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When is the best time to ask for a raise?

The Expert Answer

Organizations have short memories, so the best time to ask for a raise is right after you’ve done something really impressive.

Before you ask for a raise, ask yourself if your performance has significantly exceeded the goals that your organization has for you. If yes, then go ahead and ask for the raise. If not, it’s best to wait. Wait until you’ve done something to knock their socks off, and then strike while the iron is hot.

Remember that organizations are on a budget cycle meaning that an unplanned for pay increase might have to wait for the next budget cycle. If that’s the case, ask if you can receive a letter of intent stating exactly when you can expect your salary increase and how much you can expect.

Also consider asking for something other than a salary increase. Organizations often have more flexibility when it comes to granting a one-time bonus or additional vacation time. Be clear with your boss about what you want, but be open to other options they might offer you.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get what you asked for right away. By asking, you’ve planted the seed letting your employer know that you believe you are worth more. Often seeds take time to germinate. Good luck!

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