The 3 Secrets of Getting a Raise
Money + Markets

The 3 Secrets of Getting a Raise

Andrey Popov / Adobe

What’s worse than asking for a raise? Asking for one and not getting it.

The good news is you can minimize the chance of rejection by requesting a bump in pay at the right time, for an appropriate amount and for valid reasons. That’s the conclusion of Paysa, a career advice website that surveyed over 2,000 U.S. adults about their experiences in asking for a raise.

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Get ready for a bigger paycheck with these three rules:

1. Ask for the right reasons.

The best reason to ask for a raise is because you’ve consistently been doing high-quality work, according to more than a third of managers in the survey. To demonstrate your excellent performance, offer up some proof. Keep any emails or notes from clients thanking you or complimenting your efforts. Note any goals you’ve achieved in the past few months along with pointing out successful projects you headed. These will help build your case when you approach your boss.

A quarter of managers said a good time to ask for a raise is when you’ve been asked to take on more responsibilities. Almost one in five managers said a raise request is appropriate when you’re seeking a salary that’s the norm within your field of work.

Don’t expect a raise if you’re asking because you don’t like your job, you think your employer can afford it or you’re dealing with a financial hardship. These were the worst reasons cited by managers in the Paysa survey.

2. Ask for the right amount.

Almost two in five managers who were in the position to grant raises said an increase of more than 5 percent of your current salary is too much to ask for. At the same time, just over a quarter of managers say you should ask for what you think you deserve. Consider this as you mull over how much more you want. The average salary increase budget for U.S. companies is 2.9 percent this year, according to Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm.

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3. Don’t ask too often.

If you asked for a raise and were turned down within the past six months, consider waiting another half-year before asking again, according to the findings from Paysa. Three in five managers said asking for a raise more than once a year was too often, while a quarter said asking more than once every two years was too frequent.

Between requests, hone your skills and double down on your productivity, so you can show a good track record before you ask again. If your boss noted an area where you could improve, focus on that to maximize your chances of success the next time around.