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How to Ask for a Promotion or Raise

Updated on
December 15, 2020
Professionals
How to Ask for a Promotion or Raise

Lately, you’ve been crushing it. You’ve made yourself an indispensable part of the team, taken on greater responsibilities, and accomplished your goals and then some. You feel ready to level-up your career. Now it’s time to write all that down in a memo asking your manager for a well-earned raise or promotion.

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Sorry, did that last sentence just make your stomach drop? It’s understandable, but don’t be daunted—we have tips to ensure the case for your stellar contributions reads as confident but not arrogant, convincing but not overly forceful. Here’s what to keep in mind.

Do your research

First, a key part of requesting a raise is knowing the salary range you’re targeting. Similarly, when asking for a promotion, you need to know what kinds of experience and qualifications are typically necessary. Read up on job requirements and pay scales for comparable roles—and if possible, talk to trusted peers or colleagues who have made similar moves.

Those people can also help you know when the timing is right, which may matter in terms of your company’s budget cycle or periodic performance reviews. 

State your case in writing

A shiny new job title or raise would be great for you, but what about the people you work for? You want to make them feel smart for keeping you around and advancing your career. So as part of your request, remind them of all the great things you’ve been doing—and know that while you’re addressing your manager, other decision-makers may get looped in.

Be concise, but don’t leave out details like how long you’ve been in your current position, what you’ve accomplished, and how your responsibilities have grown. Don’t shy away from specifics; if you pioneered a system that saves the company time and money, say how much. The same goes for new clients you brought in, new employees you trained, or new skills or certifications you acquired.

If clients or others have complimented your great work in recent months, it can be worthwhile to highlight that, too. 

Look forward

Why will you excel in your new role? Compellingly answering this question is key to obtaining a promotion. And it’s worth considering a similar question when asking for a raise: Why can your bosses expect you to grow even more efficient, productive, accomplished, and capable? Again, be specific wherever possible.

As you wrap up, it’s a good idea to thank your boss for their consideration and their help generally, and then to lay out your desired next step. This may be an invitation for feedback or a meeting, and it may take some time, so keep up the top-flight work while you patiently wait to hear back.

There’s a decent chance your boss doesn’t relish salary negotiations or having to reconfigure the company’s org chart. If you’re sending your initial appeal in writing, Grammarly can help make sure your appeal strikes the right tone and is clear and concise. This can help put your boss at ease as the conversation around your raise or promotion moves forward.

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