How to Ask for a Raise as a Remote Worker

How to Ask for a Raise as a Remote Worker

Asking for a raise is never easy. And for remote workers--many of whom feel extra pressure to prove themselves day in and day out--the conversation can seem nearly impossible. Even if you’ve worked at your current company for years, you might be left wondering exactly how to ask for a raise in a way that’s both professional and successful.

Don’t panic! We can’t promise it’ll ever be easy, but with the right preparation, we can promise you’ll feel more confident than ever to discuss your compensation with your supervisor. In this piece, we’ll go over the basics of asking for a raise, and provide you a preliminary checklist of all the materials you should prepare, so you can dial into your scheduled asking-for-a-raise meeting feeling ready for that salary boost.

Evaluate Your Performance

Before you initiate a conversation asking for more money, it’s important to consider your contribution to the company and your performance in your role thus far. Sure, seniority can be a factor (maybe you’ve held your title for 1-3 years); but it shouldn’t be the only reason you’re asking for an increase in compensation. 

What are some other reasons you might deserve a raise? Consider leadership roles you’ve taken on lately, or projects you’ve managed to completion. Are there ways in which you’ve gone above and beyond your job description? Write those down in some detail (you’ll want to save this list for later).

Do you believe you produce high-quality work on a regular basis? Highlight some examples (and save this, too). If you’re able to show a consistent track record of strong performance, you’ll know you’re asking for a raise at the right time.

Research Average Pay for Your Position

Platforms such as Glassdoor, Salary.com, and Payscale.com are designed to help you determine the range of pay for positions like yours. Use tools like these to figure out what people in your position are making, on average, in your role. This will help provide you a good baseline to go off when you’re deciding what to ask for. It will also give you some concrete data to provide your employer. 

Schedule the Meeting  

Now that you’re confident it’s the right time in your career to ask for a raise, and you’ve got some good data confirming the amount you want to ask for, it’s time to reach out to your supervisor to schedule a meeting. 

Often, employers will use yearly performance reviews as opportunities to evaluate compensation. However, there are a number of reasons why this may not be feasible for you. Some companies don’t handle performance reviews on a yearly basis. Others don’t discuss compensation during performance reviews. Perhaps your performance review is a few months away, but you’re ready to ask for your raise sooner. Whatever the reason, remember that it is important, and totally normal, to schedule a meeting for just this purpose. 

As a remote employee, you won’t have the benefit of sitting face to face with your supervisor. So, if possible, request the next best thing: a video meeting. Try to schedule it at least a week out, so you have time to practice and prepare yourself.

Some professionals suggest letting your supervisor know what the nature of this meeting will be in advance, so you don’t catch them off-guard. You know your supervisor best, however, so be sure to use your best judgment to determine if that makes sense for you.

Prepare Your Materials

You won’t want to go into your meeting empty-handed. You’ll want to come in armed with a portfolio of sorts, just like you did when you interviewed for your position. Here’s a basic list of some of the items you’ll need on-hand for your call:

    • Your professional accomplishments.Pull forward everything you’ve achieved for the company--all your major career “wins.” Have you launched a major website that’s generating lots of leads for the company? Successfully secured a major client? Gained amazing press? Whatever it is, have it in front of you. Your supervisor won’t necessarily remember everything you’ve done for the company--and, to be honest, you might not remember off the top of your head, either! Preparation will help showcase your impressive performance.  (Hint: This is where those notes you took during step one will come in handy.) 
    • Gratitude, compliments, and positive feedback.Pore through your emails and pull forward all the thank-yous, the notes of impact your work has made, any positive performance reviews, and other notes that show your value in a qualitative way.
    • Your concrete ask. You might know how much money you’re asking for, but make sure you write it down, just in case you get tongue-tied. 
    • Your salary data. You’ll want this to back up your ask. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

If you can, consider practicing your ask with a family member, a friend, or a trusted colleague. As you do, try out various scenarios so you feel comfortable with whatever might be thrown your way. Ask them to keep an eye on your confidence, remembering that you want to appear self-assured without seeming entitled or demanding. Remember to end each practice session with gratitude for their time and consideration. After all, no matter how this meeting goes with your supervisor, you’ll want to end that meeting much in the same way. 

When it’s time to take the meeting, remember that you’re prepared for this moment--and that asking for a raise is a totally normal and expected part of any job, remote or otherwise. Regardless of the outcome, be sure to send a follow-up email thanking your supervisor for their time and attention. Your gratitude will not go unnoticed, and will absolutely be remembered in the future, whether you’re asking for a raise or taking on a new project. 

Remote workers deserve raises just like any traditional employee. Now that you know how to ask for a raise, you have the tools you need to go into your meeting armed with the knowledge that you are great at your job and entitled to ask for what you deserve. 

Featured image by DISRUPTIVO


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