How to Stop Asking and Still Get the Raise You Deserve

Worried about your next raise?

Lots of people want to know “how to ask for a raise,” and I understand why. Asking for money is tough! It can be awkward and intimidating, even when you believe you deserve it.  If you’re afraid to ask for a raise, you might like the advice I’m about to give you:

Don’t ask for a raise.

Yes, okay, if you want your compensation to increase, you’ll need to talk about it with your boss at some point. But with careful planning, communication, and hard work, you can make the conversation about your raise virtually superfluous.

We worry about the asking, because that’s the scary part, but we need to be more focused on the earning. All this emphasis on the asking makes it seem like you earn a raise by walking into your boss’s office and saying the “right” combination of words. With that in mind, it’s no wonder people get intimidated!

Rather than emphasize a single conversation at a time when you want or need to earn more money,  focus on clear communication throughout the year. At the beginning of the year, maybe during employee assessment time, have a conversation with your boss about your goals and expectations for the year. Set clear goals tied to your incentive plan, then meet your targets consistently. It should go without saying, but you can’t expect the reward of a raise if your work isn’t up to par! As the year progresses, communicate your results and successes on a monthly basis, then try to meet mid-year with your boss to review your progress. By the end of the year, the result should be clear. No “asking” required!

Of course, there are exceptions. Not all companies offer regular assessments or incentive plans, not all bosses are receptive to this kind of proactive approach, and unexpected situations sometimes arise that require an “ask.”

If you find yourself in a position where you do need to ask for something, be confident and well-prepared. Know your own needs and value, but also know the company’s needs and those of your boss. The more you can align your goals with those of the company, the better off you’ll be. If you’re particularly nervous, don’t be afraid to practice with a friend! Here are some good additional pointers from Self Magazine: