How to ask your boss for a promotion or a salary raise

Florane Giolatavatar

Publié le 27/11/2018, par Florane Giolat


The end of the year is around the corner, and you may begin to think that eventually, with all the hard work you put in this last months, you deserve a salary raise. However, asking for a promotion can be stressful and nerve-wracking, but it is also an important conversation to have, if you want to move forward with your career.

These are our 5 advices to make your case, in order to increase your chances of success when asking for a pay raise:

 Choose your moment wisely

The most common time to ask for a promotion is your annual or semi-annual review, while discussing your achievements with your manager. However, if you do not want to wait until then, choosing the right moment to ask for a salary promotion is very important for the success of your request. For instance, if it is a high-stress period for your team or company, it is definitely not the good time to bring up the topic. Especially if your supervisor is under pressure or overworked. Instead, wait for the right timing: after an outstanding accomplishment at work or when your manager seems in a good mood.

…Then, schedule a meeting

 Yes, a meeting! Because asking for a salary raise via email is absolutely a no-go. While a conversation face-to-face could be source of anxiety, sending an email to your boss is tacky and can show a lack of character. Hence, that you are not sure at 100 % whether you deserve the promotion or not, yourself. Is this really the message you want to send?

Instead, send a meeting request to your manager or ask directly if he got a block of time free to discuss your performance and potential. Giving an advance notice will allow your employer to reflect on your achievements and what the company can offer you promotion-wise. That will also show to your supervisor that you are serious, organized and not ashamed to ask for a well-deserved raise.

Come prepared with facts and numbers

 When asking for a pay raise, preparing ahead of time is key. To get a positive answer, you need to convince your manager that you are ready for the next step in your career and that your achievements for the company are worth above and beyond your current salary. To build your case, brainstorm a list of actual reasons you deserve a raise and arm yourself with data and facts about projects and tasks you have accomplished: It can be additional responsibilities you have taken on, new ideas to increase your team’s success or even email testimonials from clients. Also, avoid using information about your colleagues’ salaries as a reason to get a raise and focus on what you have brought to the table instead. The aim here is to provide concrete metrics to show your boss you have ran that extra mile to exceed all expectations and that consequently, you do deserve the promotion you are asking for.

Ask for a clear and appropriate pay raise

Before bursting out a random number to your employer, it is essential to do your homework and research an appropriate percentage for the raise you will be asking for. To do so, start gathering information about what you are worth both within and outside your firm. You can use online tools to see what salary your peers are earning. By knowing the norms for you position salary-wise, you can judge whether you are underpaid or overpaid. That way you will know what would be acceptable to negotiate with your employer. However, never sell yourself short: do not be afraid to ask a bit more over the market. Your company can offer you less than what you are asking for, but they will never offer more. :P

Rehearse and prepare the conversation with your boss

Now that you gathered all the metrics about your performance and that you know what amount you will be asking for, it is time to prepare for the actual conversation with your boss. To do so, write down the principal axes you will be discussing with your boss and practice the conversation out loud or with a friend. That will also allow you to anticipate your manager’s questions and reactions and how to answer with intelligence. Finally, take the time to master your case to feel confident enough when having the conversation with your boss. Good luck! 😉


Your request for a pay raise or a promotion has been turned down multiple times? Maybe you should start looking for another professional opportunity.  

Also, if you want to kickstart your career, do not miss our upcoming recruiting parties and fairs!

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