How to Ask for a Raise

21 Apr

By Capitol Jill


I’ve come to the point in my job where I have to do a very scary, uncomfortable thing.

I’m going to ask my boss for a raise.


Working on the hill is a unique beast. The pay is miniscule, but that’s expected. And I know that I will never make a lot of money on the hill. But I do think it’s time I get bumped up a bit, and I’ve decided to ask outright for it.

I’ve talked to mentors about this, and read countless articles (like this one, and this one, and this one too!). Here are the best pieces of advice I’ve gleaned from those conversations.


1. Practice what you are going to say – everyone tells me this first. Because it is an uncomfortable conversation, no matter what the situation, its easy to talk in circles and rush through your points. I plan on practicing in the mirror several times this week, working on modulating my tone and keeping my pace even.

2. Make them say no – This one I’ve heard from a lot of people. A managers job is to have these conversations with employees.

3. Do not try to rationalize or explain (too much) – If you’re doing a good job, and deserve a raise, hopefully the boss has already noticed your good work.

4. Use metrics and specifics to explain why you deserve a raise – my best mentor gave me this advice early on, and I have really tried to keep it in mind. Extra projects you take on, past performances you improve upon – all of these things are important in determining your salary. While you don’t need to explain in great detail what you’ve been doing, it’s important to bring up a few key points that show your value to the office.

5. If you act confident, you will appear confident.


I’ll be making the big leap later this week, in a conversation with my boss about my work performance and ways I can improve. I’m scared, but in a weird way, I’m excited. This is a conversation I am sure I will have to have in the future, and I think that right now, it is time. LEAN IN!!

Maybe I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Wish me luck!

Have any tips for us? Tweet @stoprequesteddc!


Capitol Jill

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