Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 3, 2019

The Savvy Employees Guide to Asking for a Raise

The Savvy Employees Guide to Asking for a Raise

“I know that if I work harder, my boss will notice and give me a raise.”

That’s what you tell yourself as you leave the office at 7 pm five days a week.

But, will your boss notice?

He might, but this will be a slow and painful process.

Most companies won’t go out of their way to notice great employees. It’s up to you to toot your own horn the right way.

I hate to break it to you. But, if you’ve worked at your position for over a year without a raise, you’re doing something wrong. Don’t worry, I’ve failed in the past and still continue to do so. Plus, asking for a raise isn’t easy.

It wasn’t that long ago when I was fresh out of college and clueless to how I’d negotiate my salary. Fortunately, I’d adopted habits that helped me get a raise. And, if these tactics have worked for me, I’m confident they’ll work for you too.

Ready to start making big bucks? If so, here’s your guide on how to ask for the raise you deserve.

1. Prepare Before Asking for a Raise

You’re feeling pumped. You’ve worked hard for over a year and know that you deserve a raise.

But, before you march into your boss’s office (or cubicle) do your homework. By this, I’m referring to doing some research on what your average salary is for your role.

Don’t overdo this–all you need is a ballpark estimate to what the average salary is in your industry. Go to sites like Glassdoor, Salary, and Payscale to get this information. Then type in your role or company name in their search bar.

Within a few minutes, you’ll have a rough idea for what you should be getting paid.

Advertising

Take a note for how big the gap is from the average salary and what you’re currently earning. If your salary is on the lower end, don’t worry, use this as your motivation to get paid better.

Be honest with yourself for what skills you’re offering to your employer. If you’re falling behind in any area, read a book or take a course to improve. Another option is to ask your boss for extra work to gain more experience.

Make it your priority to improve, so that you stay sharp with your skills.

2. Know the Value You Bring

If you’ve never negotiated your salary, I’m betting that it’ll be at the lower end of the industry average.

I know how frustrating this is because I’ve been there. I’d envy others who were getting paid more than I was–especially since I was working hard. But, having this type of mindset won’t do you any good.

If you’re unhappy with your current salary, it’s because you don’t know your worth. So, before you ask your boss for your raise, be clear on what value you bring to your employer.

To know where you stand, write down the relevant skills you bring to your team. For example, as a web designer, a valuable skill can be creating great logos. Write a list of 5 to 10 similar skills that can help you stand out.

Also, research what top skills are in demand for your current job and make improvements here. When you’re valuable, people will take notice. More importantly, knowing you’re valuable will help you negotiate your salary better.

3. Earn a Meeting with Your Boss

Do you get the “chills” randomly walking to your boss and asking for a raise?

You should because that’s a bad way to ask for something. Would you reach out to someone you’d met at a conference 6 months ago and out of the blue ask for a favor? I hope not.

They’d most likely turn you down. That’s because you haven’t earned the right to ask for a favor. Like this scenario, don’t randomly walk up to your boss asking for a raise.

Instead, work your way up. Ask your boss how he/she thinks you’re performing a few times each month. Then ask what’s needed for you to get a raise.

Advertising

Repeat this process until you’re confident with how to get a raise. This will put you in your boss’s mind when it’s time to give a raise.

4. Create Your Perfect Timing

Have you ever watched a movie where the character knew the perfect time to do something?

Take love stories for example, when the man knows the perfect time to ask a woman out. You hear the right music on the background during the perfect night. The reality is that in life, perfect times rarely exist.

This doesn’t mean that you should walk up to your boss tomorrow and ask for raise. Instead, be aware that the only perfect time that’ll exist is when you do your best to prepare.

Do some planning around where you’d ask your boss. If he/she travels a lot during certain months, avoid asking during this time. Pick a day and time that you know your boss will have the most availability.

Add a meeting to the calendar with your boss to discuss your promotion. This way you’ll avoid rushing and increase your odds at getting heard.

