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5 questions to ask before requesting a raise or promotion

Feb 11, 2022

This week on Twitter I posted a thread that really resonated with people. In it, I discussed 17 skills to consider before your next promotion, as well as recommended a book that would help you develop that skill. You can read that thread by clicking here.

Now, this is not to say you have to be an expert at all those things before you can ask for a raise.

The intent behind the list was to reflect on your situation and see where you might be lacking.

When it comes down to it, you and only you are responsible for your personal development.

That means it's on you to learn. Whether this is at work, or on your own time, the question becomes: what do you truly value?

It's okay to not value promotion or career advancement.

There are a lot who make that decision and do so intentionally.

But if you do value it and desire it, reflect on the skills above and shore up the ones that apply in your situation.

Now that we've laid that aside, here are 5 questions you should ask before charging into your boss's office asking for the raise or promotion?

Do you want more money or a different role?

If it's strictly the money you're unhappy with, don't go asking for a new role that could come with other headaches you don't yet understand.

If you hate your role, no amount of money is going to increase your job satisfaction. Sure, it may temporarily make you feel good, but the unhappiness will still be there.

Do I deserve the raise or promotion? And have you done your homework?

Deep down, you know if you deserve it. I truly believe that.

Have you done the work? Are you a high performer? Where do you compare next to your peers?

Doing your homework is understanding market rates for your position, internally and externally.

Sometimes internally can be hard, but there are ways online to get a reasonable feel for that information.

Have you prepared the groundwork?

If you've never talked to your boss about the possibility of a raise or promotion, you need to take a step back.

Before you can even begin the conversation, you need to have visited with your boss about your desire and gotten feedback for what you could improve.

This goes back to the skills conversation at the start. Where might you be lacking?

Going in on fertile ground may matter more than any of these other steps.

Have you shopped the field?

Have you looked at job openings? Talked to headhunters?

Do you have other options?

If you don't, it might not be the right time to ask for a raise.

These options will not only help you gain confidence, but they'll also be tools you can use in your discussion with your manager.

Have you mapped the conversation?

When doing a presentation or a sales call, you prepare for all the scenarios. You want to make sure you're ready for anything thrown at you.

You need to take the same mentality into a conversation with your boss.

You need a script, documentation, and alternatives all at hand and ready to go.


While this is not an all-encompassing guide, I hope this gave you a few things to think about.

If you have any questions or even a story to tell, I'd love to hear from you.

I hope you all have a great week. Until next week, stay intentional.


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