This Is When It’s Ok to Ask for More Money

Asking your boss for more money is like breaking in a new pair of shoes; sometimes it’s necessary, but it’s always uncomfortable. When it comes to asking for a raise, you're bound to experience a few waves of panic and stomach flips. After all, no one wants to get rejected or feel undervalued. The idea that you may be setting yourself up for failure may tempt you to perpetually procrastinate—or to circumvent the stressful event all together. But inaction will get you nowhere.

Ask for More Money


Bolster your confidence—and your case.

Take the Initiative. You may think to yourself, “If my bosses thought I deserved a raise, they would give me one. I wouldn’t have to ask.” But in reality, the process doesn’t work that way. Some bosses feel if you want a raise, you need to ask for it, and prove you deserve it. Others have far too much on their minds to think about if, or when, you're ready for a salary bump. So if your plan is to sit around and wait for your boss to approach you with the offer of a raise, it’s time to get a new plan.  

The Importance of Timing. If you want your appeal to be successful, it's imperative to make sure the timing is right.  Asking for more money at the wrong time can be seriously detrimental to the outcome of your request. Experts say the best times to ask for more money are after you've worked at the organization for at least a year, after a big win, and during a performance review.

1. The Year Factor

Even though workers tend to jump from job to job these days, there is still a general consensus that asking for a raise before you've worked at the company for a minimum of one year is ill-advised. Author Jennifer Winter of The Muse suggests that unless you’ve been told otherwise, you should not ask for more money within the first 12 months on the job, because many supervisors think employees who do this come off as entitled. Asking for more money too soon can also send a message that you don’t understand how things actually work in the “real world.” Timing and business etiquette often go hand-in-hand.

2. Big Wins Mean Big Payoffs 

If your company just landed a huge client or just made a big sale, the timing for asking for a raise could not be better. This is especially true if you played a role in that success story.  It is certainly no secret that it's better to ask for a raise when your organization is prospering than when it is struggling. But when your knowledge, skills and expertise helped to put your organization in that prosperous position, you're in a doubly advantageous position.  Not only will your boss have difficulty convincing you the company can't afford a salary increase, but you will also have the ammunition to prove you earned it. Plus, your boss is probably going to be in a good mood after a big win, and people tend to be more generous when they are riding high.

3. Performance Reviews: Your Time to Shine

Not every organization offers regularly scheduled performance reviews. But those who do are creating the ideal setting for asking for a raise. Assuming, of course, the review is going well, you're in a position to say, “Thank you for your appreciation of my creativity, efficiency and precision. I value these qualities in myself as well, and I believe that a five percent salary increase would be a fitting reward.” You don’t have to be that formal, of course, but the idea is to use the praise you’ve been given during a performance review as leverage for the raise you deserve.

Asking for more money, no matter how deserving you feel, is never easy. While confidence is important, good timing is imperative. Asking for a raise after you've earned it, during prosperous times, and while you're receiving praise are the best ways to ensure the rewards you are seeking are amply granted. Don’t let prime opportunities pass you by, or you may be waiting another year to see your hard work financially rewarded.

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