Before you request a salary increase or promotion, make a plan, preferably a long-term plan that begins months or even a year in advance. As part of your overall strategy, you'll need to find ways to master the requirements of your job and exceed the standard performance metrics that apply to employees at your level. After consistently performing at or above expectations, approach your boss at the right time (not while she's distracted by pressing issues), set a date and time for a formal meeting, and come to the meeting prepared to list the reasons why your request should be granted.
If your arguments are thoughtfully delivered and budget resources allow, chances are your boss will want to retain your efforts, reward your ambition and keep you motivated, so your wishes will probably be granted. But if you're turned away, don't just slink back to your desk and accept your fate. Under these circumstances, a denial requires some follow-up action on your part.
The First Five Minutes
After you're told "no," don't let the meeting end immediately. Receiving a no when you were prepared for a yes can be awkward, but don't react impulsively. Ask why. Stay polite and respectful and ask your boss to provide a list of goals you'll need to achieve or tasks you'll need to master in order to gain the answer you want. Write these goals down and ask for a timeline. If you see items on the list that will require you to find a mentor or access to formal training, request these resources now.
Before you leave your boss's office with a no in hand, make sure you understand the areas in which you fell short, and let your boss know that you plan to strengthen in these areas.
The Next Two Weeks
After you leave the meeting, you'll have to make some decisions about your short-term future. Either you'll decide to stay with this company and this position, or you'll decide it's time to explore your other options and make a change. If your boss denied your request due to your short tenure with the company, for example, and you've been here for more than five years, it may be time to find work elsewhere. By the same token, if your promotion is being handed to someone else with less experience than you have, or fewer contributions to his credit, it's time to look for a new company where your talents and offerings will receive more respect.
Visit LiveCareer and start polishing your resume and application materials. In the meantime, start looking for available positions in your area and researching potential new opportunities.
The Following Year If you decide to stay with your current employer and attack your list of goals, start immediately, and don't let up in your efforts to win the raise or promotion you deserve. Keep your goals at the forefront of your thoughts throughout the coming year. Document all of your accomplishments as they happen, and have faith that if you're persistent, tenacious and willing to put your career growth ahead of your ego, your boss will recognize this and support your advancement.
If you complete every step requested of you and maintain an excellent level of performance all year long, arrange another scheduled meeting. If you receive a second no, it's time to take control of your destiny and look for work with another employer.
Make the Change
When the time comes to say goodbye to the limited opportunities offered by your current company, LiveCareer will be standing by to help you move on. Visit the site for the resume tips, career counseling, practice interviews, and motivation you need to start the next chapter of your journey.