We could all use more money. And if you have been earning the same salary for a long period of time, you might be thinking about asking for a bump. Here are some tips on what to do – and what not to do – when you decide it’s time for a raise:


  • Research the current salary range for your role. Glassdoor or PayScale are great resources for this information. They will give you a better idea of where you are in comparison to your peers in the field and where you can expect to be now (and in the future).
  • Think about the timing.  If your employer is currently downsizing or doing a reorganization, they might not have the ability to give anyone a raise right now. Bide your time.
  • Make an appointment. Talking about a raise shouldn’t be done on the fly.
  • Prepare. This meeting is a lot like a final job interview. Make a list of your accomplishments, starting with the most recent and going back. This is an opportunity to sell yourself when they already know what you can do.
  • Plan for a “No” Figure out what you will do if they turn you down before you go in. Think about other alternatives to a raise that could make you happier – like more vacation or personal time.


  • Send an email asking for a raise. Face-to-face is the only way to go.
  • Maintain a sense of entitlement. Be sure of yourself, not of the outcome.
  • Talk about personal reasons for needing a raise. Keep the reasons in your meeting to why you deserve a raise and how much value you bring to the table.
  • Get angry, yell or cry if you hear “No” First, it won’t work.  And second, they might decide you’re not worth keeping at all.
  • Use another employee’s salary as part of your argument for a raise.  Of course, if you feel you are being discriminated against because of age, gender or are in another protected class, you might want to get some professional advice – as you might have an actual case.
  • Threaten to quit if you don’t get a raise. You could very well find yourself without any pay at all. If you decide or have already decided that you will leave if they turn you down, start the job search process calmly following this meeting.
  • Over-do-it on the presentation. Keep it simple.

Money is definitely a part of the work/life balance equation, but it’s not the only one. Make sure you consider how much you want to keep your job and how happy you are with your colleagues and manager. And if you think you deserve a raise, go for it!

Wendy Stackhouse for Artisan Creative