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10 Tips From Workers on Asking for a Pay Raise After 1 Year


If you’ve been at your job for a year and you’re considering asking your boss for a raise, there a few key points you might want to consider before deciding whether or not to ask and how to ask. Workers weigh in with their opinions and advice to help you decide what’s best for your situation when it it comes to asking for a pay raise after a year.

1. Assess Your Market Value and Keep Your Pay Current With Inflation

If you don’t get a raise every year, they are cutting your pay (due to inflation). If they give you a raise of less than 3%, they might as well be cutting your pay (again, due to inflation). That’s the rule of thumb. 


Find out what your actual worth in the market is. Both by looking up other jobs in your field or by talking to coworkers.


If you are worth keeping around, let him know that you have been researching and you would like to discuss a salary adjustment. Don’t go in and say “Well this website says I’m underpaid”. Make sure you have done thorough research before discussing this with him. A good boss won’t fault you for discussing pay as everyone is there to make money and believe me your boss knows that.


Inflation is a general increase in the prices of goods and the fall in purchasing power. Because your skillset is as susceptible to inflation as any other type of good, asking for a raise can help your pay keep up with the inflation of the price of your labor. If inflation was around 5 percent the previous year, then a raise of 5 percent would allow your compensation to stay level with the market rate of your labor. Not only does asking for a raise alleviate disparity in your pay caused by inflation, but it can also safeguard you against hitting an earning potential wall.

2. Avoid Telling Your Boss You Have Another Job Offer

It NEVER hurts to ask for a raise. But NEVER tell an employer that you have gotten an offer from somewhere else. If you tell your employer that you have an outside offer that generally illustrates that you are not happy in your current position. Most management will determine that: “We’ve already lost him.”


If you’re thinking about asking your manager for a raise because you’ve received another, higher-paying offer, reflect on the implications of bringing this to their attention when you ask for a raise. Your manager might feel like you are no longer engaged with your work, that you will no longer give your best offer, and that you will continue to hunt for other opportunities. If you do decide to tell your boss that you’ve been given another offer of employment, be prepared to walk away from your current role to accept it.

3. Prove You Are Worth The Extra Compensation

The answer to “should I ask for a raise?” is “Are you worth more than you’re getting paid? Can you explain why?” If you can explain why you’re worth more, then go explain it to your boss. You don’t ask for a raise, you explain why you’re worth more than you’re getting paid.


Do a lot more legwork in your request for a raise. Document projects you successfully completed in an exemplary manner. Did it cost less than expected? How much money did you save the company/department? Did you complete it sooner than expected? How much time did you save? What creative solutions did you offer? How have you contributed to your work team? Use numbers/facts/specific examples.


You want to highlight your accomplishments, what you know to be true. Hopefully you have more accomplishments than what they talked about in the [last performance] review, but if not, pull from the review.


One of the reasons you could be contemplating asking for a raise after a year of work is because you have accomplished something significant. Before you tell your boss you’d like more money, take the time to quantify your achievements and present them in a manner that’s easily digestible (such as a presentation or document).

4. Identify If Your Job Duties Have Dramatically Changed

So many of my friends have been such superstars at work that they’re given additional responsibility because “they can be trusted”, often finding themselves in defacto team-leader/assistant manager roles, but without the pay-grade to match, then being shot-down when they apply for promotion. I’ve even been guilty of this, till I got shafted by management. Once you’ve been bitten it’s easier to see the play management make in this area.


When I ask for raises, I gather evidence. See if your new responsibilities align with a job title, then research the average wages for that job title, and ask for the mid-range of that[.]


Another rationale for asking for a raise after being at your job for a year is because you are performing a higher volume of or more complex tasks than when your original pay was agreed upon. This information is valuable to highlight alongside any accomplishments you documented in the tip above when actually asking for a raise.

5. Think About Negotiating Other Forms of Compensation Outside of Pay

You should 100% shop yourself around, find your value, identify other opportunities and present your value and needs to your employer. This can be wage, this can be time home, this can be opportunities. This applies even if you 100% love your job! Do not wait for yourself to be wildly underpaid and stagnant for years before trying to pushe the needle.


I would also suggest thinking about what non-monetary things [you] would like, such as training or work from home days (if it’s an option) or more time off [you] might like. If the boss comes back with, well, we can’t give you a raise right now, but are there other benefits we could offer you? [You] will be prepared.


Though it’s always a good time for you to get a raise, there’s a high probability that it’s not a great time for your company to give a raise. If you’re unhappy with your pay, but your manager has expressed that there just isn’t budget to increase your salary or hourly rate, think about alternate forms of compensation that would be valuable to your specific circumstances. Perhaps your manager can’t find a way to increase your pay after a year of employment, but they can give you more PTO or flexible working hours.

