Career Advice

What NOT to Say When Asking for a Raise: 7 Phrases to Avoid

Asking for a pay raise is quite daunting. You can, however, ensure that you carry out a few other steps that can convince your employer to give you a raise.

To get a better idea about this, you can go through the following points to figure out how to ask for a pay raise as well as what you should not say when asking for one.

Let’s take a look!

How to Ask for a Pay Raise

Nearly 37% of people surveyed by Payscale have asked for a raise. There are several things that you will need to gather and bring together so that you are fully prepared to ask for a pay raise. You can go through some of these considerations below to achieve success.

Start a Conversation

The first thing you should do is to start a conversation about a pay raise so that you can get the ball running. If you have been in a certain role or position for a long enough time, then you can start the conversation about a pay raise so that your employer can keep this in mind.

Make sure you communicate your needs as honestly as possible in a logical manner. You should inform your employer of what you have done so far and what you plan to do. You can also ask them to help you out in terms of getting better at your job so that you can then apply their tips to your work.

Read More: What to Do When a Coworker With Less Experience Makes More Than You

Request Greater Responsibility

You can start acting a lot more responsibly in your current job role by taking on leadership positions and managing various kinds of tasks as effectively as possible.

This can allow your employer to mark your growth in the company and see how you have managed to organize, lead and complete projects successfully in a time-efficient way.

You can also ask your employer or team to give you more responsibilities so that you can prove your capabilities well. After all, with great power comes great responsibility and vice versa!

Show Real Values

When it comes to presenting your case while asking for a pay raise, make sure you demonstrate your work so far by compiling real data and information about how you have contributed to the organization so that your employer can seriously consider your request.

Talk about how your efforts have contributed to the overall image or earnings of the company that you work with. It can help to compile a file, spreadsheet or presentation to be more impactful in your approach.

By showing these real and accurate values, it can be much easier for you to demonstrate your progress in the time that you have been with the company.

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Share Your Achievements

Make it a point to share your achievements with your superior or employer so that you can make them aware of your successes. Keeping them a secret will not do you any good, so make sure you share the good news and not just the bad.

This can allow your employer to effectively keep track of your successes so that they can understand your abilities. Dumping it all on them at once will not spell good news for you.

Of course, make sure that you actually put in the effort to make achievements that are worth talking about, being proud of and sharing. Go ahead and brag but keep it grounded and realistic!

Practice and Prepare

One of the most important things you should do is to practice and prepare well in advance so that you can communicate your request properly. If it takes time for you to gather all the data and organize it, then you will need to start beforehand to ensure that you are not too late or disorganized.

Once you manage this, you should note down and practice what you will say to your employer so that you can be prepared. Ensure that you follow your notes but stay flexible enough as well so that you can give them time to ask questions and take in the information.

You can try practicing with other trustworthy colleagues as well as your friends and family so that they can provide valuable feedback while also sharing their own experiences.

Be Confident

You should maintain your level of confidence throughout the process of presenting your case so that you can bring out your abilities even more. This can make it easier for your employer to believe in you and your contributions to the team.

You should also be confident in your own work and worth so that you can actually convince yourself and your employer that you are deserving of a raise.

Pick the Right Timing

Choosing the right time to ask for a raise is extremely important. For instance, if your company is not doing too well financially or is undergoing a busy period or if you do not have anything real or recent to show your employer, then this might not be the best time for you to ask for a pay raise.

On the other hand, if you have just successfully wrapped up a project that you led or have crossed a certain milestone in the company, then this can be a good time to ask for a raise.

You should also consider how long you have been in the company and when the last time was that you got a raise. You should also start planning this in advance so that you can give your employer enough time to consider your request.

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Make sure you carry out your research thoroughly to ensure that you meet all the criteria involved in actually being eligible for a pay raise. You should also be able to present a solid and realistic percentage or number so that your employer can understand what your expectations are.

Figure out the rates that are usually common in your career for someone in your position. You should also talk to a few people to understand whether you are making the right decision.

Go into this prepared so that you can carry the right knowledge and base with you when you finally make your way to your employer to pop the question.

Communicate Your Worth

Make sure you communicate your worth to your employer. This means that you should focus on all the things that you have done and achieved so far instead of simply telling your employer how the pay raise would help you out personally.

Employers are a lot more interested in your contributions to the organization itself and how this raise will benefit the company at large. They will not be convinced if you only focus on the importance of the additional money in your life.

Show Your Interest

With the pay raise, you are likely to have more responsibilities than before. Make sure you let your employer know that you are prepared and interested in taking on these responsibilities for the overall growth of the company.

You can also communicate your plans for the near future in terms of the company. Talk about the projects you have lined up or those that are ongoing so that you can show that you are invested in the company as well.

You can also present some of your own ideas that you can bring into effect with this raise.


What Not to Say When Asking for a Raise

Now that you know what you should do while asking for a raise, you can now go through what not to do or say.

  • Do not take credit for projects that your colleagues have undertaken.
  • Do not focus on why you need a raise and how it will help your personal finances and family.
  • Do not brag without any real substance to show for it.
  • Do not ask for a raise at an overwhelming or tense time.
  • Do not drop the matter on your employer out of nowhere.
  • Do not lie when it comes to the data.
  • Do not ask for lesser than what you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Of a Raise Should I Ask For?

You should generally ask for around a 10% raise as long as you have the data and achievements to show for it. You can then make necessary adjustments depending on your position. Make sure you carry out some research so that you know that you are asking for the right amount.

How Do I Know If I Am Underpaid?

If you think that you are underpaid as compared to the work that you actually do, you should ask your colleagues in the same position as you to see if they are getting paid more. You should also do some market research to understand how much people in your position typically get paid.

Based on this, you can then take action and negotiate a raise.

Final Thoughts

It can be awkward and scary to ask for a pay raise, but as long as you follow the aforementioned steps, you should be good to go. Once you take the step, you should also prepare for the worst in case your employer says no. All the best!

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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