Think It’s Time for a Raise? Here’s How to Ask Your Boss

Asking for more money is hard. Whether you’ve just been offered a job or have been working at the same desk for a long time, it takes a lot of confidence to tell your boss that you think you deserve a higher pay grade.

However, learning how to negotiate salary is a part of being a successful, well-paid employee. Fortunately, most people learn how to overcome their nervousness of asking for a raise or higher starting pay. If you’re still struggling to work up the nerve to ask for more for yourself, take note of these tips that have helped many people boost their wages over the years.

Know Your Value

Before you ask for a raise or begin negotiating your salary, you need to have an end goal in mind. Do some research to find out how well other professionals in your field with your level of experience are getting paid. This will help you develop a realistic amount to ask for, plus it will show initiative with your current or future boss. MoneyGeek suggested heading to websites like, or the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out this information.

“Once you know what you’re worth, you can confidently begin negotiating.”

After doing online research, reach out to some of your colleagues in your field and to the company you’re applying to and ask what a typical salary for your position might be. Once you know what you’re worth, you can confidently begin negotiating with some hard facts to back up your request.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’ve ever had a line in a play or had to give a presentation in front of a group, you might be familiar with stage fright. The middle of a salary negotiation is no time to begin stumbling over your words or forgetting what you were going to say. But don’t worry – just practice making your counter offer ahead of time so the words come a bit easier when you’re speaking with your boss or interviewer.

MoneyGeek pointed out that confidence is key in salary negotiations. But there’s a fine line between the right amount of confidence and being aggressive. Practicing your salary negotiation in front of a camera or with a friend can help you identify any parts of your word choice or tone that might need some fine-tuning before your big pitch.

Consider Alternatives

Salary negotiations don’t necessarily need to focus on your annual salary. You can also ask about other perks that come with the job that you might want added or increased. For example, were you offered a signing bonus? The company might be more willing to give you a one-time payment rather than an increase of your overall salary. You can also include vacation time or moving expenses if taking the job means you’ll have to relocate.

A NerdWallet survey found that some of the most commonly successful non-salary negotiations include vacation time, signing bonuses, your schedule and stocks.

Take It Easy

Asking your boss or interviewer for more money can be incredibly nerve-wracking, even when you’ve done your research, practiced your counter offer and considered all the possibilities. The key is to keep calm and show confidence. Remember, negotiating a salary and asking for a raise are two tasks that most people will have to do sooner or later in their career.

According to NerdWallet’s survey, fewer than 40 percent of recent grads ask for higher pay, but this number is unnecessarily low. Almost three-quarters of employers have a little bit of wiggle room in their salary offer – generally about 5 to 10 percent. Also, 90 percent of employers reported that they have never taken back an offer because an entry-level candidate tried to negotiate pay.

So, if you think you’re in a position to ask for a little bit more money, do your homework and make the move. Chances are, you have nothing to lose.

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