6. Determine If It’s Time to Walk Away

Now that you’ve gained experience, switching jobs (or even re-applying at your existing company) will almost definitely be the best way to boost your salary. But before you leave, have you squeezed out everything from this current position? Make sure you aren’t hurting yourself by leaving “too early”, especially if there’s a lot more for you to learn. This can be worth more than a extra few bucks an hour, in the long run.


I’ve switched jobs every year for 4 years and went up 5-10k every time until I landed my current position where I literally doubled my salary and I will hold on to the job for dear life for as long as I can.


Certain raise percentages for existing roles are just not feasible. If you’re looking for a very high raise percentage or amount after working at your company for a year, take the time to figure out if it makes more sense to start shopping for other opportunities instead.

7. Don’t Ask for a Raise If You Need More Money

Practice good personal finance skills. Understand money before you talk money. Understand what your needs are and understand the economy you’re living in. Know what’s realistic and what’s a fantasy.


If the reason you’re thinking about asking for a pay raise after one year is because your living costs have increased, consider alternate ways to address the root cause rather than requesting more money. Whether you’ve gotten married, had a child, relocated, or simply started purchasing more expensive items, identify ways to decrease your costs and increase your savings rate.

8. Weigh the Risks and Appreciate It’s Not All About Money

I think it’s good advice to prioritize learning over money early on in your career. The money will come when you have developed a valuable skill set that others don’t have. I prioritized learning and experience for the first 5 years of my career, forgoing shorter term gigs that would have paid a lot more, but offered less experience, and it’s worked out great. You have to strike a balance, though. I would be more concerned if you were excelling, but they weren’t giving you more responsibility. Responsibility is a good thing, even if it means more stress and work. Means they trust you to do more. When you stop growing in your career AND making more money is when I would be concerned.


Don’t undervalue a good work environment. Your boss [might have] been willing to help you pay off debts [or]… you enjoy your job. Many places will not be as lax and will not have management that seem so vested in you. Make sure you count your benefits. My company pays for healthcare that would otherwise cost $1600 a month for a good plan. You can expect that your benefits cost the company somewhere around 25% more than your actual salary.


My job is relatively low pay, but my benefits are worth 3-5 dollars an hour, so leaving for another position where you make a dollar or 2 more may be hurtful depending on your benefits. Another thing, make yourself useful in your work and gather as much knowledge as possible.


As you’re contemplating asking your manager for pay increase after working with them for a year, determine the other benefits to your role. It might not be the most high paying job, but do you enjoy your company culture, flexible working hours, or excellent healthcare? Think through the implications of asking for a raise and what would be appropriate to ask for.

9. Understand Asking for a Raise is a Negotiation

I am a manager at a small company and I had a really bright new guy that I gave an 11% raise to. He told me when he got the raise that he really expected to get a raise that was equivalent to 65%. He just assumed that he would make that much because of sites like glassdoor. Well I also do my own research and saw that his position should pay more than I gave him, but nowhere near what he expected. I showed him my findings and told him I would get back to him. This guy was worth keeping so in the end I was able to give him a raise equivalent to about 38% which was still considerable in my eyes. Now I’m a pretty reasonable guy, but you need to take several factors into consideration.


As this manager highlights, asking for a raise is a negotiation, and you can’t expect to be handed 100% of what you ask for. Weigh what is most important to you and be prepared to give on items that are less valuable.

10. Create a Growth Plan

If you really are underpaid… then you don’t go in just asking for a raise. You go in and say: “It looks like people in my position tend to make $X, but I only make $Y. What would a growth plan look like for me to earn $X?” Then you’re not asking for money directly, you’re asking for what they are looking for in order for you to be worth $X to them. The goal is to get a reasonable action plan, maybe there’s a responsibility or two they haven’t yet given you that you need to perform. Or maybe there’s a certification you need to study for. Whatever it is, knowing that it’s your goal, and your manager knowing you’re specifically working towards it will go a long way for you.


Don’t leave a failed conversation hanging. I’ve done salary negotiations more than once per year for the past years. Most of those conversations didn’t get me a raise, but they all ended with a timeframe to meet again and a definite plan to discuss the matter further.


Some employers might think it’s not quite time for a raise after only working with them for a year. If you’ve had an unsuccessful pay raise discussion in the past, work with your manger to develop a measurable plan to receiving a raise. Even if you haven’t asked for a raise yet, be prepared to ask questions about how to obtain the raise you want, as suggested by the first worker in this tip.


If you started your job a year ago and are considering asking for a pay raise, review the advice and tips from these workers as you determine whether or not to pop the question.

Climb on, FinBase.


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Bethany works in technology when the sun is shining, but when the stars come out, she writes about personal finance, financial independence, and holistic living. She enjoys cooking, playing tennis, skiing, and floral design.
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