How to Give Yourself a Raise Next Year

by on Dec 26 2012 - 11 Comments

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As I’m writing on my escritoire, I think to myself what can I say to help you make more money next year? In a blink of an eye, the year 2012 has vanished with some of us with heads still high and others with their heads hung low. Rather than discussing investment vernacular, such as ex-dividend dates, record dates, and low turnover on mutual funds, let’s implement a strategy to get a raise for next year.

You know you want to get a raise next year, but the predicament is employers are not handing them out like Halloween candy. Money isn’t exactly falling from the trees. While some people’s success can be a stroke of luck, often it’s partnership of luck and opportunity. Finding the right opportunity to have a discussion about giving yourself a raise is as important as how you ask it. If you are intimidated by the thought and afraid you will be turned down…well…then, my friend, don’t expect anyone else to do it for you.

I have a few tips to help you put your money where your mouth is…sort of speak.

  • Assess the situation of when to ask

    If the organization is cutting back, laying off people, or had a reduction in revenue, it’s not the right time. Wait until dust has settled. Analyze your situation. Are you having to do more work because former employees no longer work at the company, are you exceeding your goals, or identify the factors you have contributed that has positively resulted to the area/division of the company you work in. Let your boss know that you would like to set up a time to discuss career growth.

  • Tie your discussion for a higher compensation to your performance

    Keep records of how you improved the team goals, the company’s bottom line, or how the projects you have accomplished brought more value to the company. Try to think about what you’ve accomplished that if you weren’t there might not have been accomplished. Be assertive and diplomatic

  • Know your worth

    Research, research, and research yourself. Using online resources is an easy way to figure out what you are worth. Sites such as Payscale and Glassdoor can give you a better clue of what your industry or field is paying for your talents and skills. You might discover you are underpaid. Keep what you find in your arsenal to negotiate an increase by knowing the appropriate amount to ask.

  • Kick off your conversation with positive words

    Say something like, “I enjoy the work that I’m doing and find it challenging. Over the past year, I felt the scope of my job responsibilities have expanded and my contributions have increased.”

    Side note: if you discover co-workers are earning more than you, don’t bring this up at the negotiation table. It’s not about them, it’s about you. It’s not proper etiquette at the table. Only discuss what your industry typically pays and why you believe your performance at work is top notch.

  • Make your case

    Especially if an employer is not giving any raises, you will need to show why you should be an exception. Your focus will have to be on your results and achievements that have benefited the company. Bring with you a file documenting your accomplishments and endorsements. You will have to gauge how much information to use to support your case. Bringing up your future plans with your employer can help strengthen your case, too. Make sure you discuss what’s important to your boss.

  • Ask for the raise

    Don’t allow any jitter-bugs get the best for you. You’ve worked hard and the worst thing your boss can say is no. With the salary research you’ve done, give your boss a salary range and explain why. It’s important that you have the research to present your case for a salary increase. Be assertive and diplomatic and say something like, I would like for you to consider a salary increase of $5,000 to $7,000.

If after making your case and asking for a raise you are turned down, don’t take it personal. Usually, there’ll be a reason or two of why an increase in salary is not possible. It’s important to note the reason for future reference. Ask your boss if you can be considered for a review in six months for a salary increase.

Ornella Grosz, CFEd® is financial expert,speaker, author of Moneylicious: A Financial Clue for Generation Y, and serves as a member of the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) Financial Literacy Curriculum Advisory Board. She blogs at Moneylicious adding a little spice to money matters. Follow her @OrnellaGrosz.

Editor’s Note: Ornella gives some great tips about how to go about getting a raise. I especially think trying to tie the discussion to performance is very important. If you can show your manager how you have been performing at a high level, it’s very hard for them to deny a raise…at least year-after-year. Employers know they can’t retain talent and expect high output if they don’t compensate their employees properly for their performance.

Do you plan on asking for a raise next year? What strategies have you used in the past when asking for a raise?
Photo by Victor1558

Kevin @ Ask for Benefits
Kevin @ Ask for Benefits

Asking for a raise takes money from your employer's pocket and puts it in yours. During difficult economic times it can be a hard case to make.


I often coach employees about how to ask for a raise that actually lowers employer costs, and works in every economic environment: take advantage of their flexible spending account. An employee with a child in daycare, and predictable medical expenses can set aside $7,500 into a pre tax spending account - and more if they use public transportation.


For many people it is the equivalent of a $2,500 pay raise that lowers employer payroll taxes by almost $500. 


Making a strong case and promising to take on more is certainly the best way to handle this.  As a manager, I've been asked for a raise on many occasions.    Go in there playing defensive or thinking you should get a raise just because, and you'll have no chance.


Unfortunately my full-time job leaves no room for extra compensation. In the new year I do plan to find a job where I can make more and actually has room to move up.


I've been my owm boss for so long, I don't know how to ask for a raise. With my circumsances changing, I'll have to think differently in the new year

Ornella @ Moneylicious
Ornella @ Moneylicious

 @SenseofCents vacation is definitely part of the compensation package.  @MonsterPiggyBank In conjuction with what you are saying, I do feel many people are afraid to ask.  It could be they didn't know how to go about in doing so.


These are definitely all great tips! I have asked for a raise before, and next time I plan on asking for more vacation mainly.


I think that many people struggle with asking their employer for a raise. The way I see it is that if you never ask you will probably never get the raise.

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

 @SenseofCents Working at a giant corporation, our vacation policy is set in stone.  With that being said, I do value my PTO and it's definitely a perk that people should consider when thinking about their overall salary.