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NextGen Magazine


Experts Offer Insights on Asking for a Raise

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jan 17, 2023

It may be one of the most stressful conversations one might have with a supervisor: requesting a salary increase. But there are ways to do it without alienating the person on the other side of the desk, the New York Times reported.

Asking those who have been on the receiving end of these requests yielded some interesting observations; for one, that putting off the conversation for fear of being rejected is the biggest mistake one can make.

“They underestimate the chances of getting a yes, and they overstate the negative consequences of simply asking,” Daniel Pink, author of best-selling books on work and behavior, told the Times. He suggested rehearsing the ask with a friend who can ask tough questions to help prepare responses.

Pink also said that the employees “don’t think enough about the boss’s perspective or the decision-maker’s perspective,” and he recommended “really doing the hard work of getting in the head and the mind and the heart of the people who are making the decision.”

Human resources consultant Alexandria Brown advised telling the boss that the performance review is the opportunity to talk about career objectives, and to come to the meeting  with a list of contributions and a work plan for the coming year. 

She also noted that the boss may have to get approval from a higher-up, so “[G]ive your manager the talking points. …“[I]t removes some of the stress the manager has going to their department head or their CFO and making this ask.”

Behavioral scientist Robert Cialdini advised employees to set themselves as a special commodity. “People are more attracted to scarce, rare or uncommon opportunities,” he told the Times. “So if you are that kind of opportunity for them to keep in the organization, they will be more likely to do it.”

Both Cialdini and Pink encouraged workers to use language that will motivate a manager to be fair when it comes to compensation. Fairness in compensation can be gauged by perusing sites such as or, according to the Times.

Recruiter and career coach Jazmine Reed told the Times that usually women and introverts are those who are least likely to ask for a raise.

“I think most managers most, not all—but I think if they could wave a wand and give you more money, they would,” she said. “At the end of the day, and this is fact, no one is ever going to overpay you,” she said. “So likely, almost every single person, in some respects, is being underpaid.”