• Lynn Miner-Rosen

How to Ask the Boss for the Raise or Promotion You Deserve

Lynn's Top 6 Tips!


Here we are, almost at the end of 2021!


One of the most common concerns of my clients is how to ask for a raise or a promotion. Just the thought of setting up a meeting with a direct supervisor can be a daunting task. I get it. It can be even tougher if you are challenged by the symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, imposter syndrome or just don’t know your true worth!


My advice is very similar to my job-interview advice:

The people who will have the best chance of getting a raise are the people that are prepared. That means you have to do some work before you set up the meeting with your boss to ask for a raise or promotion.


It just so happens that I have been working with a client (no names mentioned) that has been working part-time as a "paid" intern for the last 8 months. "S" loves the job and the company but knows that they do not have any openings and they have been clear that they don't plan on adding on any additional staff hours until the first of the year. "S" asked for my advice. I said, based on that, it would be best that you not ask for a raise or additional hours until AFTER the first of the year since they were so transparent about their financial status.


It is possible they will give year-end bonuses, but he did not know. They are a fairly new, small company. "S" agreed and shared with me that he felt better about the future and more secure about his future there because they did share that information with him. He was clearly disappointed.


I have a little more advice. Would that be ok? He said "yes"


Look in the calendar and see what you could do from now until then to get ready for that meeting. Gather some “data” and “stories” together to show your boss HOW you have improved things at their business and WHY you deserve to be paid more!


The more prepared you are to talk to the boss with clarity, the more relaxed you will be and the more confident you will feel and appear! Take some time, when you are relaxed, to ponder the following list of things to do and type them or write them down so you can go over them again. Side note: Once you have most of this information, in one document or on one sheet of paper, it will boost your self-confidence and lessen your anxiety.




Lynn’s Top 6 Tips on How To Ask For A Raise




#1 First, think about when the right time is to meet with your boss.

Think carefully about the timing of the actual meeting. You might not want to ask for a raise first thing Monday morning. After lunch? Friday?Set up a meeting when you think your boss will be in a good mood. Don’t ask during super busy times or right before a deadline! Be strategic, it is YOUR raise!


Remember, schedule the meeting when YOU feel at your best, too. Notice how you feel at 8 am or 4 pm. Keep track of what you notice in your notes. Ask your supervisor or your contact at Human Resources HR what the review process is. Most likely, they shared their policies with you during your first month on the job. Save all of that information in a folder or file. Some companies have a set policy on salary increases and the timing of those conversations.




#2 Be OVER-prepared and gather all the following information in one place.


Whether you are applying for a job or asking for a raise, you need to keep all of your information about your work in one place. Get very organized on your computer and/or use a 3-ring binder (Lynn’s favorite) or accordion folder. Collect any proof of projects, certificates, awards, credits, courses, research. Include any data showing improvements in numbers, statistics, etc. Have copies of notes from supervisors, or even descriptions of different, specific circumstances where you were improving business or improving the connections with the people in your business.




#3 Do your homework and research.

It is very important NOT to burn bridges or be noisy about your co-workers, but it will be helpful to keep your “ears open” and nurture your working relationships. Do you know people in a similar role that work fewer hours than you and make more than you? Are similarly experienced employees getting a higher salary? Do you have a similar educational background or years of experience?

Also, spend some time digging around on the internet to see how much other people in your field are making. That is another good reason to stay close to your connections in the field.


#4 Do something MORE.

Set aside more time to finally complete that online credential or take a course to improve a skill you know your boss will appreciate, like public speaking or programming. Network by reaching out to your LinkedIn contacts. Ask them to write a referral and post it on your LinkedIn bio.

My favorite way to learn is by attending professional seminars, conferences and workshops whenever you can. Many companies will happily reimburse you for your extra learning and effort! (ALWAYS KEEP track of all the learning you do - always!)




#5 Know your worth or improve your worth (see #4).

Take time to reflect on your experiences with your employer. Look back on all the general and specific things you have done to improve the company’s growth and finances. Write down your thoughts about the company culture and how you get along with the rest of the team.


Compile a private list of 10-20 examples of things you have excelled at, created, developed, managed, etc. during the past review period. These are the notes that will help YOU to remember how valuable an employee YOU ARE!





#6 Have a GAME PLAN before the meeting.

Keep notes for yourself to refer back to about how much of a raise you are looking for before you go into the meeting. Keep all of your thoughts and ideas private. Do NOT share this with other employees!


It is absolutely imperative that you have a “range” of what you want or what you expect, being super realistic before you go into the meeting. Trust me, this is the KEY part of the “salary negotiation.” You need to practice your “poker face” and saying the number with confidence! (hahaha...I remember being 13 when my mother taught me that! )

Even if you have a “range,” that is a lot better than shrugging your shoulders or pulling out the calculator on your phone. (oh, did I remind you that there should be no phones in this meeting?).

  • What is the amount of the raise that would be acceptable for you?

  • How much of a raise do you want?

  • What will be the lowest and highest you will accept?

  • What is the percent increase you are looking for?

  • What are the typical percent increases at your work or in your field? I

  • s it realistic?

Think carefully about this before you demand ask for a raise. Really get clear with what you are looking for when you ask for a raise and why you deserve it. Also, think about what you will do if you don't get the raise.





And...my advice for everyone who is working: keep notes (I happen to like the Day One app and recommend it all the time) of the things you do that show what an excellent intern, volunteer, technician, employee or student you are!


Last week I was in a live Zoom seminar (Career Jam as a speaker, too) with 30 or more amazing, experienced career professionals talking about all types of diversity and neurodiversity in the workplace, from all around the world, and they all agree that all employees should spend at least 15 minutes a week, if not 5-10 minutes each day, writing notes about their day.


Take special note of any exceptional work, improvements, skills, tasks completed, interactions, accomplishments, sales, metrics, increases and education you have had each and every day! And then take a deep breath and notice how hard you are working and how much you are improving!


- Lynn


#AskingForARaise #YouAreWorthIt #YouCanDoIt #JustAsk #ADD/ADHD #ADHDonTheJob

#ADHDatWork #ADHDEmployee #ADHDCoach #ADHDCareerCoach


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