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What are the best ways to ask for a raise when you have an annual review coming up?

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First, you should always be asking your manager how to get to the next level financially or in title. Outline your key contributions to the business. Specify where your work goes above and beyond what is actually expected of you in your role and ideally how it’s contributed to the bottom line (expanded scope, margin reduction, etc). If you’re asking for a raise without a promo, expect it to be on the smaller side, but it still should be justified by performance and contribution.

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Depending on how far away it is, I always look at my review as more of a confirmation of what I already know. Don’t go in blind hoping for the best or you’ll get disappointed every time. I would suggest planting the seed with your direct manager before the review so they know your expectations and have the time to try and advocate for you before money has been allocated elsewhere. I would stay focused and positive, don’t mention other coworker pay etc. Just lay out the things you have contributed to and what you want to do so they know you’re invested in them too. Ex: “I just wanted to check in with you and make sure I’m on track...” Setting expectations early helps you get ahead of the 100+ ppl that will be fighting for scraps on review day.

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