Valdosta Daily Times


March 9, 2014

Do you know how to ask for a raise?

SAVANNAH — We all dread it — job evaluations. They are so scary and intimidating because you never know which way they are going to go. I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary at my snazzy university job, and this week, I began filling out my pre-evaluation form for my first official job evaluation.

While no one really likes them, there is a silver lining. It is the perfect, built-in opportunity to ask for a raise. As I was going through my pre-evaluation, it dawned on me that I don’t really know how to ask for a raise efficiently. I have asked for a raise only once before in my life, and I was turned down. In retrospect, it was rejected because I broke the cardinal rule of raise asking, which is to never ask for more money on the grounds of your own emotional, financial problems. A lot of people make this mistake, and a lot of people have similar outcomes.

So, what do the experts say? I turned to my trusty Google and a few professional colleagues for answers, and this is what I learned.


1. Be prepared to explain why you are worth more money.

You never want to go to your boss and ask for more money without being prepared to be able to answer why. One great piece of advice I was given is to chart your job growth over the course of the year. Make a list of all your job responsibilities, and highlight all the responsibilities that are not currently listed in your job description that have been added in the past year. It’s a simple approach: More responsibility = more money. Also, be sure to not use “I” continuously. You need to be able to explain how your increased responsibility has benefited your company. A lot of people make the mistake of equating a raise to the amount of time they’ve been with the company. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working, it matters how valuable your job performance is.


2. Know your worth.

My brother gave me some really great advice. He said that you always want to stay on top of what others in your industry are making, because if you can show that you are underpaid for the type of work you’re doing, this gives you a lot of leverage. If you work for the state, you can easily do this If you don’t work for the state, websites such as,, and offer similar information.


3. Know the exact raise you want.

When you ask for a raise, the follow-up question is always going to be, “well, how much do you want?” You never want to respond with, “I don’t know,” or “I’m too embarrassed to say.” You need to have an exact number prepared because it shows two things:

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