By Oleander Johnson

Anyone can appreciate extra cash in their pocket at the end of a long pay period. It is normal to want a raise at some point in your career, especially if you believe you are underpaid or possess skills that warrant additional compensation.

But making this kind of request to your manager can feel awkward and uncomfortable, compelling you to avoid the issue altogether. However, when it comes to your money, addressing your pay is perfectly acceptable when done with tactfulness and professionalism. To that end, here is a guide on how to ask for a pay raise in 5 steps.

Compile A List of Your Achievements

When you are ready to ask for a pay increase, justify your request by showcasing your greatest achievements. Highlight statistical accomplishments and tasks that have produced measurable results for your employer. For example, you could share how you increased your company’s profits or helped drive traffic to their website, including data to further prove the success of your contributions. Creating a list of these successes will make it easier for you to negotiate a new wage or salary.

Identify Competitive Salaries for Your Role

If you ask for too much of a pay raise, then your employer might not take your request seriously. You want to be realistic about how much you can expect to earn in your position. Review competitive salaries for your role on websites like The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, Glassdoor, and PayScale to see how much people make in other companies. If you find that you are underpaid compared to industry salary standards, then you should use that data to your advantage.

Choose the Right Time to Ask

Timing is key. If your company is going through a financial crisis or your manager is stressed, then that is not the best time to discuss a salary increase. While there is no strict time dictating when you can make a request, it’s usually best to wait until your company’s quarterly or annual review. This is when companies are assessing your goals, hiring new employees, and making compensation plans for the next year, so you have a better chance of getting your request approved within that cycle.

Display Confidence

Speak confidently when you ask for a raise. Even if you are feeling anxious or uncertain, don’t let it show. Displaying a feeble resolve will only motivate your company to reject your request. But if you have a viable argument, gather all your talking points and explain them eloquently. When you speak with confidence and conviction, your employer may take your words into greater consideration.

Craft A Written Request

Putting your request in writing is critical because your boss probably has to get their boss’s approval for a pay raise. They need documentation of your request for record-keeping and referencing as it moves through the process. This document should summarize how much more you want to earn, a list of comparable pay ranges to justify the request, and why your employer has benefited from your work.