Questions about Getting a Raise

Lindsey writes:
I have a bunch of questions related to getting a raise. Is there a time of year that
is better for employees to approach their supervisors about a pay raise? If so
will it benefit employees a great deal to wait until such time? How should I be
prepared for the meeting? What are some common mistakes workers make
when asking for a raise?

The Career Doctor responds:
The best time to ask for a raise is at your annual review but you can certainly ask
for a meeting to discuss raises at any time… the ideal time if you don’t have an
annual review is at the end of an organization’s fiscal year as they are planning
for the next one — so that they can incorporate your raise into that plan (and while
there is still money in the budget). Of course if you just landed a major client
saved the organization a ton of money or otherwise had a major success… those
would be good times to ask for a raise too.
Employees need to remember that asking for a raise is like being on the job hunt again.
No matter how good you are no matter what your accomplishments since your last raise
unless you can document and quantify your successes and accomplishments you will
not get the raise you hope for.
Thus the biggest mistake is not going into the raise meeting with a bulleted list of
The second biggest mistake is thinking you will receive a big raise. Most employers go
by percentage increases and those percentages are usually pretty low… so employees
should have realistic expectations for how much to expect.
Finally you should have outside documentation such as industry salary surveys to
show how much you are underpaid compared to your peers. Never make requesting a
raise into a personal battle; keep it professional at all times.
Read more about requesting a raise in these two articles published on Quintessential Careers: Getting the Raise You Deserve
and Do’s and Don’ts of Requesting a Raise.