5. Increase Your Odds at Success Thinking like Your Boss

Knowing your customer doesn’t only apply for salespeople. The same concept applies to you–except think of your boss as your customer.

By doing this, you can expect what he/she will say to you. Then you can prepare for possible outcomes.

If your boss were to ask you why you deserve a raise, you wouldn’t fumble. You’d summarize 2 to 3 key points without hesitation.

Think of your top three possible scenarios based on what you know about your boss. Then record yourself discussing your top 3 scenarios.

6. Figure out Your Company’s Policies

Waiting each year for your raise is a huge mistake.

In case you’re wondering why–not all companies have the same policies for getting a raise. Some do a performance review on an annual basis, while others do so on a quarterly or semi-annual. To familiarize yourself with your company’s policies, check out their HR web portal.

Advertising

If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, call your company’s HR department. Your goal should be to determine what’s the required timeframe to ask for a raise. Once you know this timeframe, you can prepare for the ask.

7. Level-Up Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a skill you need to master.

Why?

The last thing you’d want to do is getting upset if you don’t end up getting the raise you’d hope for. This would only make your situation awkward and less likely to get a future promotion.

Mastering your emotions allows you to collaborate with others better–increasing your odds for success.

Daniel Goleman argues in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ that emotional intelligence is as important as your IQ. Research shows that people who manage their emotions better perform better at school. Emotionally intelligent people are socially skilled, able to empathize with others better.

Improving your emotional intelligence isn’t easy. But, changing the way you perceive failure and manage stress will help you improve.

To take failure less personal, view it as a learning opportunity. This will help you learn from your mistakes and avoid making them twice.

To better manage your stress, start meditating.

I bet that you’re thinking meditation isn’t for you. After all, you’re not a monk who sits quietly in a room for hours. Meditation isn’t only for the selected few–it’s for everyone.

Even if you don’t know how to meditate, you can learn from apps or online videos. By practicing meditation enough you’ll eventually reap its benefits. Here’s a 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime.

8. Don’t Take Rejection Personally

You can be as prepared as possible and still fail. But, don’t take it personally.

Advertising

Often it’s because your company doesn’t have the budget to do so. While you can’t expect the unexpected, you can prepare for it. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you run off to your manager asking for a promotion:

  • How long can I hold off if I get rejected for a promotion?
  • How has my company been performing in the past year?
  • Do I deserve a promotion?

If you get rejected for a promotion, ask to revisit your performance within 3 to 6 months. Be sure to get details on what’s required to earn a promotion so that you can work towards it.

The worst case scenario is that your company isn’t willing to give you a promotion. If this is your scenario, find a way to escape this environment.

Bonus Tips

If you’re looking for extra tips to ask for a raise, this is a nice infographic to go through:[1]

    Get Paid the Money You Deserve

    Imagine waking up each morning excited to perform your best at your job.

    Your role didn’t change but for the first time, you felt heard by your manager. After 6 months of working hard, you got the raise you’d hoped for. The best part is that you didn’t have to stay in the office till 7 pm to earn it.

    I know you wish that this scenario was your reality. It wasn’t that long ago when I was earning a low salary and afraid to ask for what I deserved. But, after trial and error, I managed to get many raises and switch careers.

    Why am I telling you this? Because if I was able to get my raise, so can you. You’ll need to work harder than most people and make sacrifices along the way, but it’ll be worth the effort.

    Except for this time, you’ll be working hard in the right areas. Think of this post as your mini-blueprint to getting the raise you deserve. Be honest with yourself and focus on improving in the areas you’re weakest. Before you know it, one day you’ll wake up working in a job you love getting paid what you deserve.

