How To Ask For A Raise…And Get It!

February 10, 2015

You deserve a raise, but you also deserve the confidence to ask for it! Here's'll want to pin this for later!

You’ve probably read a lot recently about how women avoid asking for raises, promotions and more responsibility. Yes, there is a still a gap between how much men and women are paid. But since men do negotiate more, maybe there’s something we women can do to fix that.

Instead of complaining or being upset, you can find a respectful and appropriate way to ask for what you deserve. Here are some tips to help you prepare to ask for a raise:

1.  Impress your boss

First, make a spreadsheet with your original salary, what you currently make and any raises or bonuses you’ve already received. This is to show that you’re aware of what you’ve been paid already and aren’t trying to obscure any compensation you’ve already received. Any time you can show you’re detail-oriented and organized is a good opportunity to remind your boss why you’re a valuable asset.

2.  Show why you deserve a raise

List your responsibilities and show how you’ve grown since you’ve been at the company. Bosses are results-oriented; they want to know how you helped their company. Did you increase profits? Did you take on additional responsibilities when a coworker left? Did you save them money by doing more work? If you can prove that you have contributed to the bottom line, then you can prove that you deserve a reward.

3. Include feedback

I recommend keeping a folder in your inbox that includes praise from clients, bossses, vendors, basically anyone you work with. This is useful when asking for a raise because you can prove that you’re a valuable member of staff, instead of just saying that you are. By reminding your boss how much they wanted you around, you show them that replacing you would be costly and time-consuming. You don’t have to threaten to leave if you don’t get the raise, but it doesn’t hurt to show your supervisor that your contribution would be missed. It also helps to list any other activities you’ve done, like organizing company outings or setting the monthly staff lunch.

4.  Do your research

Websites like show what other people in your profession make which also prove that the salary you want is commiserate with your experience and knowledge. You should also include the responsibilities for those positions, to show that those numbers are on par for the job you do. You have to show that what you want is something you deserve, not just something you want.

5.  Include a salary range

When you ask for a raise, you should ask for a salary range. Let’s say you want to increase your salary to $50,000. If you currently make $38,000, then asking for $45,000 to $55,000 is a good way to ensure that you’ll get close to what you want. That way even if your boss can’t give you the higher end of the range, you’ll still be happy with the middle.

I think some women, myself included, worry that asking for a raise makes you look bad. There’s this perception that if women are too vocal or opinionated, they’re labeled as bitches. Some studies even show that women who negotiate during job interviews are perceived more negatively than men who do the same thing.


My mom once said that if you ask for a raise and they don’t give it to you, you’re not any worse off than before. If you ask and get it, then you’ve increased your income.

Either way, asking for things is how we build confidence. We have to feel that we deserve more, that we deserve the right to ask and the right to prove that we’re worth more. I think back to my first job and how I should have negotiated for a higher salary. No one is thinking of ways to get you more money – if you want it, you have to ask for it.



12 comments so far.

12 responses to “How To Ask For A Raise…And Get It!”

  1. Such good points! It’s awkward to talk money, but necessary sometimes!

  2. I love the way this is written because it gives us as women permission to be confident and prepared to advocate for ourselves. Many articles are written from the perspective of being on the defensive, but I really love the empowerment that the author’s outlook provides. It changes the whole strategy, by going into the process knowing that even if we don’t get the raise we want, we still walk away with renewed confidence and valuable experience. (Instead of looking at it as a defeat). I hope you post more articles like this to help women be strong and successful in the professional workplace!

    • Shannyn says:

      Thanks Jen! Zina hit the nail on the head with this one, I’m so excited to have her on the team. So many women are afraid to ask for a raise, but we shouldn’t be!

    • Zina Kumock says:

      Thanks Jen! I’ve been reading so much about female confidence lately and a lot of it is about how most women are more qualified than they believe they are. The more we practice being confident (like in asking for a raise), the more we will be. I’m glad you liked my piece!

  3. Great points! I keep a running list of goals and accomplishments that I make at my job and update it monthly so when it comes time for my annual review I can bring up specific examples of why I should get a raise. Of course the downfalls of working in a non-profit is not you generally can’t get a huge raise like I could at a for-profit company. Or a bonus. Man I miss those bonuses!

  4. Wyatt says:

    Thanks a lot for this article. An eye-opener for me. I’ve been feeling down about work and this might just be the answer for me.

  5. Samantha says:

    Do you have any advice for someone who wanted a job so bad they took the initial offer??

    I took the first full time position I could find and I took the first amount they offered. I knew it was obscenely low. I have only been working at this company for 8 months, but I have come to find that there are many people with lower qualifications that make SO much more. I want to ask for what I should have negotiated in the beginning, but I’m afraid that I’m just SOL.

    • Shannyn says:

      You’re coming up on a year soon, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for a review if your company doesn’t conduct annual reviews. I would document all that you’ve accomplished in your first year there. If you haven’t, start saving any proof of praise so you can include that in your review as well.

      You need to show your company the value you bring to the table, and why you deserve to make more. Taking a lowball offer is such a common mistake, but there’s no reason not to try for more. Also, if you have proof that salaries are generally higher from a website like glassdoor, print out what others in your field/career are making.

      Just be confident!

  6. tjm says:

    Hi Zina,

    I’m so glad that I saw this article. It’s very helpful! I followed the steps you mentioned (wrote down the main points in Word and composed my email based on them) when I approached a freelance gig of mine with a request for rate increase. And they agreed, though we have to meet in the middle, but at least I’m close to what I want, and the client is happy as well. Keep up the good work! 🙂


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