How to (Finally) Get that Raise You Deserve

Think it’s time for a raise?  Your boss probably isn’t going to pay you more if you don’t ask. Few good things happen without cause. If you master these skills, you’ll be able to pitch with confidence and get the salary you deserve.

Focus on the previous six months

Formulate a list of your ten biggest accomplishments of the period, and how it benefitted the company.   Be sure to highlight any occasions when you exceeded your manager’s expectations. Bosses have a lot on their plate, so it doesn’t hurt to remind them of your well-doing.  Help your boss understand why you deserve the raise, and show up with the facts.

Figure out your company’s pay policies

Do some market research, and find out how similar employees in your area are getting paid.  Don’t try and suggest you plan on leaving the company; just make it known that others in your position are making more. Online salary calculators can help you figure this out.  If your salary lands in the lower 50 percentile, you might be undervalued; consider this when asking for that raise.

Review your income history

It’s possible your employer isn’t giving raises right now.  The economy is unpredictable, and your pay may reflect that.  Look over your income history and determine the trend, and make it known if necessary.  If you can’t get a raise because of company policy, all hope is not lost.  Consider inquiring about company perks, such as game tickets, vacation days and stock options.  Money isn’t the only way to pay, so see what your company has to offer to keep morale in check.

Time it right

Be sure to time it right.  If you’re having a rough quarter, or your boss is under unusual pressure, back off and hold tight.  Wait till your next stellar annual review to pop the question.  You don’t want to weigh down your boss at a bad time, it could result in undue rejection.  The time is right only sometimes, so observe and read the room.  Find your ideal time (when things look good for you and your boss) and submit your proposal.

Be Professional

Set up a private meeting with your boss.  It’s not illegal to talk openly about your salary, but it’s not professional.  Act the part, and keep it under wraps for everybody who it doesn’t immediately concern.  Be professional during your meeting, too.  Present your case, along with all the reasons you excel and deserve this promotion.  Whatever you do, certainly don’t compare yourself to coworkers.  This makes you seem petty and highly unprofessional.  Be patient, too.  Your boss will likely need to clear your proposal with the superiors.  Play it right, and the boss will be on your side. Most of all, keep up the good work.  Don’t be discouraged or bitter if your boss doesn’t give you a raise.  Ask (or figure out) what you can do to be promoted, and take action. Keep in mind, if you can’t stand your job, or don’t think you’re being treated fairly, you can always apply to another.  Don’t say anything right away, and don’t quit—apply and interview around, and see what the others in the industry have to offer.  This is more of a last resort, so don’t give up too quickly.

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