How often should you get a raise?

Updated on January 28, 2023
How often should you get a raise

Many professionals don’t feel comfortable discussing a pay raise at work. However, the matter has worked its way into the commonly accepted work ethics around the world. So how often should you get a raise at work?

You should try to get a pay raise at least once per year so your salary can catch up with the yearly inflation. Getting a raise at work highly depends on your performance, your company’s profitability, and the state of the local economy.

If you have started a job recently and passed the probation, you may need to wait 6 more months before requesting a salary increase.

Most companies have a yearly performance review which gives you the chance to bring up a raise. Keep in mind:

  • It's fair to believe that as you progress with your work and professional achievements, your compensation should increase accordingly.
  • If you haven't been offered a raise yet, you may find it a little uncomfortable to ask for one.
  • Knowing when it's acceptable and reasonable to ask for a raise will help you build your argumentation better.

Should you get a raise every year?

Should you get a raise every year
Yearly salary raises are not guaranteed unless your contract doesn't specifically say so. Most employers follow the same annual salary actualization policy, binding it to the yearly inflation level or up to 3%. Location, sector, and job performance can also play a role.

When considering how often you should get a pay raise it's important to:

1. Track your company's achievements of the pre-set growth goals for the year. Being aware of the current financial/economical state of the company gives you a basis for your request.

2. Take the initiative to ask what the company policy for annual review is, so you can be prepared for what to expect. The performance review is closely related to your personal achievements and the company's goals and meeting the KPIs for the specific role.

3. Consider the chance of not being offered a pay raise, despite meeting your professional goals and KPIs, as there could be other specific economical factors preventing your employer from updating the monetary compensations, such as client losses or market decreases.

4. Check your network – feel free to enquire if your connections with similar roles have been given a raise. Knowing more about the sector helps you build a more realistic picture and shows you are aware of the role’s current business development.

5. Be proactive and make a list of what you have accomplished since your last review or since your start (if that's your first review). Your personal achievements and professional growth during the past year will definitely help you get promoted.

Should you expect a raise after 1 year?

You should expect a raise after 1 year of working for the same company. Large and medium-sized companies have an end-of-the-year review policy which brings the chance to discuss a salary increase.

Even if the first end-of-the-year review is taking place earlier than a complete year since your start in the company, be prepared for a discussion.

Make sure to enquire about the expectations of your manager and consult with them - your review should not be the first time you discuss your performance with your superior.

Be a proactive employee and create a map of personal achievements leading to a raise, writing down the actionable items after each performance discussion.

This helps keep track of your professional growth and stands at the bottom of a well-backed up discussion. (It would be perfectly reasonable to ask for a raise when you are a new hire and your probation period is over.)

Should you ask for a raise after 6 months?

You should ask for a raise after 6 months on the job if you have achieved remarkable results during the period. Your top priority would be to prove how much of an asset you have been for the past 6 months in front of your boss.

When new to a job, how often should an employee get a raise? Being new doesn’t mean you don't deserve a raise, however, it often means you haven't had enough time to prove yourself valuable.

If you are certain you would like to receive a raise in a shorter period than 1 year, make sure you are working for it from the start.

Work hard and request performance discussions with your manager often – on a monthly basis, this will help you stay on the right development path tо make your steps upward.

Should you ask for a raise every year?

You can ask for a raise every year, especially if you have been with a company for a few years and your expertise has grown significantly. It's important to be aware of the budget range the company has for the specific role, as it's possible to reach a limit.

While asking for a raise every year is not limited, the opportunities a certain role can give you are. You should consider a change in direction of growth – enquire about horizontal or vertical career paths within the company, or even research your options to apply in other companies.

The employer should also be prepared with calculations of the costs of replacing a senior, profitable employee with lots of experience and the costs of searching, recruiting and training a new member. In most cases giving a raise to a senior is the better option for the company.

How often should companies give raises

How often should companies give raises
Companies should give pay raises to workers when they give them more responsibilities. Raises for loyalty, impact or consistent hard work, however, are often given only once after a performance review.

For example, you can ask for a raise if your employer gives you the extra responsibility to train new recruits.

Another reason to receive a raise could be a drastic change in the financial environment which affects the living conditions of all citizens.

Many companies offer one-time compensations to their employees when shifting them to a home-office structure, for example.

Are employers required to give raises?

Many people feel like companies have to give a raise every year to their workers. However, employers are not required by law to give raises. Regulations require they pay minimum wage and overtime compensation but salary raises are not mandatory.

Usually, companies build their own policy on giving raises. It is shared with employees when they start or each time the policy is updated. (Don't forget that you can ask coworkers who parallel your position to compare your salaries.)

Even if a company has a yearly review policy which is written in your contract, it's not mandatory that the earnings are adjusted upwards every year. The employer is to make this decision depending on their business growth/development plan.

A significant change in the cost of living can be a solid reason for a raise or compensation, so do enquire for such if the economical conditions require it, but be aware that it's not mandatory for your employer to update your salary.

How often should you get a cost of living raise?

How often should you get a cost of living raise

Yearly adjustment of salary, related to the CPI (annual inflation rate) is considered appropriate. It's often up to 3% of the current compensation package, depending on the yearly calculations.

In case you are relocated to an area with a higher cost of living, you should ask for salary adjustment.

Note that the cost of living adjustment should not be considered a raise in the same sense as a raise for accomplishment for example, as its purpose is to simply keep your earnings the same in relation to higher cost of living.

Some companies prefer to increase the social benefits package of their employees rather than giving them monetary compensation, so be prepared for such an offer.

How much should you ask for a raise?

How much should you ask for a raise

Ask for a 10-20% pay raise of the net salary you are currently receiving.

In case you don’t get one, it's considered that switching jobs is the fastest way to maximize your earnings for a period of time by requesting a higher payment each time.

If you stay in the same company, you can be restricted by the payment base for a specific role or the company's budget as a whole.

Take the time to prepare your arguments for a raise, including your loyalty, expertise, profitability and personal achievements accomplished for the time you’ve been with the company.

How long should you work without a raise?

Depending on the sector, working for more than 18 months without a raise could be considered wage stagnation. This can be a solid reason to start looking for a better-paying job.

In case you see no promotion chance for the next 12 months in the same company - do check your chances in other companies in the sector. And take a look at our guide on how to carefully decline a job offer when salary is not satisfactory.

The red flags that will help you make your forecast are the low earning reports, slow growth, and a hiring freeze, especially when combined with waves of leaving employees.

Written by:
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galin office topics square
co-founder / office worker
Galin has been an office worker for 8+ years. He has dealt will all kinds of situations at work, so he knows a thing or two about management, co-worker relationships, and productivity. Galin specializes in digital marketing and dabbles in web development.

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