that wave.
8. You have skills valued by the company.
You’ve worked hard to acquire the skills you have and you might be irreplaceable to your employer. Take an inventory of the technical skills you bring to the table. Add in the “soft skills” you have, like having a good rapport with customers or contributing to team spirit. Learn which skills are valued by top tech companies to see if you might be undervaluing what you know and do. Those skills have true value, which can be turned into higher pay.
9. The economy is strong.
You can take advantage of a booming economy and turn it into a raise for yourself. But act fast because what goes up also comes down. Luckily, there are numerous economic indicators, which are reported on a regular basis. Browse public data to know when it’s the best time to negotiate a raise. The consumer confidence index is a survey of how confident U.S. households feel in the economy. Also, the national unemployment rate, which is updated monthly. High consumer confidence and low unemployment rates make you harder to replace — and therefore more valuable.
Now that you have several good reasons to request a raise, here are some thoughts about the worst times times ask for more money.
1. The company is having trouble.
Troubled times are usually not a good time to ask for a raise. Business uncertainty is often a deal killer because the company is reluctant to commit to giving you money that may be needed elsewhere.
2. Your supervisor is busy or stressed.
Even if the company is busy and doing well, it’s not necessarily the greatest time to ask for a raise. With abundance comes stress. If your boss is working long hours or seems harried, then you might want to lie low until things settle down into a positive groove.
3. It’s too soon to ask.
You may realize you were too eager to accept a job offer and took a lower salary than you deserve. However, it’s probably not a good idea to ask for more money when you’ve just started working. Six months on the job is the bare minimum for you to be able to show that your value to the company. Don’t despair, it’s never to early to start planning for your annual review and positioning yourself for a raise.
Author: Chris Bolte