How to ask for a raise during a pandemic

We all claim to be strong, independent and confident women, right? Well then why do we find ourselves completely traumatized when even thinking about asking for a pay raise. Did you know that men are four times more likely to ask for a promotion or pay raise then equally qualified women? Crazy right!

Trust me it’s not like we aren’t thirsty for it because according to Google trends data the most searched term was “how to ask for a pay raise”. We think this has come about because of the new way of working, you know when working from home you tend to work late into the evenings and even on weekends. I know I’m guilty of this!

Despite all of this, COVID-19 has made people very cautious about asking for a raise because job security right now is just so uncertain. But experts say that the pandemic should not be a determining factor of whether or not to ask for a pay raise.


Here are a couple tips to keep in mind before asking for a pay raise

Personal debt

It’s no secret that the pandemic has hit us hard in terms of finances but this should not be a determining factor as to why you deserve a raise. Make sure to never overlap your personal life with your working life. ALWAYS keep these separate! Only use work related items as evidence for a raise.

Rough estimate

It’s often easy to get carried away when negotiating a raise. It’s always important to be realistic when establishing the raise amount. Before even discussing this make a few notes about pointers that qualifies you to be deserving of a raise. Also make sure to work out the increase percentage wise this way you are ensuring that your pay raise is realistic and worth the conversation.

Other job offers

Do not start voicing that you have been speaking to recruitment agencies because this implies that you are giving your employer an ultimatum. Obviously look at job specs to evaluate salaries but steer clear from mentioning conversations with recruitment agencies.

Amount of years you have worked for the company

This is a common assumption by employees that the number of years you have been working for the company qualifies for a pay raise. This is not the case, remember that what a person achieves in one year has the potential to match what another accomplishes in 2 years. A salary raise is a investment in a person, not a reward for the time accumulated.

Offering an ultimatum

We know it’s tempting to offer an ultimatum but please try avoid this like the plague! This can come across as aggressive and unless you are serious to execute it – its just not a good idea.

How to go about asking

Most of us are working from home, which means we are communicating with our colleagues via digital platforms. This has become the norm but trust me in saying that it is not how you ask for a raise. Make sure to carve out enough time that is dedicated to the conversation. Send out a meeting invite and ensure that all parties involved know what the conversation is about prior to the meeting.


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Let us know in the comments below who of you are currently in this position and will be using this advice when asking for a raise.

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10 thoughts on “How to ask for a raise during a pandemic

  1. natashastewart2014 says:

    Thank you Rubybox for educating us Woman on how to go about asking for a raise the correct way☺ I will keep these pointers handy when the time comes to have the discussion👍

  2. lazolajoyi says:

    Asking for a raise under normal circumstances can be quite daunting. This article is so useful because the “You should be lucky you even have a job” sentiment is holding us back. Your worth in the workplace should match your salary!

  3. nassiram29 says:

    Now I know why I never got that raise(cringe), it’s because I did ALL the wrong things in this article. Even though I’ve always worked hard, i wondered why the discussion always went pear shaped after going thru weeks of trauma in my head of what to say…now I know where my approach was wrong…

    #done#woolworths

  4. Tumie Thoka says:

    I guess it is not odd to say that it is all I have been thinking about since the beginning of the year. These tips will come in very handy.

    Thank you!

  5. Olga Mokhomo says:

    I love this, It’s so informative and helpful, most people are scared of asking for a raise, including myself, should the time come I will definitely use these tips.