How to Ask For a Raise


Despite what people say about it not being all about the money, sometimes it is. For most of us, we spend more time working than we do with our family. It’s important to feel like you’re being fairly paid for the work you do. If you don’t think you’re getting paid what you deserve, you have two choices: find another job or ask for a pay increase.


Before you start looking for a job, it’s always best to confirm that your issue can’t be solved by raising your pay with your company. If pay is your primary motivator for job hunting, ALWAYS ASK FOR A PAY INCREASE FIRST!

Below you will see a simple outline of the steps you can take to ASK for and GET the increase you want. If you prefer to listen or watch to better understand the content, check out the Med Device Talent YouTube and/or Podcast on Getting Paid.

There are four steps to addressing salary issues. I call them the four P’s. Plan, Present, Partner and Perform. Let’s explore each in a bit greater detail.

Plan – In the planning phase, you need to gather your data and plan how you will execute this crucial conversation.

  • Do some research—not just online salary calculators.
  • Talk to co-workers. Yes, HR will hate this.
  • Speak to one or two headhunters. They always know the market. Ask what the fair pay is for your role.
  • Prepare a discussion guide or plan. Like all crucial conversations, you should preplan and actually write down your script.
  • What you will say and how you will say it
  • Selling points
  • Market data
  • Why you create value

Present – This is the step where you actually discuss your issue with your boss. Make sure you follow your plan.

  • First, assess how your boss feels about your performance.
  • If you’re not a star performer, you’re not getting that raise.
  • If you are a top performer, having them talk to you about how great you are will help set the stage.
  • Talk about how your pay makes you feel. How you feel is less combative and opens the other party up to a more partnering approach.
  • Don’t make it personal. Put the issue on the table and don’t turn your issue into your boss’ issue.

Partner – During this phase, you need to move from complaining about your pay to partnering with your boss to understand and solve the issue.

  • Once you identify the issue, seek to understand if and how your pay can be resolved.
  • Be patient. Being underpaid takes a while to develop, so don’t expect your boss to fix years of falling behind the market in one week.
  • The important thing is to enlist your boss in understanding your pay is important to you and working to get approvals in the short and long term to keep you moving forward.
  • The goal of this step is to work alongside your boss to develop a realistic plan to get your compensation where it should be.

Perform – Without performance, people will not want to give you a pay increase.

  • You must establish a reputation as a top performer and continue to deliver on your promise.


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Check out Mike’s business books on career management and recruitment:

This Book Will Get You Hired

Radical Hiring Success