Growing up can be a wonderful thing, but navigating adulthood also comes with a host of challenges. One of the most uncomfortable but necessary things you may have to do as an adult is having to figure out the best time to ask your boss for a raise. This can be downright terrifying; however, rest assured even the most confident employees sometimes find it difficult to muster up the courage to ask for a raise.
No one wants to rock the boat and potentially risk ruining a good thing, but it’s also important to stand up for yourself and ask for the pay you deserve — because you do deserve it!
According to Richard Shell, academic director of The Wharton School’s Executive Negotiation Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania, “[Employees] are worried that they will appear to be presumptuous and pushy and that the answer will be no. And that it’s sort of a negative step on a career track to have a setback like that.”
However, after you’ve gotten over the initial fear and you’re ready to ask for a raise, here are a few indications it’s the right time!
1When the company is doing well
“Hopefully good leaders are using times of prosperity as an opportunity to share that with high-performing, value-adding individuals within the organization,” Jane T. Schroeder, a Milwaukee-based career counselor and coach with a background in human resources said. That’s you! If you know your company had a good financial year and is sitting comfortably in the black, this could be an ideal time to ask for a raise.
2After you’ve acquired a new skill or degree
Tech CEO Zach Johnson says if you’ve taken a class or completed a new certification since the last time you had a pay increase, you should feel free to request another. “If you believe the future contribution you will be bringing to the company merits a review, there’s no wrong time,” he added.
3If many of your coworkers have gotten pay bumps
It’s always nice to have a tight relationships with the people you work with — after all, you are spending most of your time with them. Shell noted, “If you have particular qualifications, and friends who you share those qualifications with are getting raises or are getting job opportunities, that might wake you up to your value.” So, talk to your coworkers!
4When your boss is in a good mood
It might seem like a small thing, but think about it: If you’re in a good mood and someone asks you for something, wouldn’t you be more inclined to grant it? Your boss is no different. Schroeder suggests, “Have a high dose of empathy about what’s happening in the life and circumstances of the boss at this particular moment.” Because if things are going well for the higher-ups, your request for a raise has a higher possibility of becoming a reality.
5After you’ve been offered a promotion
It might be hard to believe, but people are often offered promotions without the corresponding raise. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? You’ll be doing more work, so it’s only right that you’re compensated accordingly. If you’ve recently been offered a promotion, this is an excellent time to ask for a raise. And please, don’t let your anxieties surrounding self-worth get in the way of career advancement!
Additionally, Cindy Gallop, advertising consultant and CEO, said the best time to ask for a raise is in early fall since the bosses are potentially finalizing budgets for the year ahead and likely still have plenty of money to allocate.
While timing is important, it isn’t the only factor. At the end of the day, if you think you’ve earned a raise, then you should ask for it!