How to Ask For a Raise at Work

Posted by Swati on Jul 30, 2010 in Book Reviews |

I don’t know about you, but having to ask for a raise brings me to an instant state of anxiety.

Public speaking? No problem.

Singing off-key for five years in grammar school chorus? Whatever.  Give me the microphone.

Parasailing to celebrate my divorce?  No big deal.

Flying in a plexi-glass helicopter over a volcano?  Bring it on.

Asking for a raise? <gasp!> Can I have my blankie?

So, imagine how happy I was to be able to schedule a Skype interview (below) with Dr. Diane L. Katz, Ph.D., author of Win at Work: The Everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution. In her book (which I did receive for free – my required disclosure :-)), she covers many salient work related topics, such as conflict resolution, dealing with a micro-managing boss, and how to ask for a raise.

I couldn’t resist interviewing Dr. Katz about that last one – and she has graciously agreed that if any of my readers have any specific questions or need advice on a particular situation, she will be happy to offer back some advice if you post your question here!!

Take a listen to the interview (posted below), be sure to post any questions you may have, and check out her book and her website at or her blog here (the book is also available at Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon).

Have a super day –


DianeKatz on 2010-07-16 at 10.05

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  • supermom says:

    Swati, this is amazing! thanks for taking the time to read the book (since I won’t) then share it with us and get an expert to answer questions. Here it goes: my question for Dr Diane is: how do you make sure that you deserve that raise? I would think that’s the first thing the boss is gonna try to ask what makes you think you deserve a raise? so I do one answer that?

    Thank you Swati, Thank you Dr L

  • Swati says:

    *GASP* what do you mean I may not deserve a raise?!

    Only kidding Supermom :-) – terrific question!!

    Look forward to Dr. Katz’s reply…


  • Diane says:

    Supermom —
    How do you know if you are doing a great job? Review the feedback you have received over the last 6 months, positive and negative. If you haven’t received any, and you think you did a great job, try to figure out why you didn’t. Second, examine if you have gotten any choice assignments, perks, etc., over the last 6 months. That would indicate that you are well regarded. Third, ask a trusted ally how she thinks you are perceived (make sure she is honest and not trying to make you feel good!). Last, ask yourself what you could have done better and what you have learned so that you can do an even better job. ANd, by the way, if you buy the book you don’t have to read it — use it as a resource for all kinds of situations outlined in the book! Good luck!

  • Diane says:

    Supermom — one last comment — have your peers gotten positive feedback or a raise? If they have and you have not, that might also say a lot…

  • Amber says:

    A friend of mine has received 2 raises in the last year. The first she got by asking her manager for a letter of recommendation. He immediately gave her a $5/hr raise. Gutsy, huh?

    As for me…my raise would be having a week off to myself. : )

  • What a great article! At my last position, I remember being so nervous when it came time for review. I knew I was deeply underpaid and since being hired I had taken on two roles in the company. I did my homework to see where my salary should of been, I created a list of all of the responsibilities I had and outlined my accomplishments, etc. When it came time for my review I was more confident in talking about why I was asking for a significant pay increase and guess what I got it! I would of NEVER had the confidence if I didn’t know that I was doing a good job and most importantly was prepared.

  • Diane says:

    Your comments are great! We should all earn what we deserve and there are many roads to getting the raise you deserve!

  • Swati says:

    Tina -Life Without Pink – That’s great that you were so prepared. I think many mangers get worn down because people walk in asking for a raise because they need more money. It’s a great suggestion for anyone trying to get a raise.

    Diane – thanks for your great advice, as always!


  • mrsblogalot says:

    I have never had a problem asking for a raise. You tie them up…send out the ransom note…a kick here and there….easy schmeazy.

    Now, just reading the word “parasailing” has made me want to take to my bed.

    Go figure.

  • Swati says:

    Haha Mrsblogalot – see you always know just how to cut to the chase!

  • Mandy says:

    Great interview and love that you figured out the technology.
    There are other ways to get more pay if you look at the bigger picture … if your boss’s hands really are tied then see if you can ask for additional time off (sounds like Amber would like that), additional training (good for building the resume for the next step) or attending an industry conference (great for networking for that next job). I recently got my boss to cover my expenses to a blogging conference because I maintain two websites at work that are on WordPress. That was much easier for my boss to agree to than working through the machinations to bump me up the pay scale and it meant a lot to me.

  • Diane says:

    Great ideas! It all depends on what is most important to you. Asking for car allowance, cell phone, etc., are also great ways to get more when the money may not be.

  • Swati says:

    Mandy – what amazing and creative ideas!! Great advice!!


  • OMG Swati, you are so funny. I just loved your introduction for this post. I had to read it over like 6 times because it made me laugh so hard. And yes, I need my blankie too when I even consider asking for a raise.

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