I decided that I'm gonna ask for a raise, but what I'm want to ask here is something special.

I want to make my best effort to make my company make their offer. This is not only because 'avoid doing the first offer' advice, but I have a more deep intention.

I really want to know how much they value my work and see if it is aligned to what I think I worth. For me the money is important, but I suspect that they can't really have the tools to really appreciate my value. I might be underestimating their skills... but I'm suspicious about how much fine grained they are.

So my question is, if I'm asking for a raise and my boss tries to ask me how much I want, if I say to him: 'I have a number in mind, but I'd like to honestly know how much do you think I'm worth'.

Does this seems to unpolite/aggressive or could be seen as arrogant? Do you think there's a better way to ask for what I want?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim G., Garrison Neely, Jan Doggen, gnat, Michael Grubey Aug 4 '14 at 12:46

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    you're only worth what someone else will offer you. – Kevin Mar 16 '14 at 21:08

I think you're going about this backwards, no offense. What you need to do when you ask for a raise is research your position. If you go to, for example, glassdoor.com and determine that the average person at your position makes $10 more an hour than what you're making, that is a valuable and tangible piece of evidence you can present to your boss. Most employers don't go around giving people raises out of the goodness of their heart. You have to provide them with the information which can be used to help make that decision. In the above example "I am being underpaid compared to my cohort at this position, and as such I should be able to find a job elsewhere fairly easily if I tried" is good, solid information that your employer can use.

The other thing to bear in mind when you ask for something like this is to accept the possibility of the answer coming back being "no". What are you going to do if your boss says that they value you but not enough to raise your pay to what others in your position are making? Some information is really only useful if you at least keep open the possibility that you're going to act on it. If your boss knows you're bluffing about leaving, for instance, they'll be much more likely to take a hard stance than if they understand that your finding another, potentially better job is a possibility.


So my question is, if I'm asking for a raise and my boss tries to ask me how much I want, if I say to him: 'I have a number in mind, but I'd like to honestly know how much do you think I'm worth'.

Does this seems to unpolite/aggressive or could be seen as arrogant? Do you think there's a better way to ask for what I want?

This seems to me like an odd game to play. It looks like you are working up your "disrespect" ire for some reason.

If you really want a raise, you have to decide for yourself how much of a raise you really want, and how much you really want it.

As a manager, I am far more inclined to react positively to "I would like a 5% raise, and here's why I'm worth it." than to "I would like a raise. I'm thinking of a number, but I'm not going to tell you what it is - instead, I'm going to make you guess what it would take to make me happy." To me, that's how your proposition sounds, and that's not a game I'd want to play.

If instead, you just want to feel loved, then ask them how much they love you. I would respect someone who came into my office and said "I'd like to talk about how I fit on this team, and where my career is going." Instead you seem to be thinking "I want to play 'name those dollars' as a way to see how much they love me."

You are "suspicious about how much fine grained they are"? I don't really understand what that means, but I'm guessing you are trying to decide if you should leave or stay. My guess is that those suspicions won't go away, even if you get a good raise.

Spend some time thinking this one over before acting on it. Decide what you really want here. Then act on that reality, rather than on a placeholder for your suspicions.

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    This is the same type of thing as the wife who gets mad when she didn't get what she wanted for her birthday but she wouldn't tell the husband what she wanted because "he whould know if he loved me". Just like husbands are not mind readers neither are bosses. And salary increases also have something to do with the budget and not just how much the person is valued just like if you only have 100 dollars to spend, you aren't buying your wife a diamond necklace. It is manipulative. It is inappropriate and I would be most unhappy with an employee who put me inthe postion of trying to read his mind. – HLGEM Mar 17 '14 at 19:28

If you said "I have a number in mind but..." to me, I would find it very difficult to take you seriously and I suspect I would not be alone. I would suggest that negotiating in this manner with someone you're already employed by is unlikely to either impress people or get you a good pay rise, as pay rises are seen differently from contract negotiations between the company and a new employee.

With most employers and most roles, you need to be able to show that your value to the company is such that a pay-rise is justified and you need to be able to put a monetary value on this (e.g. my work saved this amount of cost, generated that amount of income...), which naturally leads on to discussing salary amounts.

At this point it is ok to let them name a figure first if things are going in that direction anyway but it would be very arrogant and disrespectful to sit there and demand that they show you what they think you are worth in the way you talk about.

The way to get your manager on board with giving you a raise (keep in mind she may need to go and argue your case with someone above her) is to make it seem like you're both on the same side of the table, not face to face as adversaries. Your approach will have the latter effect, not the former.

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