6 Steps to Confidently Ask for a Raise at Work

6 Steps to Confidently Asking for a Raise at Work with Vanessa Van Edwards

You’ve been working at your job a while now.

As your time there has progressed, you’ve taken on more responsibilities and proven your worth to your company. Now, it’s time to ask for what you deserve: a raise.

It’s not easy to approach your boss and request higher wages. Your boss may be intimidating, or you might have been turned down for a raise in the past. However, if you want to progress in your career and life, it’s necessary that you ask.

Aside from brushing up on your people skills and making sure you’re using confident body language, there comes a point where all you can do is suck it up and ask for what you deserve.

Prior to setting up a meeting with your boss, you need to fully prepare so that you know what to expect and how to react. Here are my six steps to asking for a raise with confidence, and hopefully receiving what you merit in return.

1. Be Mindful of Your Body Language.

Do you want to show that you’re a confident person? Then you have to know how you’re portraying yourself with your body language.

When you walk into your boss’ office, take a launch stance, which will increase your testosterone and make you feel more in control of the situation.

To do this, throw back your shoulders, and spread your feet apart a little bit. Make sure your feet are pointing in the direction of your boss. If you’re sitting down in your meeting, don’t cross your arms or hunch over. By positioning yourself in a certain way, you can subtly communicate to your boss that you mean business.

2. Use Vocal Power.

If you sound secure in yourself vocally, you’re going to have a better chance of getting a raise.

When you ask for a raise, make sure you have a low tone in your voice. To do this, take deep breaths and practice saying your name beforehand in your natural lowest voice tone. Avoid using the question inflection as well. When you do that, it sounds like you’re not sure of yourself.

You’ll also need to add in a vocal variance. Instead of spitting out your pitch, and reasons why you should get a raise, use a varied pace, tone, and cadence. It’ll keep your boss engaged and discourage him or her from tuning out.

Lastly, incorporate emotion into your pitch. When you explain your gratitude towards the company, emphasis it with vocal emotions. Do the same when talking about your excitement about possibly getting a raise.

How to Ask for and Get a Raise with Vanessa Van Edwards

3. Utilize Your Hands.

Do you want to show your boss exactly how you’ve contributed to your company? Then use your hands.

Take one hand, and then the other, and assign a separate idea for each. Then, put them together to create a new idea. For example, you could say, “I took HR, and IT, and created processes so that they could work hand in hand.” Or, you might say, “Thanks to my efforts, both Logitech and Microsoft signed up for our company’s services.”

To show that your efforts have caused growth at your company, you can make a sloping motion with your hand, or simply point upwards. If you want to communicate that your job means a lot to you, and you wish to continue to grow with the company, point or gesture towards your heart. It shows you’re emotionally connected to your position.

4. Lean in.

Whether you’re sitting or standing, you need to lean into your boss.

It emphasizes your point; if you’re saying a word and then you lean in, your boss is going to wait to hear what you have to say. For example, you could say, “Thanks to my efforts, profits increased (*lean in*) 54.5 percent over the past quarter.”

Slightly leaning forward also shows that you’re in agreement with your boss. Your boss will see this as a sign that you’re with him or her in the moment and in general.

By leaning, you’re able to demonstrate that you want to be in a partnership with your boss and your company as well. You’re saying to him or her, “You work with me, I’ll work with you, and we’ll all benefit from this raise.”

5. Hold a Comfort Object.

Asking for a raise, or for anything big in life, can be very nerve wracking. Instead of crossing you arms over your chest for comfort, bring an object instead.

Tips from Vanessa Van Edwards on Asking for and Getting a Raise at Work

Try a pen (but not a clicking one) that you can hold during your pitch for getting a raise. If you have any materials to show that will back up your case for your raise, those can act as your comfort object as well.

6. Show Your Boss That You’re Listening.

Your boss may bring up the fact that the company is losing money, or that he or she can’t afford to make any pay adjustments right now. When your boss is talking, lean your head towards the side to show that you’re listening. You realize that he or she has concerns about increasing your income, but you’re confident that it will result in positive effects for the company.

Now is the time to go and get that raise. Stay calm, confident, and keep in mind that you deserve this.

Want to learn more about how to conduct yourself in personal and professional situations? Check out my website, Science of People, which will help you increase your social influence in and out of the workplace. Also, make sure you sign up for my CreativeLive classes here.

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Vanessa Van Edwards is a published author and behavioral investigator at scienceofpeople.com. She's also a keynote speaker, corporate consultant, and renowned online educator.