How to ask for a raise

At a recent women’s tech conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the audience to not ask for a raise; karma will take care of it. What a huge misstep by a Fortune 500 CEO. Compensation issues are sensitive enough, but to throw gender into the mix is asking for big trouble.

Whether you are male or female, asking for a raise can be difficult and nerve-racking. Here are some tips for doing it right: 

  • Do your homework.
  • Get market data to bolster your case.
  • Track your performance metrics and compare them to colleagues and competitors.
  • Don’t get emotional; this is business.
  • Have valid reasons for the request; don’t use hard work as your only rationale.
  • Be prepared to negotiate.
  • Ask for a timeframe for the decision.
  • Be prepared to walk away if you don’t get what you think is fair.
  • Understand how your request affects the company, your department and/or colleagues.
  • Practice your pitch — it’s a presentation, after all.
  • Make it a win/win; hopefully if you make more money, so will your boss and your company.
  • Be respectful and professional but firm.