Career Development

How Often Should You Get a Raise? (With Tips)

February 22, 2021

As you progress in your career, your compensation should increase. Though your employer may know when it's appropriate to give you a raise, you might want to show initiative and ask for one yourself. Knowing how often you should get a raise can help you determine if it's the right time to ask for one. In this article, we discuss how often should you get a raise and share techniques to use when negotiating higher pay with your employer.

Related: How to Ask for a Raise in Writing

Reasons to get a raise

When discussing more compensation with your employer, you should have some key reasons for why they should give you a raise, including:

You have more responsibilities

As you grow with a company, you likely receive more complicated responsibilities or duties than when you originally started the job. Eventually, you should be paid more if you are transitioning into a higher-level role.

You got a promotion

Before accepting a promotion, make sure you will get paid more in the new position. Without a pay increase, you could be doing more work for the same pay.

You have been with the company for a while

Employers need to pay competitive wages to keep you at the company. As the cost of living steadily increases, so should your compensation. Your employer should regularly assess how much someone in your role should be making and adjust your salary accordingly.

Read more: 5 Tips to Negotiate for a Cost of Living Adjustment

How often should you ask for a raise?

If you recently started a job, wait a minimum of six months to ask for a raise. Most employers are more likely to give you a raise if you have been with the company for at least a year or more. If you have been with the company for multiple years, then you can ask once a year. This "rule" may differ if your employer plans to discuss your compensation during a performance review. If this is the case, plan your talking points before this discussion so you have as much leverage as possible.

Related: How to Ask for a Raise (With Script Examples)

When to ask vs. when to wait for a raise

If you know you have a performance review soon, it may be best to wait until then to ask for a raise. During your performance review, your manager will discuss your employment with the company. They will provide some constructive criticism to help you grow within your role. The end of the conversation is when your manager should mention a raise.

If you feel that you deserve a raise and they do not mention it, then it is time for you to ask. Plan ahead for your review so you are prepared in case they do not offer you a raise first. Have a list of your accomplishments ready to show how you're a value to the business. Try to quantify your achievements if possible. For example, show how much you increased customer satisfaction with a percentage.

Tips on asking for a raise

Before asking for your raise, there are a few things you should do to increase your chances of getting one. Your employer may feel more inclined to give you a raise if they feel you have a solid argument.

Here are some tips to use when asking for a raise:

  • Wait for the right time.
  • Apply for a promotion.
  • Know your number.
  • Make a compelling case.
  • Show your value before asking.
  • Use a positive tone.

Wait for the right time

Timing is an important factor in asking for a raise. One of the best times you can ask is right after you have successfully completed a project or received recognition for an achievement at work. This way, your hard work is fresh in your employer's mind.

Another good time to schedule a meeting about your compensation is when the company is doing well financially. For example, if the company just released a new product or signed with a new client, your employer may feel more comfortable giving you a raise since revenue is coming in.

Wait for a moment when your employer is open to a conversation. Choose a time when they aren't busy, or plan your meeting well in advance so your employer doesn't feel rushed to make a decision. If you mention that you want to meet to discuss your position, they will likely assume it's about your compensation.

Apply for a promotion

Typically, more pay comes with more responsibilities. If you are ready to take on more tasks at work, ask your manager about any promotion opportunities. This is a smart way to show your employer you are willing to do more for the company. By getting a promotion, you can discuss your salary before accepting the new position.

Know your number

Do research before asking for a raise. Find out how much other people in your position are making. Consider your industry, location and experience when figuring out how much more you should earn. Based on your research, choose your ideal amount. Then, think of the lowest amount you would be happy with. If your employer does not give you a raise, continue to work hard in your position. They may eventually give you one if they see you are putting in more effort.

Make a compelling case

Your employer will want to hear the reasons why you deserve a raise. Think of the skills you developed and the responsibilities you have gained over the course of your employment. Explain to them that your position has changed from your original job description, and that you feel you're ready for the next step in your career.

Show your value before asking

Give your employer a reason to give you a raise by proving your value as an employee. This may mean always coming to work on time or early, offering to do more work or showing an interest in learning a new skill. You could also offer to lead projects or make more of an effort to brainstorm innovative ideas.

Use a positive tone

During your meeting, base your reasons for a raise on your accomplishments and value as an employee. Focusing on positive, fact-based reasons for a raise can make it more likely that your manager will be open to the request.

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