Get Paid What You’re Worth – How to Ask for a Raise the Right Way

September 12, 2011 in Career and Job Search Tips



In today’s economy, most people are thankful just to have their jobs.  Still, despite layoffs and salary cuts, many professionals and executives are deserving of pay raises.  If your responsibilities have increased and you feel that you’re underpaid, or if you haven’t been offered a raise in years, it may be time to ask for one.  Use these tips to ask for a raise the right way and get paid what you’re worth.

Consider timing issues. When it comes to getting a raise, timing can be everything:

  • If your company is struggling financially, it’s probably looking for ways to cut costs – not raise them.  Try to get a feel for your organization’s performance before you ask for more money.
  • If you’re new to the company, wait at least a year before asking for a raise.  This is a general rule of thumb.  Possible exceptions include dramatically increased responsibilities or new tasks that cause real hardship, such as extensive travel.
  • If you’ve just accomplished something spectacular, strike while the iron is hot.  Use the momentum created by your fantastic performance – and ask while your accomplishment is still fresh in your boss’s mind.

Do your homework. Find out how much food & beverage professionals working in similar positions are earning, using tools like or  Additionally, if you belong to a professional association, check their web site to see if they have salary information available.  Use the range of salaries you uncover, combined with your experience level and employment tenure, to determine how much you’re worth.

Quantify the value you provide. Make a list of your notable accomplishments and additional responsibilities you’ve taken on since your last pay review.  Show how your work has helped improved your division or company, in terms of revenues generated, costs saved, increased customer satisfaction, etc.  If you are asking for a raise, make it easy for your boss to say “Yes” by providing the evidence he needs.

Conduct a dress rehearsal. Write down your presentation and practice it at home with a trusted friend.  Try to anticipate the objections you may face and encourage your friend to play the devil’s advocate.  It may sound silly, but rehearsing your presentation will help calm your nerves and boost your confidence when the real time comes.

Schedule appropriate time with your boss. Let your boss know in advance that you’d like to discuss your salary.  He will consider your request for a raise more seriously if you treat it as a business meeting and give him time to prepare.

Be confident and professional. Make sure you always take the high road when asking for a raise.  Don’t act entitled, tell your boss why you need more money or idly threaten to quit.  All of these strategies are much more likely to backfire than get you the increase you deserve.

Have a back-up plan. Know how you’ll respond if your boss turns you down or offers you a much smaller raise.  If you don’t plan to quit your job, have a back-up list of non-monetary perks (e.g., tuition aid, flex time, additional vacation time) you’d accept in lieu of the raise.  Furthermore, find out the specifics of why you’ve been turned down – is it performance related, or just bad timing?  Before you leave the meeting, find out what you can do to improve your chances of getting a raise in the future, and when you two can talk about your salary again.

Get Paid What You’re Worth – Find Your Next Food & Beverage Job Opportunity with Kinsa

If you’re underpaid or just dissatisfied with your current position, Kinsa can help you make a change for the better.  We want to help you achieve your career and financial goals, by matching you with an opportunity that suits your skills, needs and interests.  Contact us today to learn more about executive and management career opportunities in the food & beverage industry.