How to Ask for a Raise Without Sounding Greedy

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Asking for a raise in itself is a difficult topic to broach with your boss! For starters, it sometimes feels as though you’re asking for too much. It might also end up painting you as unappreciative and greedy if not done correctly. 

However, if you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get what you deserve! So how do you request a salary increase without sounding like you’re just after more money?

The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with asking or requesting a raise. In fact, you should ask for one if you think you deserve it and have contributed to the company’s success. It is estimated that in America alone, roughly 37% of all employees ask for a raise in any given year, so you’re definitely not alone!

In this article, we’ll go over how to ask for a raise without sounding greedy, as well as some tips to increase your chances of getting that raise.

How Do You Politely Ask For A Salary Increase?

When asking for a raise, always remember to be polite and professional. This is not the time to get emotional or angry, as that will only worsen the situation. Instead, try to have a calm and collected demeanor throughout the conversation.

According to a survey by payscale, 30% of people who asked for a raise in 2019 were denied. Their proposals were outright rejected. However, the same study found that the remaining 70% got a raise after sitting down with their boss and having a conversation.

So while asking for a raise may be a difficult task, it’s definitely not impossible. And with the right approach, you can significantly increase your chances of getting that increment!

So how do you politely ask for a salary increase without sounding greedy?

  1.  Consider The Timing

When it comes to asking for a raise, timing is everything. You don’t want to ask for a raise when your company is going through tough times or just had a round of layoffs. This will make you seem insensitive and ungrateful.

Instead, try timing your request with your company’s budget cycle. This way, your boss will be more likely to consider your request and have the necessary budget to give you a raise. You also need to know your boss’s workload and try not to ask when they are swamped with work.

For instance, avoid asking them at the beginning of the week. Statistics have shown that scheduling a meeting on a Monday morning is often difficult. This is because most people are trying to get back into the groove of work after the weekend and may not be as receptive to your request. 

Check out our post on the appropriate time to ask for a raise.

  1. Know Your Worth:  

Before even thinking about asking for a raise, you need to know your worth first. How much are you currently being paid? How does this compare to other people in your field or with your experience level?

Do some research and find out the going rate for someone in your position. This way, you can better understand how much of a raise to ask for. Imagine asking for a 50% increase when the industry average is 10%? You will definitely seem greedy! Your boss won’t take you seriously and may even question your dedication to the company. 

Try to be reasonable with your request.

  1.  Make a Case for Yourself: 

If our boss doesn’t know who you are, asking for a raise will be a lot harder. So try building a relationship with them beforehand but avoid buttering them up too much, or they will see right through you!

When the time comes, have a solid case ready to back up your request. Create a list of all the successes and accomplishments you’ve had at the company. This could be anything from increasing sales to hitting your targets. Whatever it is, make sure you have concrete evidence to back it up.

Note: when asking for a meeting, don’t say, “I want to talk to you about my salary” This makes it sound like all you care about is the money. Instead, try something like, “I would like to schedule a meeting to discuss my career development.”

  1. Be Prepared for a Counteroffer: 

In some cases, your boss may not be able to give you the raise you want. They may offer you a lower salary increase or even no raise at all.

If this happens, don’t get disappointed. A survey done by payscale found that 31% of employees who get a pay raise don’t always get the full amount they had asked for. Try and negotiate for other benefits such as extra vacation days or flexible working hours. You could also try asking for a bonus instead of a raise. 

Whatever you do, don’t get too emotional or upset. This will only make your boss less likely to give you what you want. Remain calm and polite throughout the conversation.

It’s great to know what you SHOULD do when asking for a raise, but it’s equally important that you know how to NOT ask for a raise as well. Know the pitfalls.

What Is a Reasonable Raise To Ask For?

This is a difficult question and will depend on a number of factors such as your current salary, company budget, and how long you’ve been with the company. Over the last 5 years, 37 percent of companies in America have given their employees a salary increase of 3 – 5 percent or less.

So if you’re currently earning $50,000 a year, you could expect to receive a pay increase of  $1,500 – $2,500. But with the current tight job market, some companies are starting to give larger raises. It really depends on the company you work for and how well you’ve been performing. 

A good rule of thumb is to ask for 7-15% more than what you’re currently earning per year. Anything more than this might be too much and could damage your relationship with your boss. It will just make you look greedy.

A 7-15% will sum up to an extra  $350 – $500 per month if you’re currently earning $50,000 per year. This is a reasonable amount to ask for, and your boss will probably take it seriously. Yes, you may not get the full amount, but it’s always good to start high and then negotiate down.

Of course, this is just a general guideline, and you will need to use your best judgment. You should also note that if you’re earning close to the average salary for your position, you may not be able to ask for such a large raise.

Related: How Much Is Too Much to Ask for a Raise?

How To Not Sound Greedy When Asking For A Raise

If you’re asking for a raise, you don’t want to come across as someone only interested in money. So, focus on how much you contribute to the company and how you deserve to be rewarded for your hard work. 

Here are 4 keys to not sounding greedy : 

1. Talk About your Accomplishments: 

When you’re asking for a raise, make sure you talk about all the great things you’ve done for the company. This could be anything from “I have consistently hit my targets, and I believe I deserve a raise.” or “I have taken on extra responsibilities, and I think I should be compensated for my hard work.” Whatever it is, make sure you have concrete evidence to back it up.

This gives your boss a chance to see how much you’ve contributed to the company and makes it more likely that they’ll give you a raise. It also makes you sound less greedy as you’re not just asking for more money without any justification. You’re showing that you provide value to the company and should be paid for that value.

2. Talk About WHY You Deserve A Raise:

This is one area most people go wrong. Instead of talking about why you need a raise, try and make the subject of why you deserve the raise. Focus on your accomplishments and how you’ve helped the company. 

For example, don’t say something like, “I need a raise because I want to buy a new house/car.” This sounds entitled and wonky. Instead, try something like, “I have helped increase sales by 25% this year, and I believe I deserve to be rewarded for my hard work.”

This way, your boss knows exactly what you’ve done and why you think you deserve a raise. They can’t really argue with that!

3. Don’t Be Too Greedy Ask For A Reasonable Amount:

Make sure you ask for a reasonable amount. 

Do your research beforehand and find out how much people in your position are paid. This will give you a good idea of how much you should be asking for. 

When you’re asking for a raise, don’t just focus on the money. Instead, talk about other things that are important to you. This could be anything from more vacation days to flexible working hours for your work-life balance

This shows your boss that you’re not just interested in the money and makes you seem reasonable. It also means that even if your boss can’t give you a raise, they might be able to offer you something else that’s just as valuable.

4. Be Confident But Not Arrogant: 

When you’re asking for a raise, be clear about your request. This doesn’t mean being arrogant and thinking you’re better than everyone else. Just be confident in your own abilities and why you deserve a raise. 

For example, when asking for a raise, don’t say ” “I need a raise or else I’ll leave the company.”  This doesn’t sound confident. It only sounds cocky and seems as though you’re threatening your boss. 

Instead, try something like, “I know my worth, and I deserve a raise.” This sounds confident and shows you’re sure of yourself. It also highlights that you’re not afraid to stand up for what you believe.

Ask For That Raise!

Asking for a raise can be a daunting task, but you’ll never get one if you don’t ask for it. This is why you need to take charge of the situation and have a conversation with your boss.

Just follow these tips on how to ask for a raise without sounding greedy, and you’ll get the increment you deserve. Remember to focus on your accomplishments, be reasonable, and be confident in your abilities. Good luck!

If you don’t end up getting the raise you want, then check out this post next: What to Do When You Don’t Get a Raise [5 Actions To Take]