by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
- within the normal parameters of company policy;
- when the company is in sound financial standing, and
- when you have just had a major success.
One other thing to remember. Generally speaking, if you are doing your job well, then your boss expects you to ask for a raise — and ideally is prepared to offer you one. However, doing a good job is no longer enough in many organizations. The strategies in this article are designed to prepare you better, reduce your anxiety, and help you achieve your raise and salary goals.
Short-Term Strategies for Getting that Raise
The following strategies are things you can do now if you have an upcoming review and/or want a raise sooner rather than later.1. Develop a plan. The most important thing you can do is develop a plan for your raise meeting. Schedule an appointment rather than just walking in and asking for a raise. Have a strategy — even develop a script you want to follow.2. Know what you’re worth. Examine all aspects of your job and then do a little research to determine your value both inside and outside the company. Talk to someone in the human resources department and see if you can get pay scales for jobs that are similar to yours. Use a salary calculator or other salary sources and determine the salary range in your geographic area. See our Salary Resources section.
Long-Term Strategies for Getting that Raise
So, if you are not in a position currently to get the raise you want, what are some things you can do to prepare for a raise meeting down the road? The following strategies are things you can start doing now to build your negotiating power for that future raise.1. Set the stage for a future review. If your boss tells you it’s not a good time for a raise meeting or if you don’t get everything you wanted in your last meeting, now is the time to set the stage for a future meeting. Ask your boss for suggestions on how you can improve and how you can make more contributions to the department and company so that you can get to where you want to be.2. Raise your profile within the department/organization. We’re raised as children to work hard and be modest, but you cannot assume that anyone outside yourself really knows all that you do for the organization. Begin building your brand — your reputation — within and beyond your department.3. Find a mentor in the senior management of the company. Having a person higher up in the organization to mentor you is valuable for a number of reasons, but it’s certainly helpful in terms of getting the raise you desire. To find a mentor, identify someone higher in the organization you admire, and test the waters by asking advice. If there seems to be rapport, begin to slowly build a mutual relationship.4. Do a more thorough job of tracking accomplishments/achievements. If you are having trouble remembering all your accomplishments and contributions, now is the time to begin keeping a diary of all your successes. Keeping such good track will not only help you for your next raise meeting, but will have you better prepared for the job-search if the need or interest arises. Read our article, For Job-Hunting Success: Track and Leverage Your Accomplishments.
Final Thoughts on Getting a Raise
- Design your own incentive program. One-time bonuses are easier on companies, so consider developing a system for your boss where you challenge and push yourself with the commitment from the company to reward you for achieving various ambitious goals.
- Consider non-cash perks, such as a compressed work week, flextime, telecommuting days, a reserved parking space, better workspace, or more vacation time.
- Ask for career development perks, such as new work assignments, cross training, more education benefits, more professional development or conference travel money.
- Request a change in career track or job title to better position yourself for promotions and raises in the future.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms. Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
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