How to Ask for a Raise from Management


by Wim Dodson


Especially with all the news about salaries for diverse professionals lagging behind that of their white male counterparts, women and other diverse professionals need to review where they are in the corporate pecking order to ensure they are being paid their due.

And if they find that they are indeed being underpaid, they should do something about it.

They should ask for a raise.

There are several things employees can do to build and present their request for a raise:

  1. Research the salary levels for your industry

  2. Build your network and alliances within the company

  3. Document Document Document


Salary Levels is hands down the best online resource for finding out what people are getting at your company and industry-wide. The website is also a good place to gather intelligence about your company that in the past was only the domain of HR departments.

It’s a good place to find out the issues confronting Management that you may be able to address. Draw up a plan and present it to your boss. Show them step by step how you’ll add value to the organization.

The exercise shows higher-ups your initiative and creativity and makes it tough for them to say no to your request for a raise difficult. And if they turn down your initiative, you can add the plan to your portfolio of work when you choose to interview.


Build Your Network

Very little in life occurs in a vacuum. Especially when it comes to persuading higher-level staff of your value. You don’t have to become the life of the party; however, you should make it a point to be accessible and engaging when it comes to your relationships with your peers and managers. Learn about their likes and dislikes, predilections and even birthdays. Compliment sincerely and learn how to be a great listener and problem-solver.

When it comes time to ask for your raise, who else will your manager ask for counseling but the people you work with and otherwise engage in the workplace.


Document Document Document

We’re not talking Dear Diary here; instead, you need to keep a record of the challenges and issues you’ve encountered since your last pay raise (or since hiring), the players involved, and how you set about contributing to the solution.

Then, come your meeting with your manager to discuss your raise, you can highlight the successes you had and how they elevated team members and perhaps even the organization.

I a worst-case scenario -- in which you are summarily shot down in your attempt at gaining a raise -- you can use the journal entries to build the success stories you’ll be telling interviewers at other jobs.

In the event that Management stonewalls you about paying you for what industry standards say you should be paid, develop the discipline to begin looking for another job -- or even at starting your own business.

Don’t wait for Opportunity to knock. Make it happen.