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Career Coaching: Asking For a Raise

Dear Joanna

I’ve been working as an Help Desk Analyst for over a year. I have proven myself several times to my supervisor that I am competent, work overtime, and go beyond the call of duty to get my job (and others) done! I have shown my loyalty to the company and my boss. I have received feedback from my boss that I am doing a good job. I would like to ask him for a raise. I feel I deserve it. I am afraid to lose my job. How do I ask for a raise?

Signed: Fear of the Ask (FOA)

Dear FOA,

You sound like a fantastic employee and a dream team member of many managers in today’s workforce. The truth is that you are the one who is in charge of looking after your career and how the company treats you. Here’s how I would begin a conversation with your boss.

1. Ask for a Performance Review. Prepare your manager for this conversation. Ask for 15 minutes of his time (acknowledge that you have respect for his time and busy schedule) for a performance review. Some companies have a special form. I would start by telling the boss how much you love your job, love working for him, and appreciate the opportunity to learn and grow with the company.

2. Ask for a raise in person. This is not for emails. Schedule a time to meet with the manager. Show him that you’ve earned a raise by outlining what skills, accomplishments, and growth you’ve brought to the company since you began. Never tell your hiring manager that you need it to support your standard of living. Your compensation should only be reflective of your job performance.

3. List your accomplishments over the year. Promote yourself. Don’t be shy. Be prepared to showcase your value to the organization, and present how you add value and help the company succeed. Do you bring in repeat business and customers? Are you helping with promoting the company’s image through social media or marketing initiatives? Are you helping the boss meet deadlines with projects? Be specific about articulating your accomplishments and how they help your company grow.

4. Research salaries for your role.. Visit and for this information. The salary you ask for does play a role in the way your manager views you, and you don’t want to put any tension in your relationship.

5. Observe the workplace culture. Identify the patterns of the organizations’ hiring and promoting practices. Who does the company reward? What is the profile of the managers they hire and advance? Are you the type of person they promote? . This will help you understand the feedback and decision of the manager. He is acting within the culture of his organization.

3. Be open to the feedback: If you don’t get the raise you want, don’t quit. Take this response as a learning opportunity. Find out from the manager what you need to do to improve, and what you need to do to eventually get the compensation you think you deserve. Prepare a list with the manager of areas to improve. Ask the manager for a meeting in one month to review the “improvement list”. Schedule a 20 minute meeting in advance.

4. Look for better job opportunities. Research the job market in your field and the opportunities that you are qualified for and interested in. Get a sense of the competition out there – who is hiring and how much they are paying. Continue to network. Use social media.. Don’t let this situation be an obstacle in looking after your career.

All the best,


To submit your concerns, questions, issues on your job, career and/or employment to me IN CONFIDENCE, please email