1. Look put together

Woman going through clothing on a rack and picking items.
PR Image Factory / Shutterstock

An overwhelming majority of managers (80%) say what you wear has an impact on whether or not you’ll get a raise, according to a survey for U.S. recruitment company Robert Half.

Make sure you look like a professional who respects the workplace and deserves to be paid more. This could be an excuse to do some clothes shopping. Not only is it for a very good cause, you can also earn yourself a little cash back from your purchases.

2. Don't focus on how long you’ve worked there

Woman talking seriously to man while they sit at an office desk.
fizkes / Shutterstock

Starting the negotiation by boasting about your seniority can be counterproductive, so focus on your accomplishments instead.

Do you have a diverse set of transferable skills?

How much does the company stand to lose if it has to replace you?

Did you go back to school to refine your skill set? That may be a strong reason why you need a raise.

If student loans are eating up too much of your monthly budget, you may want to consider taking out a personal loan to consolidate all your debts.

3. Point out real accomplishments

Group of people sitting around, discussing charts and graphs at a table.
MIND AND I / Shutterstock

When talking to your boss, show your value to the company by drawing on concrete examples.

These can be situations like any great newcomers you helped recruit, the times you've taken the lead on projects or work initiatives or times where you helped save the company money.

Demonstrating your long-term commitment (and results) will help tip the scales in your favour.

4. Do some research on average salaries and benefits

Close up of person using computer and writing down information on a notepad.
TippaPatt / Shutterstock

You may feel you’re not being paid what you’re worth, but you need to make certain the market agrees with you.

Resources such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter can provide valuable information on average salaries for your position, and you can use that data to back up your request for a pay raise.

Don’t be shy to ask around about what your peers receive in perks like health or life insurance or RRSP-matching programs either.

5. Ask for a performance review

Two young women sitting and having a conversation in an office setting.
mentatdgt / Shutterstock

A performance review is a chance for you and your boss to sit down and assess your accomplishments, and for you to demonstrate how you’ve exceeded expectations.

Make sure your boss knows you want to talk about the value you add to the company.

Walking in prepared for your performance review with those concrete examples of how you’ve helped the company succeed will show your boss you’re serious about your request.

6. Practice your pitch

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Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Even if you have the data on your side and can demonstrate a long list of accomplishments, asking for a raise can be an intimidating experience. That’s why you’ll want to practise your sales pitch ahead of time.

You can even ask a trusted friend or family member to help you rehearse.

Have your friend play your boss and give you push-back when you start making your request. Brainstorm any objections the boss might have and prepare your answers. All this will make your pitch even stronger.

7. Keep it professional

Two smiling businessmen shaking hands together while standing by windows in an office boardroom overlooking the city
marvent / Shutterstock

Whatever you do, avoid getting personal while talking to your boss. While some supervisors will have no objection to you asking for a raise, others may see the request as an affront.

Remain cordial and composed, and avoid getting defensive.

And, if for some reason, your boss says “no,” simply politely ask "Why?" and really listen to the answer.

Finally, when the interview is over, thank your supervisor for their time. If the response was negative, don't fret. Make a polite exit and avoid burning a professional bridge.

What to do if it doesn’t go your way

Man talking on the phone while sitting in front of a laptop, gesturing with hand.
Klever LeveL / Shutterstock

If your supervisor gives you some constructive advice, take heed. You’ll find out what you need to do before you can ask for a raise again.

And if you’re truly unsatisfied with their reasoning, you can always explore your options to find a new workplace where you feel valued and will be paid the salary you deserve.

Other ways to boost your income

Canadian money in the black wallet
Janusz Pienkowski / Shutterstock

If you needed a raise to give your budget a little boost right now, here are a few options to get your hands on some extra funds.

  • Take on a side project. If you have a special talent or skill, why not use it to supplement your income? Gig and remote work is on the rise and it’s never been a better time to open yourself up to flexible working opportunities. Or if you’re looking to set your own hours, create an account online that can help you turn your past-time into a profitable side hustle.

  • Earn funds while having fun. Who says work has to feel like work? If you’re already spending your free time surfing the web and watching videos, why not earn a little cash for it?

  • Dip your toe into investing. Forget everything you thought you knew about investing. You don’t need to be fluent in Bay Street jargon and it doesn’t require a fortune. Download a popular app that allows you to invest what you can afford and turn your nickels into quarterly profits.

About the Author

Sigrid Forberg

Sigrid Forberg

Staff Writer

Sigrid is a staff writer with MoneyWise. Before joining the team, she worked for a B2B publication in the hardware and home improvement industry and ran an internal employee magazine for the federal government. As a graduate of the Carleton University Journalism program, she takes pride in telling informative, engaging and compelling stories.

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