We're just going to say it straight out: Asking for a raise is mildly terrifying. While we've talked about phrases to use (and not use) when asking for a raise, there are also some times that are just more optimal than others to ask for that money you want and deserve. Here are a few we recommend.
1. When someone leaves and you take on their role.
Someone leaves and you find yourself doing double duty? There's no better time to ask for a pay increase than when it's very clear why you deserve it. If you're doing extra work or pinch-hitting, it's a great moment to ask for what you want.
2. When you just did completed a major project and it was a huge success.
Strike while the iron is hot! If you've had major success and are being given even more responsibility, then your boss likely already knows how deserving you are. Make a case for yourself.
3. Three months before your annual review.
This is about the moment in the year when budgets are made. Don't wait until the annual review, as it's possible that you will miss out on the money as it will already be allotted out.
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4. You just got a new degree or skill.
Have you just acquired a new skill that is beneficial to your role? Talk to your manager about it and make the case for why this new acquisition makes you even better at your job.
5. You have other job offers.
This is a dangerous one as you could end up having your bluff called, but if you're willing to risk losing your job, playing offers against one another can help you get a salary increase. High risk, high reward.