When to ask for a raise

The following is a question asked following the webinar I did for the alumni of Georgetown University entitled “Resumes, Interviewing and the World of Work”… along with my response:

dollar signHi Robb,

Thank you for your very strategic advice for resumes and interviews with potential employers. . I have a question for you, what is the best way to ask for a raise in a work place? When is it time to ask for a raise after you’ve been working?

Thank you!


My response was:

Glad you found the webinar to be of value!

Your question is one where the answer is divided between two schools of thought:

One is – You should never have to ask for a raise… if you feel you are underpaid and/or haven’t had a raise in some time…you are working for the wrong boss or organization. (In this tight job market – this may not be as operational as when a new job would be easier to find!!)

The second is – You can ask for a raise but carefully and only under certain circumstances. Such as it is review time and you had a good review and there has been no discussion of a raise – you say “we haven’t talked about a raise. I appreciate the good performance review and was thinking that a raise might be appropriate to go along with it.” OR at any time – “let me ask a question – what is the policy regarding raises here – when are they awarded, how often and how are they determined?…COLA or what?”

Of course if there is a promotion or a change to a more complex job, a raise should be part of that change.

To explore open positions in metro Washington, DC where we are seeking candidates – go to NRI’s website. Follow me on twitter and see my LinkedIn profile!


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