How To Ask For That Raise You Deserve In 2023

The landscape of work has seen some major changes in recent years. In the U.S., 44% of workers now work remotely from Monday to Friday in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The trend of quiet quitting has also risen in popularity, to the point where quiet quitters now make up over half of the American workforce.

Unfortunately, one thing that hasn’t changed much over the years is people’s salaries. In fact, the average wage in the U.S. has only risen 0.2% a year since the early 1970s, and in 2022, two-thirds of Americans feel their pay isn’t enough to cover rising costs due to record-high inflation. Additionally, 47% of Americans believe that they aren’t being paid what they’re worth.

But needing a higher salary to keep up with the rising cost of living isn’t the only reason why someone might want or need a pay raise.

That being said, approaching your boss about a pay raise is an intimidating idea for lots of people. One poll of U.K. workers found that more than one in ten employees are too nervous to ask for a pay raise, with reasons ranging from worry about the request being rejected, not wanting to appear greedy and not knowing what to say.

To help you find the right words, NetCredit created an infographic that shows readers clearly how to ask for a raise in different situations and provides tips on what to do if their request is turned down.

Scenario 1: Asking for a raise due to taking on more responsibility

Before discussing a raise with your boss, you must first research the market rate for the work you’re doing and collect the facts that show how your new role benefits the company.

What to say: “I really appreciate the opportunities you’ve given me for greater responsibilities, like [x] and [y]. I’ve been getting great results and have exceeded the goals we created. Could we talk about adjusting my salary to reflect this higher level of contribution?”

Pro tip: Career coach Joan Lloyd says you may have to wait a few months to get more payment for the additional responsibilities. Employers often take six months to decide if you’re performing well at your new level.

Scenario 2: Asking for a raise because you feel you are underpaid

If you feel you aren’t being paid what you’re worth, compare your pay with that of similar positions using and to see what you could or should be earning.

● What to say: “I’d like to talk about compensation. I’ve been doing some research, and it looks like the typical pay for somebody with my experience and qualifications for this role is between [x] and [y], but I’m currently being paid [z]. Based on my performance this past year, I’d like to talk about increasing my salary.”

Pro tip: Track your accomplishments with the company and be specific. Has the budget you manage grown? Have you saved the company money with a good idea? Bring up specific points to strengthen your negotiation.

Scenario 3: Asking for a raise after receiving a promotion without one

Did you know that 39% of employers offer a promotion without a raise? Keep in mind that sometimes a promotion comes without a salary increase, but it may offer other benefits and still looks good on your resume.

What to say: “Thank you for the promotion. I am so grateful for the recognition. However, I researched the market value of my position, and there’s a considerable discrepancy between this number and my current salary. Is it possible for you to adjust my salary to reflect my new responsibilities?”

Pro tip: Careers Writer Madeleine Burry suggests having an open conversation with your manager and being clear that you would like your salary to be reconsidered later on if a pay raise isn’t available right away. If possible, set a timeline for when this salary reassessment will occur.

Scenario 4: Asking for a raise when approaching your yearly review after getting great results

A performance review might not result in an automatic pay raise, so be prepared to approach the topic yourself. Go in prepared with evidence of your recent achievements.

What to say: “I would like to talk about my salary as it’s been a year since my last raise. Since then, I’ve taken on [x] new responsibility, have achieved [results], and also completed [goal]. I think things are going really well, and I’m hopeful to see an increase in my salary to reflect my improved performance.”

Pro tip: Describe how your accomplishments over the past six months to a year have positively impacted your department and company as a whole. Gather evidence and present specific figures where possible.

Scenario 5: Asking for a raise to close the gender wage gap

If you think you might be paid less than a male co-worker for the same role or responsibilities, do your research to put your salary into context. Have a desired figure in mind and specifically outline how you came to this number.

● What to say: “I’m concerned about the difference in salary between Bob and me, given that we perform the same job. We have the same workload and similar experience. I’ve received good performance reviews. What do we need to do to get my salary bumped up?”

Pro tip: Jo Cresswell, Career Trends Analyst at Glassdoor, says: “Preparation is any woman’s best ally when approaching a conversation about a salary increase. You must carefully think through the reasons why you deserve a pay rise and how it relates to your worth in the wider market.”

Whatever the scenario, always prepare for a conversation on why you deserve a pay raise

If you want to ask for a pay raise to combat the cost of living, improve your finances, or work towards your savings, then it’s important to remember that some employers are more understanding and compassionate than others.

Pro tip: Business author Suzy Welch suggests talking about why you deserve a pay raise, not why you need it. The conversation should focus on your value to the company, not their value to you. Demonstrating your worth helps you to maintain a strong negotiating position.

What to do if your request is turned down

There are a multitude of reasons which could result in the decision to turn down someone’s request for a raise. With this in mind, here’s how you can avoid any awkwardness and put yourself in good stead for receiving a pay raise down the line.

–  DO thank your employer for their time to discuss this with you. This will show your gratitude and respect for them, their decision, and the company.

–  DON’T take it personally; instead, ask for constructive feedback. Are there any areas you could improve on? What more would the company like to see from you?

–  DO set up an action plan for working towards a pay raise in the future. Set up a date to review your salary and agree on objectives that you aim to have achieved by then.

–  DON’T let the rejection prevent you from delivering your best work. By outlining what you need to work towards, you can use this as an opportunity to prove your determination.

–  DO ask about other incentives and benefits. If your employer can’t increase your pay, there might be other benefits such as holiday allowance, a company car, bonuses, etc.

–  DON’T put off considering a new job. If you have consistently met your goals or have been rejected for a raise before, you might want to consider whether a new role might be better for you.

Employees who believe they are underpaid are 50% more likely to seek new opportunities than those who are happy with their salaries. But if you love your job and can demonstrate your contributions to the success of the wider team, then your employer might be willing to adjust your pay – all you have to do is ask. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Read more about these tips and putting your best foot forward when asking for a raise, by checking out the resource page created by NetCredit. Take a look at the infographic below and share it with someone who might need it in the near future.