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How to ask for a salary increment

Sunder Ramachandran
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October 03, 2006

Get Ahead reader Nikhil Karandikar wrote to us from Pune asking for tips on how to request a salary increment. We decided to help Nikhil by highlighting some aspects that come into play when preparing to ask for a raise.

There comes a point in your career when you realise you deserve a raise. However, asking for one is often uncomfortable and intimidating. Usually, you get a raise of no more than five per cent when you stay at the same company. Most people fall in the bracket of two to three per cent but, with some smart planning, you really can get what you deserve.

Schedule an appointment

Don't storm into the boss' room with an ad-hoc request for a raise. Plan an appointment and have a strategy. Speak to trusted colleagues, friends and people from the industry and get some information on what a normal raise is for someone with your profile and experience. Also take your boss's mood into account.

Write a note to your boss without stating the precise reason for the meeting. Say it is to discuss a personal matter, to discuss your development or present an idea. If you say you want to ask for an increment, your boss is likely to say 'No' on the spot. Here is a sample note you could send to fix an appointment:

Dear Sir,

Could we meet for 30 minutes anytime this week to discuss my role and development? I would appreciate your advice. Please give me a time and date that suits you.


Make a list of accomplishments

Create a list of accomplishments that are quantifiable and specific. For instance: 'Achieved 110 per cent of the sales target, managed the largest customer base of 130 high net worth customers in the sales region, supervised a team of 15 with a retention rate of 100 per cent.' Use words such as 'first', 'best in class', 'highest' and 'excellent'. Bring some supporting documents to the meeting, like an excel sheet that highlights your key accomplishments. Bosses like results, so be specific and detailed.

Forward-looking approach

No boss will entertain a request of paying you more for doing the same job. A smart way is to ask for increased responsibilities and tasks and link this to a salary raise either right away or in the long term. You can also create a 'pay for performance' system with your boss, where you get rewarded for the extra value you bring to the company over and above your main responsibilities.

Don't walk out with an empty plate

Give your boss/management a choice. The choice has to be between something and something else, not between something and nothing. If the company is in cost-cutting mode, consider other perks that you may be able to negotiate for in the short-term to compensate for the lack of money.

Read: There's more to a job offer than money

Send a follow-up note

After the meeting, send a note thanking your boss for his or her time and reinforcing the value you bring to the organisation. Also use this note to summarise the meeting, so your boss has some valid documentation. Here's a sample note:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for reviewing my responsibilities, role and salary at our meeting today. I believe I should receive a raise based on the following reasons: (List the reasons, presented as three to four bullet points)

I would be happy to provide details on any of the above accomplishments. I am very positive about my job and the future of the organisation and am willing to take on increased responsibilities. I am committed to contributing to the company's success in the future.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Remember, as long as you provide value to your organisation and they are doing fairly well financially, you have every reason to ask for a raise.

-- The writer is a corporate training consultant based in New Delhi.

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Number of User Comments: 63

Sub: Excellent

Its really helps someone performer without hike for long last. moreover anyone approach like these will definetely makes him pride and success winning in the ...

Posted by p sai prasath

Sub: Hike

It's nice approach

Posted by Raja

Sub: inrement salary

I want to inrement my salary but when do i go just front of my boss than i be hopeless, i do'nt say about my ...

Posted by manish

Sub: This is impractical but good to hear

This methos is just like GANDHIGIRI of munna bhai. But corporate world will never give you salary hike even though you are ready to take ...

Posted by Anuj

Sub: comments

Dear Sir, your tips to negotiate a salary hike are commendable,but we see that company hikes the salary more than one could have asked for,in ...

Posted by gaurav


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