How and When to Ask for a Raise (+ Best Email Example) [2020]

how to ask for a raise

At some point in your career, you’ll need to ask for a raise. And you’ll need to know how to ask for a raise. The act of requesting an increase in your salary can feel stressful for the employee or job seeker. And in general, discussions about money can always be sensitive. But the reality is that this process can be much simpler and less stressful for you if you follow these guidelines.

Timing Your Raise Request

It’s important to recognize good times and bad times to ask for a raise. Here are a few situations, both good and bad, that represent timing your raise request.

Choosing the right time to ask for a raise can be critical in how the conversation with your manager is going to go. Consider their needs first. For example, if the manager is working on a large milestone. And you suggest that time to speak with them regarding a raise. How is the manager going to feel? Most likely very stressed. And unappreciative of the fact that you were not focused on the major milestone, but your own financial needs.

Understanding Your Raise Request

For many employees, the biggest question is, how much do you ask for when it comes to your salary bump? You don’t want to ask for a larger raise than you might deserve. And you don’t want to ask for too little of a raise. Asking for too much could mean an immediate denial of the request. And asking for too little can make you look like you lack confidence.

Here’s what to do. Understand the current job market conditions and the average salary range for the role that you’re in. Use salary research tools like or to determine and understand average salary market data related to your job title. This can help when comprehending your pay increase request and during your raise negotiation (if there is one).

The general rule of thumb is that you should never ask for more than an 8% increase in your current salary. When you look at the market information regarding base salary or average salary, determine where you are. And then factor in your current geographic location.

If your employer decides that they want to engage in a negotiation regarding your compensation increase request, you should do so. For example, set your salary request on the higher end (higher salary than you want or higher pay than you believe you deserve) but within an appropriate range (market rate), and then let them begin the act of negotiating salary. This may include your supervisor or manager telling you that there’s only so much they can increase in your pay. This is absolutely fine. And if you find yourself in a salary negotiation, you should accept any pay raise they offer unless you absolutely need a set amount in a salary increase in order to stay with the business.

Why You Deserve a Raise

Understanding why you deserve a raise is important. If you’ve been a high performer and have been with your current employer for more than a year, with no raise, then it might be a good time to suggest an increase in pay. Your supervisor may not be the person to speak with when it comes to securing your raise or increase in pay. But you should certainly speak to them regarding your last raise or current compensation and suggest why you deserve an evaluation of compensation.

When you write an email or start your raise discussion, you should have at least a few supportive metrics that show why you feel you deserve a raise. Here are a few examples:

These can be powerful metrics when negotiating or having your raise conversation, since your manager may see your raise request as easier to satisfy than simply hiring someone new, who could perform far less than you can.

When you provide your supervisor or HR department with the metrics that show your enthusiasm, commitment, and loyalty to your work, you can turn a difficult conversation about money into a much easier one. It is far better than simply talking to your manager and demanding a raise without any reasoning behind it.

Before you begin your discussions, if you are someone who has extreme anxiety discussing money, you may want to seek the advice of a mentor, career coach, or previous employer. And ask them what their advice might be.

How to Ask for a Raise

Here are the general steps to take in order to ask for a raise:

Salary Increase Email Request and Example

To begin the discussion with your supervisor or HR team, you should send an email, at the right time, asking to discuss your compensation. Here is an example of what your email should look like:

Email subject line: Discussing my current compensation

Hi Jeremy —

I’m writing this email because it feels like the right time to ask. We’ve completed many major milestones over the past few years and I would love to talk with you about the opportunity to increase my salary. Here are a few things that I’ve been able to bring to the table during our tenure:

  • Have been with the company for more than 2-years.
  • Have earned high merits on all performance reviews.
  • Have been proactive with my duties and taken on additional responsibilities outside of the job description.
I’ve conducted market research regarding this role's salary range and have found that I’m in the middle as it pertains to the average salary for this position. I’d love to recommend an 8% increase to my base salary.

I’d love to talk with you regarding this request at your earliest convenience.

Thank you so much,
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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