Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

4 Unexpected Things That Can Help You Successfully Ask for a Raise

As in most things, timing is everything.


Thinking about sitting down with your boss and asking for a raise? While you put together your case for more compensation, it’s important to take into account not just what you can bring to the table, but the best time to have the conversation.

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

Here are four factors that could help you get a raise.

1. Whether your boss has a cup of coffee.

But maybe not an iced coffee. More than wanting your boss to be alert and in a good mood, a recent study found that when a person holds a hot cup of coffee, they are more disposed to think well of the person they are speaking to.

In an interview, study co-author Professor Lawrence Williams explained, “There’s a pretty close association between physical warmth and interpersonal psychological warmth, such that incidentally holding something that’s warm or cold to the touch can influence how you feel about other people. It can also influence the type of choices you make, as far as other people are concerned.”

2. Whether there is money available.

To start, figure out when your company’s fiscal year begins and ends. That is when the higher-ups will have a sense of the budgets they are working with, so make a plan to ask for that meeting most likely in January at the start of the fiscal, or June and July, when many businesses wrap things up for the year.

Related: How to Ask for a Raise -- and Get It

3. After you've accomplished something big.

There are also going to be points during the year that may not line up with the start or end of the fiscal year that are good times to ask. In a LinkedIn post, Liz Ryan, the founder and CEO of consulting HR firm Human Workplace, said that there are a few instances where you’re well positioned to have a good outcome.

Ryan suggests asking for a meeting 90 days before an annual review, at the beginning of a big new project, when you’ve taken on a new responsibility, when you’re given another colleague’s responsibilities and workload -- often this can occur after someone leaves -- or when you’re supervisor compliments and acknowledges your work.

4. A day later in the week.

As for the best day to ask, if your inclination is not to ask first thing on Monday when you’re just escaping out from the Sunday Scaries, go with your gut. In an interview with Forbes, psychologist Suzanne Roff recommended asking later in the week. “My intuitive preference when to ask for a raise would be on a Friday mid-morning.  The person I would ask would probably be looking forward to a weekend.”

Nina Zipkin

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.