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Is it Time to Ask for a Raise?

Asking for a raise has got to rank right up there with getting a root canal, as far as unpleasant experiences go. Why is there so much anxiety and fear associated with it? What if your manager says no? Laughs? Claims there’s no room in the budget? Asks you to explain why you think you deserve it?


While pumping yourself up to ask for a raise like Dwight Schrute from The Office is always encouraged, it’s a good idea to be prepared. Here’s some data to help you decide if it’s time to ask for a salary increase or not.

A recent survey by Paysa, a company dedicated to helping people understand salaries better, has intel from managers who had the opportunity to approve or decline employees’ requests for raises and were asked on the best—and worst— reasons to ask for a salary bump.

Not surprisingly, “Doing high-quality work” was the best reason to ask for a pay increase. Over 35 percent listed this at the top, followed by almost 25 percent who said being “asked to take on more difficult responsibilities or tasks at work.” We see you many hat wearers.

If you’re being paid less than others in the same field, well, 17 percent of managers surveyed cited that as a legit reason to bring up your salary.

Now for the bottom of the list, some reasons may surprise you that people actually revealed this information. By far, the least popular reason— according to those surveyed in a position to hand out raises—was expressing dislike for one’s job. Almost 47 percent. A lack for enthusiasm for one’s job probably won’t be received well by employers, let alone seen as a justification for a raise. In addition, saying that your employer can afford it (nearly 16 percent) also isn’t a good justification to ask for more money.

Your personal financial hardship, while your manager may feel empathic to your situation, isn’t a solid reason that says you “deserve” a more money.

The bottom line is, you really shouldn’t be asking for a raise unless you can backup your request with more than “I’m awesome!!” But if you have confidence (which you should) in your performance and knowledge that you’re slaying it, then bring it up. Because at the end of the day not negotiating for what you deserve will only cause you to come up short.