Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Ask for a Raise In Tough Times

By Renee Hanson, Certified Financial Planner

Just because times are tough doesn’t mean that you have to write off asking for a raise. You do, however, need to be thoughtful in your approach.

  • Identify your market value and then evaluate how you measure up. For help gathering that information, call a recruiter that specializes in your industry or check out online sites, such as
  • Schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss your contributions and how your compensation aligns with them.
  • Be prepared to remain objective and share information. In addition to the numbers on what others in your field are making, make a list of your important contributions. Include ways that you have saved your company money or brought in new business. Whenever possible, include numbers that demonstrate your value.
  • Remain calm, positive and conversational. Don’t threaten to leave or give any other ultimatums. Instead, start by saying that you’d like to have a conversation about your value to the organization.
  • Know what you want and be resourceful. Focus on your total compensation — salary, bonus, stock and benefits. If a raise is out of the question, consider asking for other benefits, for example, restricted stock or stock options, additional vacation time or a lump sum bonus.
If you hit a dead end, ask what you can do between now and your next scheduled job review to help better position yourself for success. Ask for — or propose — tangible goals so that you can document your efforts to achieve them and the results you produce.

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About the Author:

Renée A. Hanson, CFP®, CEP®, CDFA™, CFS, is a private wealth advisor with Hanson, Ayala & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Her passion is in helping women achieve their dreams and financial goals, regardless of life’s many obstacles. Renée is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, IL, MI, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI. Please visit: to learn more.

Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.

© 2011 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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