Wrong Reasons to Ask for a Raise

Wrong Reasons to Ask for a Raise

Wrong Reasons to Ask for a Raise

Unless you run your own business, at some point you will be approaching your boss to ask for a raise. Using any of the reasons listed below is not recommended:

  • “My mother’s bail was higher than expected.”

Employers do not need, or want, to know about their employee’s personal problems occurring outside of the office. Focus on what you have done for the company. Cite accomplishments that portray you as an asset your boss would not want to lose to another company.

  • “I know you’re the boss, but I work harder than you do.”

Do you really want to say that to the person who possesses the power to send you to the unemployment office? Now, do you?

Being nervous when asking for a raise is normal and to be expected. Be prepared before going into the meeting. Know what you are going to say, and how you plan to say it. Asking for a raise is not the time for improvisation.

  • “I’m trying to start my own business, so I can get out of this dead end job.”

This might be true, but honesty will only get you so far when asking for a raise. Do you remember the advice a couple of paragraphs ago about planning what you are going to say when asking for a raise? Part two of that advice is anticipating how your statements will sound to your boss. Always ask yourself, “How will this sound to the other person?”

  • “Stan and I do the same job, but he is paid more. I know I’m a better worker because he falls asleep at his desk all the time. Oh, Stan’s your brother-in-law? I didn’t know that, boss.”

Just because you appear to be doing the same job as another employee, but for less money, does not mean you qualify for a raise. Has that person been with the company longer than you have? Do they hold advanced degrees or certifications that you are lacking?

It’s never a good idea to make yourself look better by making disparaging statements about your co-workers. Such comments backfire by portraying the person making them as not being a team player, or being untrustworthy.

  • “Ah, come on Mom. Dad makes more money than I do working here.”

You’re on your own with this one. Talk to Dad, maybe he will take a cut in pay to help you out.

Even if your mother is the CEO, getting a raise is a negotiation. As in any negotiation, you need facts to support your position. Just saying you are worth more does not make it so. Here are a couple of things you should do:

  1. Research other salaries for your position in the same industry, taking into consideration the length of time you have been with the company.


  1. Learn about your company’s finances. If business is slow, your boss may not have the ability to give you a raise. If so, try to obtain a commitment for an increase later.





Career Advice

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