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You’ve been at your job for awhile now; you’re doing incredible and you think it’s time for a raise. In an ideal world, your boss would notice your accomplishments and give you one automatically. In the real world, that rarely happens.

If you want a raise or promotion, you have to ask for one. 

But how do you get over the nerves and awkwardness? And how do you ensure you get what you ask for? We have seven smart tips to make it easier.


1. Communicate, communicate and communicate

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Communication is key. Bosses can’t (and won’t) take hints that you want a pay raise, so it’s a wise move to find a good time to have a little chat over coffee. You can share reasons why you think you deserve one, in a calm and polite manner.

It can be the fact that you’re covering for an ex-colleague or just taking on more responsibilities at work lately. Just remember to keep things professional and try to avoid bringing personal problems into the chat.


2. Timing is important

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Picking the right time to ask for a raise is just as important as preparing for the discussion.

Did you just have an annual performance review (and aced it)? Did you just complete a huge project successfully? Is your manager in a super tense and stressed mood right now?

All these will contribute to the success or failure of your request.


3. Have in mind the amount you want

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You must be vexing over how much more you should ask for, or what could be a reasonable amount.

The good news is the answer can be found if you take time to speak to recruiters or people in the same field.

Figuring out the market rate can help you to confidently ask for an increment without feeling like you’ve over-asked. Doing your homework can also help your boss see that you’re serious about it and not just asking for the sake for asking. Be prepared, and go into the conversation knowing your worth.


4. Share your successes


This step is important — you need to prove your case. Whether or not you have a good relationship with your boss, you need to show that you are deserving and have contributed to the company or team. It could be a pitch you’ve won recently, or maybe you’ve aced your last few sales targets.

It’s good if you can pull out a list of evident successes or achievements from your recent projects. It may not always have to be huge victories. Even successfully coaching your colleague on a new skill can be part of your list. It’ll prove to your boss that you have some leadership skills too.


5. Give a list of suggested improvements for the business


After being in the company for a period of time, you should have observed a couple of things that you wish you could change (because while there are good companies around, no company’s perfect). Why not share them with your boss?

On top of that, give them real solutions and not just whine about the problems (that they may or may not know about). This will also help to show your initiative and commitment to the company. More importantly, be positive and enthusiastic about what you think you can do.


6. Offer to take up more responsibilities

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With more money comes more responsibilities, simply because it’s true that there’s no free lunch in this world. If you think you are ready for something new and can pile a little more on your plate, you can speak to your boss about it.

But let us remind you to always keep a healthy balance and not let it affect the quality of your current work.


7. Set new targets

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You may or may not get your desired pay raise even if you ask sometimes, but don’t be discouraged because a ‘no’ now is not a ‘no’ forever. Maybe your boss thinks it’s not the right time yet. Regardless, it’s important to avoid being emotional and to maintain professionalism through the talk.

You can take the chance to ask for valuable feedback about your skills and performance, and set goals with your boss and deadlines so you can revisit this whole pay-raise talk in time to come. If you wish, you can also request for sponsorship for courses that can help you increase your skills set and contribute to the company.