How to Get a Raise
We all want to receive more money, given we live in a world where monetary funds mean freedom. The more money we acquire, the more comfortably our lives can be. In addition, traveling becomes less of a headache because you have expendable funds. That designer Louis Vuitton bag becomes a reality. You catch my drift. Also, I am not an expert in this field but I've done a good job at getting a raise every year since I've been in the corporate world. After almost 15 years of working for "the man", I think I've gotten a handle on some of the biggest components when it comes to that awkward convo about MO MONEY! Let's do this.
Photos were taken by Julia O Test.
Dress the part
If you want to be taken seriously, you need to look the part. Where I work, it's very casual. To the point where someone even submitted a request to see if we can wear PJs to work. Um, what? This is a job, not your bedroom.
If you're applying for a promotion, you need to dress up when having the various meetings to decide on a raise, or even a promotion. Look your best. Would your grandma be ashamed of your outfit right now? Ok, that means go back and change it. It's so important for your boss to know you're serious about the raise, and that you can look professional when needed. I am a believer of looking your best all days (not just on the days you have client meetings or something important) because when you look good, you feel good. Also, be a professional. If you're getting paid, the least you can do is put on a nice outfit.
Fake it til you make it
One of the most overused statements when it comes to being a professional, but it's just so true. If you pretend to know what you're doing, that is half the battle. Also most if the time, no one knows if you mess something up. Other people don't know the difference between the details you share because you are the expert of yourself. If you stutter a little over your qualifications or a story you're sharing, it's no big deal. You may notice these hiccups but no one else does.
Sometimes people say timing isn't that important, but that is false. If you know your boss is having a bad day (i.e. their child is sick, pet just died, and so forth) that's not the best time to ask for a raise. While it is true we need to keep personal out of business, it's not a good time to be asking them when their thoughts are with their existing crisis. Wait until there is less turmoil, to bring it up eloquently.
Know Your Value
I've had people confide in me when it comes to asking for raises, or even asked me for the raise, and in a few instances there was no research done beforehand. Nowadays, there's so much information out there that you can find an accurate estimate of what your position or "job title" should be paying depending on which part of the country you are living in. If you haven't done this research, tread lightly because you need some kind of backing before requesting a sufficient raise. For example, if the average salary is $55,000 in your position and you make $52,000, then perhaps you explain you want to bridge the gap because you've been with the company for X amount of time. However if you have no knowledge of the average and how your salary compares, it's hard to justify a large raise. If this is a raise because you've assumed more responsibility or been rocking it lately, then ensure you are specifying that to your boss.
Of course, with many companies, a raise happens once a year (sometimes twice!) It just depends on the owners and how much monetary value is dedicated to paying employees. Also the economy, and so forth. Most people think 2% is the minimum for a raise, and ideally we all want to see a 10% raise (more rare) but you really need to understand the scale of economy when it comes down to it. You are more empowered and educated when you have an idea of your worth so make sure to do the research!
Practice Your Negotiation
Talking about money is awkward. Trust me, been there done that for myself and others. It's not a fun conversation, but at the end of the day, our society is based on the money we have. Money is freedom, even though we hate to admit it.
Your pitch to your boss needs to be compelling, and you need to be prepared to answer questions like "how much time have you put in this year on X project?" and "what do you think you will contribute to your team moving forward?" and "what value are you bringing to the company?" because the person you're speaking to likely has to go to someone else to get the budget approved. Give them enough ammo so the conversation for them talking to the individual in charge of the raise doesn't even question your raise. Practice your pitch with a friend or a mirror!
Super cliche, but it's true. Be you in this meeting and don't let the awkwardness of the discussion make you uncomfortable and unlike your amazing self. Showcase your humor and fun personality, because you are an asset to the company when you share you!
Always Be Positive
This is a biggie for those in the corporate world. Corporate life is hard. It's long hours, brutal, and sometimes it's 4 PM and you realized you haven't eaten anything all day. Positivity is one of the biggest traits when it comes to a raise and of course a promotion. Companies don't want negative Nancy leading a department, and filling her employees' heads with negative thoughts.
Be Ok with Change
With technology moving as quickly as it does, every business needs to be willing to change. That goes for the employees. If there's a new social media network that's taking the world by storm, you absolutely have to get on it if your job requires it. If there's a new accounting system your company decides to incorporate into your daily routine, take it on with a smile and make it work. If it's really a horrible experience, share that feedback kindly with your management but always keep an open mind and go with the flow. Change will happen, and you need to be willing to accept it and move forward with the rest of your peers.
In every sense of the word. Listen to your peers. Listen to your team. Listen to your boss. When you listen to others, you pick up on so much more information that can help you determine the "right time" to ask for a raise, what you need to do to get the raise and so forth. If more of us just listened, communication would be a lot easier amongst people. Often times we just want to communicate our thoughts, and pay little to no attention to others'. This is not how good progression is made.
What other tips do you have when it comes to getting a raise?
I'd love to hear your stories! What have you experienced? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like any advice or my two cents on your scenario. We can keep it anonymous and I can help you however I'm able. Let's get some raises!
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