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The Best Way to Ask for a Raise

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: September 14, 2010 at 9:16 am

Need a Raise? Who doesn’t?

So, let’s say you do deserve a pay hike but can’t afford to wait until your next performance review in six months or longer. If that’s your reality, such requests are best put in writing. Choose your words carefully – the letter below is an example of what NOT to write to your boss.

Demanding a Raise is Not the Way to Go

Franny Franchise
Dollar Road
Out-of-Town, USA

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have worked my knuckles to the bone for you and what thanks do I get? Not even a pat on the back. I need to make more money. It’s as simple as that. So, I want a raise. Let me know how much.

Workaholic Will

Diplomacy will promote Workaholic Will up the income ladder faster than a complaint. The following letter is a better approach because the writer is ready, “workaholic” willing, and able to take on more responsibility.

Convince Your Boss You Deserve the Raise

Hiring Manager
Big Deal Corporation
One Boulevard
Thousand Acres, USA

Dear Employer:

The past five years in your employ have proven to be a milestone in my career. As Senior Analyst, I have managed an increasingly complex business system. Recently I wrote and implemented a 500-page manual of standard operating procedures to ensure our leadership in global markets for the next five years. I worked many hours on this project, often on weekends, while handling my other duties. Since you expressed appreciation for my efforts, I hope you will agree that I deserve a merit-based increase retroactive to June 30.

If you are available this week to discuss my request, I can meet with you anytime at your convenience. Next week, I will be out of town Monday and Tuesday on the pending acquisition. As always, it’s a pleasure to accept this added responsibility.

I look forward to talking with you.


Workaholic Will

Prove You’re Worth the Extra Money

Selling yourself and your skills/knowledge/abilities to an employer, in terms of how you can help the company, will do more to get you that raise than to demand one or complain, hoping you’ll get what you want.