Ready For Your First Raise?
If you’ve been working for the same company for over a year, you may be wondering when to expect a raise. Deciding when and how to ask for a raise can be an intimidating task. This blog gives you the inside scoop on when and how to inquire about a raise so you can rest assured you didn’t ask too soon or miss your chance entirely.

When to ask

Tom, Hiring Expert at VF Corporation, says, “For most companies, raises are tied to a yearly planning cycle centered around the company’s fiscal year. If you’ve been promoted or transferred in your first year and didn’t get a raise, that would seem abnormal to me. I would start asking questions around 12 months. It’s perfectly normal in any job you’ve been in for a year to inquire about a raise. Keep in mind that there are scenarios where you would wait more than a year for a raise. If company raises or merit increases went into effect on April 1, for example, and you started on February 15, there’s a good chance you would have to wait until April 1 of the following year to get a raise, 13 plus months. Bottom-line, don’t hesitate to speak with your manager as you come up on a full year in your role.” Ref Link

Sylvia, Hiring Expert at HP Enterprise, says, “It depends on your company and their financial cycle. Most companies have raises annually, while others have raises more frequently throughout the year. It’s important to note that raises don’t just come when the cycle hits, your performance and ability to lead the team to their goals is what determines your raise or bonus.” Ref Link

Meredith, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, says, “If you are a salaried employee, you may have a “salary review” opportunity during a specific time of the year. This review may be one or several times a year, depending on your company. Check your offer letter and see if salary review information is included. If not, this is something to discuss with your manager during your year-end, or scheduled, yearly performance review.” Ref Link

Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, says, “If there is a standard time of year that your company offers a merit increase for all employees, that would be the best time to discuss a higher raise. Take that time to discuss everything you have accomplished over the past year and what you have contributed to your team. You should have a good story to share and a valid reason for wanting a higher increase. If your company does not offer annual raises, I think it’s fair to approach your manager about this at your next performance discussion.” Ref Link

How to ask

Once you’re familiar with when your company offers pay increases it’s important to approach those conversations with tact and confidence. Xavier, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, suggests, “Make sure that you connect with your manager to establish clear goals for your career advancement and establish metrics that align with those goals. This will assist in making sure both you and your manager are on the same page regarding pay expectations and your performance. I wouldn’t advise that you approach the conversation purely from the standpoint of requesting a raise because you want to make sure that there’s a clear agreement on the value that you bring to the organization. In the planning phase for this conversation, it would also be great to understand the industry pay averages for your role as you plan the raise percentage that you will request.” Ref Link

Sylvia, Hiring Expert at HP Enterprise, says, “I would suggest speaking to your manager to gain their feedback on your performance and taking on more responsibilities to warrant the raise. Go into the conversation with examples to promote your reasoning for a raise.” Ref Link

Raises range depending on a multitude of factors, such as where you are geographically, the size of the business, and the market. Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, says, “Pay could be $10k higher in a larger city. I would keep in mind that it is uncommon for a company to offer a $10k increase to an employee outside of a job promotion. Once you’re in a job, it can be difficult to negotiate a significant pay increase without a promotion. Keeping that in mind will help you set reasonable expectations as you prepare to approach your manager.” Ref Link

Go for it! 

If you’ve decided that it’s time to discuss a raise with your manager, go for it! Approach your manager with a confident summary of your contributions to the company since you’ve started working there. If you’ve worked hard and proven your skills your request should be well received by your manager. No matter what response you receive you will have shown yourself as someone who is seeking to be an asset to the company and an invested member of the team.

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