When Is It Appropriate to Ask For a Raise? [How to Decide]

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When asking for a raise, timing is everything! You don’t want to ask for a raise too soon and risk being seen as pushy or entitled. However, you also don’t want to wait too long that your employer assumes you’re not interested in a raise or that you’re already satisfied with your current salary.

So, how do you know when it’s the right time to ask for a raise?  

The key here is to know when you have enough negotiating power and when you don’t. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to ask for a raise when your employer is doing well financially and when you have a solid track record of delivering results and meeting goals. 

Before asking for a raise, there are a few things to keep in mind. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to decide when it’s the right time to ask for a raise, as well as how to determine if you’re ready for one.

Why Asking for a Raise Is Normal

It’s normal to want a raise! In fact, according to a recent survey, 40% of the average American worker asked for a raise in 2020. The most common reason cited for wanting a raise was ” cost of living,” followed by “deserve more pay,” and “to maintain the standard of living.”

If you’re thinking about asking for a raise, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone! And, more importantly, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a raise.

Essentially, asking for a raise is actually a good thing! It shows that you’re ambitious and want to be compensated fairly for your hard work. When done correctly, it can also lead to a better working relationship with your employer. 

Factors To Consider When Determining If It’s An Appropriate Time To Ask For A Raise

According to recent surveys, 43% of workers think they are underpaid, but only half of them have ever asked for a raise. A big chunk of this number will not even dare sit down with their boss and talk about money.

This is especially true with women – studies have shown that women are less likely to ask for a raise than men, even when they’re equally qualified. Most of them are afraid of this topic…they shouldn’t!

A study by Salary.com found that the number one reason people don’t ask for a raise is that they’re afraid of getting rejected. Other reasons included :

  • They don’t want to rock the boat
  • They’re not sure how to ask for a raise
  • They’re not sure if they deserve a raise
  • They’re afraid of what their boss will think.

So, when is it appropriate to ask for a raise? 

There is no single answer to this question: it depends on various factors. There are, however, a few things you should consider to help you determine whether it’s the right time for you to ask for a raise.

1: What You’ve Accomplished

When you sit down with your boss to ask for a raise, be prepared to talk about what you’ve accomplished in your role. This is especially important if you don’t have a lot of experience at your job – being able to discuss your successes will help show that you’re worth the investment.

Make sure you have evidence to back up your claims, such as statistics or emails from clients thanking you for your work. A study by Harvard Business Review found that when people asked for a raise and provided evidence of their successes, they were 25% more likely to get the raise than those who didn’t.

If you have been a good employee and have the numbers to back up your request, it gives your boss no choice but to give you a raise. When you go into the meeting, have a solid number in mind that you would like and be open to negotiation.

2: Whether Your Responsibilities Are Increasing In The Near Future

If your company is growing or you’re taking on additional responsibilities, it may be the perfect time to ask for a raise. This is especially true if you’ve been taking on more work without getting extra pay — this is definitely something that you should bring up with your boss. 

If you can demonstrate that you’re an important part of the company and that you’ve been contributing more than ever, it will be hard for your boss to say no. You should also prove that your role is evolving. 

In any case, it makes your request stronger if you can tie your requested pay raise to company growth or increased responsibilities on your part.

3: How The Company Is Currently Doing Financially

If the company is doing well, you should take your shot. However, if the company is struggling financially, it may not be the best time to ask for more money.

Your boss may be more likely to say yes if they know that the company is stable and that giving you a raise won’t put a strain on their budget. A recent study by CareerBuilder found that 43% of employers are more likely to give a raise to an employee if the company is doing well financially.

On the other hand, if the company is struggling, your boss may be more hesitant to give you a raise for fear of using all the company’s resources. Besides, you don’t want to seem like you’re only interested in money and not the company’s success.

4: How Busy Your Boss And The Office Is

If you decide to ask for a raise, be sure to pick the right time and place. Try to schedule a meeting when things are slow, and your boss is less busy. You don’t want to interrupt them while they’re in the middle of an engagement or on a deadline. Instead, schedule a meeting with them in advance so that they may have time to meet with you and discuss your raise. 

For instance, if your boss is swamped with work, they may not have the time or patience to deal with your request. It’s best to wait until things have calmed down at the office before approaching them.

Similarly, if the office is really busy and your boss is always working late, they may not be in the best frame of mind to give you a raise. It’s important to be considerate of your boss’s workload and only ask for a raise if you know they’ll have the time to talk to you about it.

5:How Long It Has Been Since Your Last Raise

If it’s been a while since you’ve received a pay raise, it may be time to ask for one. Most employers are willing to give their employees a raise every one to two years, depending on their performance. So if it’s been longer than that, you may be due for a raise.

However, you shouldn’t ask for a raise simply because it’s been a while since you’ve gotten one. You should only ask for one if you feel like you really deserve it. Be sure to review the points above and see if you can make a case for why you deserve a raise before asking for one.

Plus, if you wait too long to ask for a raise, your boss may start to think you’re ok with your current salary. So if you’re unhappy with your pay, it’s best to speak up sooner rather than later.

6: How Long You Have Been At The Company

Another factor to consider when deciding if it’s an appropriate time to ask for a raise is how long you’ve been working at the company. Generally, you should wait at least six months before asking for a raise. That way, your boss will know that you’re not just looking for a quick payday.

If you’ve been with the company for a year or more, you may have more leverage when asking for a raise. Your boss will know that you’re dedicated to the company.  Plus, they may be more likely to give you a raise if you’ve been with the company for a while and have been doing a commendable job.

However, even if you’ve only been with the company for a few months, you may still be able to get a raise if you have a good reason. For example, if you’ve taken on additional responsibilities or have been working overtime, you should ask for more compensation.

7: Your Current Salary

Another thing to keep in mind when deciding if it’s an appropriate time to ask for a raise is your current salary. Is it at par with the market standards? If not, you may want to consider asking for a raise.

If you’re also making significantly less than your peers in the same field, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your boss may not be aware that you’re underpaid, so it’s important that you let them know.

8: After An Important Project Or Title Change

This may seem unusual, but it might be a good idea to take advantage of the fact that you just got a new title or completed an important project.

If you’ve recently been promoted or have taken on additional responsibilities, you could use that as leverage when asking for a raise. For starters, your boss will be in a good mood and you will have just demonstrated that you are worth more to the company than your current salary.

And most importantly, human beings like rewarding someone who just did something good, so this is the best time to ask.

Ask for A Raise…You Deserve it!

Asking for a raise can be a daunting task, but if you do your research and prepare ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to get it. Most bosses are usually willing to sit down and discuss a raise with their employees, but it’s essential to know when the appropriate time is to ask.

Be sure to take into account the points above when deciding if it’s time to ask for a raise. And good luck!

Brandon Hill

I'm Brandon Hill with Bizness Professionals. We serve content to help young professionals develop personally, professionally, and financially. Well-rounded improvement is a theme we live by. As such, this website will cover a variety of topics aimed to help you have a successful life and career.