How to Craft a Humble Request For a Promotion or Raise

Asking for a promotion or raise is never easy. It takes a special blend of self and industry awareness, confidence, and modesty to craft a humble request for a promotion. How do you know when the time is right? Can the business afford to pay you more? Is there space for you to take on more responsibilities and authority?

This post will share advice on how to ask for a promotion, including when it is appropriate to ask for a promotion or raise and how to properly prepare. We also created a helpful raise request template sample that can help you craft your own personal request.


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When is it Appropriate to Ask For a Raise or Promotion?

This is a tough question to answer, and the circumstances may look slightly different for everyone. You need to be able to judge if the time is right. The following are typical signs that it’s the right time to ask for a promotion or raise.


  • The business is thriving.
  • There haven't been any recent cutbacks.
  • You have a manager or mentor who can vouch for you.
  • You've taken on more work or responsibility.
  • You've researched your salary and know people at other companies in your same role are making more.
  • It’s been a while since you received a raise or performance review.
  • You've done your research and can answer the question, “Why do you deserve a raise?



Raise and Promotion Request Strategy

The most important thing you can do before asking for a raise or promotion is BE PREPARED. 🎼🦁 You need to have all of your facts, figures, and answers lined up before you make an official request. You must be able to clearly define what you’re asking for and why you deserve it.


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Be Confident, But Humble When Making Your Pitch

It’s tough to balance confidence and humility in the workplace. Too much confidence and you can come across as arrogant, conceited, or otherwise full of yourself. Not enough confidence and people may start thinking you’re timid and ineffectual—a good-natured doormat.

Too much humility can also give the wrong impression. Some may believe you’re being falsely modest and insincere, while others may think you don’t have the confidence needed to express your own strengths. The key is nailing a perfect balance.

Whether in person or by email, be prepared before you make your pitch. After assembling a healthy amount of data and examples to back up your cause, a natural confidence will shine through. Express your strengths and successes with humility, being careful not to brag or embellish. Be honest about what you have accomplished and how you can continue to help the business succeed moving forward.


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Research Salary Expectations and Prepare a Specific Request

The amount of money other people make in your industry for working a similar role is important. You should have a good understanding of how industry standards compare to your own salary or wage.

There are many online databases that provide occupational employment statistics for both hourly and annual wage averages. Research both your industry and your role while factoring in any other benefits you receive. Don’t forget to consider cost of living. Someone with the exact same job as you in New York is going to make more than someone working in Iowa.

If you ask for a raise and your boss asks how much you’re looking for, you need to have a clear and reasonable answer prepared. Use your research to determine a reasonable request. Never ask for a raise or promotion before understanding what it is you are actually asking for.


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Know the Answer to “Why Do You Deserve a Raise?”

Why do you deserve a raise or promotion? It’s extremely important you know your answer inside and out. Seeming flustered or surprised by a question like this shows management how little thought you put into this request—and that doesn’t look good.

Figure out your answer to why do you deserve a raise and practice saying it out loud. Rehearse the answer in the mirror or in front of a trusted friend or family member. If you make the request over email, have someone read it through and watch for spelling and grammar mistakes. A typo in a hastily-written promotion request will not serve your cause.

Remember, if you don’t know why you deserve a promotion or raise, there’s a good chance no one else does either.


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Express How You Have and Will Take on More Responsibility

A raise or promotion often comes with more responsibility. How and where specifically have you been proactive with your work? When have you taken on more responsibility, and what was the positive result? Clarify what you have already done and what more you want to do. Which areas of the business can benefit from your expertise and leadership?

Be prepared to take on more responsibility if you do get the raise or promotion you’re looking for. “With great power comes great responsibility.” 🕷🕸 Strive for continuous improvement in both personal and professional development.


💡 Professional Development Goals: Examples and How to Get Started


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Accept No if That’s the Answer You Receive

No matter how much research you do or how well-crafted your request is, there’s still a chance you may receive a big, disheartening “No” or “Let’s reassess at another time.

Go in with confidence, but have the humility to accept a no with grace. Present your well-researched points, but don’t push back too hard or fight further if you’ve already received a firm answer. You don’t have all of the information your boss does, and there could be extenuating circumstances that you’re unaware of.

If the answer is no or not right now, ask when it is appropriate to follow up about a promotion or raise in the future. Take this opportunity to understand what it will take to progress within your company. Ask if there are responsibilities you can take on or specific goals they would like to see you hit to help you progress in your job.

If possible, request a one on one meeting with your manager to discuss your career goals, how you can improve, and how you can progress within your role.



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Craft a Humble Request For Promotion or Raise

Asking for a raise or promotion is a task best done in person (or video call if you work remotely). Asking your boss or manager for a raise over email can make it seem like you’re not that serious about the promotion, and some may see it as cowardly. Plus, asking in person will help you gauge their immediate reaction.

It benefits both of you to have a real conversation about a raise or promotion. Request a time to meet one on one to discuss your goals and future. This way, even if the answer is no, you can take the time to express your own career goals and find out what you need to do in order to progress in your career.

Below we’ve created two sample emails—one requesting a meeting to discuss a promotion and the other to request a discussion about a raise.



Sample Letter Asking For Promotion


Asking For Promotion Email

Dear [Manager name],

I am interested in discussing the new job opening and how I could succeed in that role. I believe I am a good fit for the position, and I’d like to discuss it with you further. I’m ready to take on more challenges and continue to add value to the company.

Please let me know when you are available for a short one on one meeting. I look forward to hearing from you.





Sample Letter For Salary Increase Request


Asking For Raise Email

Dear [Manager name],

I am writing to request a meeting to discuss my goals and how I can continue to bring value to [Company]. I’m ready to take on more challenges, and I would like your input on how I can progress in my role.

Please let me know when you are available for a short one on one meeting. I look forward to hearing from you.





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Jordan's passion for travel led her to design a career as a remote content marketer. Nearing 1000 published articles, she's spent the past decade using her interdisciplinary education to research and write content for a wide variety of industries. Working remotely, Jordan spends half of the year exploring different corners of the world. At home, she's content exploring fictional lands—Spark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Game of Thrones, Red Rising, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings.

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