    More Tips on Asking for a Raise and Promotion

    Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Christopher Alarcon

    Finance Analyst and Founder of the Financially Well Off Blog & Podcast

    The Savvy Employees Guide to Asking for a Raise 10 Effective Time Management Techniques for Busy People How to Use the 5 Whys Method to Solve Problems Efficiently 20 Better Money Habits to Help You Increase Your Savings The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

    Trending in Smartcut

    1 How to Set Goals Smartly to Accomplish More in Life 2 7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions 3 How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful Life 4 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020 5 What Is a Habit? Understand It to Control It 100%

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    How to Set Goals Smartly to Accomplish More in Life

    How to Set Goals Smartly to Accomplish More in Life

    We all know setting goals is the best way to give your life focus and direction. But did you know that by setting goals, it can also help you to get a lot more of your important work done?

    Having clear and effective goals that are built around your values focuses your mind on what is important. It helps you filter out the unnecessary and gives you an ‘outcome mindset’ rather than a ‘task mindset’.

    An outcome mindset is one where you are focused on the objective—the outcome— of what you are intending to achieve. A task mindset focuses on the tasks you have to do each day and this leads to completing unnecessary tasks (or spending too much time on the unimportant) and procrastination.

    To help you with transforming yourself from being focused on the tasks and to be focused on the outcome, here are 17 ways having clear goals will not only increase your productivity but also supercharge your ability to get the important things done:

    1. Make it a goal to have no more than 10 tasks on your to-do list each day.

    One of the surprising benefits of having a small number of goals for the day is how frequently you find yourself accomplishing more.

    When you have a random number of tasks to complete each day, the likelihood is you will not get them all done.

    When you set yourself a small number of tasks to complete—your “must completes” for the day—and you restrict these to a set number, you are much more likely to get them done.

    2. Decide what your monthly and weekly goals are.

    What do you want to accomplish this month? What do you want to accomplish this week? These questions focus you in on the things that are important to you.

    Most people are waiting for life to happen to them, after all, it is far easier to react to events around you than to create events around you.

    When you create the events in your life by having weekly and monthly goals that reflect your objectives for the year, you are going to get far more of your important work done.

    3. Work on what’s important to you and focus on your priorities

    Building your daily life around your goals is going to keep you on the path you want to follow.

    Advertising

    Without any goals directing you towards where you want to go, you will find yourself drifting off your desired path and aimlessly wandering through life, wondering how you got to where you are. More often than not, where you end up will not be where you want to be.

    4. Eliminate the unimportant tasks that come up each day

    Every day throws up a lot of unexpected issues. These issues often come from our bosses, clients/customers and friends and family. It does not matter how well planned your day is, these things are going to happen.

    When you have a set number of goals to achieve each day, these issues will not hijack your day and destroy it. You will find you can handle the unexpected while continuing to get on with your important work for the day.

    5. Always stay focused

    When you set goals, it means you have made a decision about what it is you want to achieve and what is important to you. This allows you to become a much more focused person because you are mindful of what you want.

    Focus, in today’s world, is a skill in short supply. By developing your focus, you are going to put yourself way ahead of everyone else.

    6. Begin the day with a goal

    One of the best ways to accomplish more of your important tasks each day is to begin the day with a clear goal.

    It could be to complete a specific project or to simply get outside and walk for thirty minutes in nature.

    When you start the day with a specific goal to do something, you are much more likely to get it done.

    7. Start small

    If you have never had an outcome-orientated mindset, then begin will small steps.

    A simple goal to have each day, and a very healthy one, is to go for a thirty-minute walk.

    Another simple goal to set for the day is to choose one piece of work that you will complete that day, then focus all your attention on getting that work completed before you finish for the day.

    Advertising

    These pieces of completed work add up over time, and you’ll find that you are getting far more done than you ever did before.

    8. Ask yourself: What one thing you could do today that would have the biggest positive impact on your day?

    This is a great way to accomplish even the hardest of goals.

    Asking yourself this question really helps you discover what projects and work are important. This question is not focused on completing the goal. This question is all about making progress on the goal.

    Once you have completed that task, you will find the next step happens naturally. Before you know it, you have made a huge impact on your goal.

    9. Consistently take small steps which lead to great distances

    One of the biggest reasons why most people never achieve their goals is their goals seem impossible because of the time and effort required to achieve them.

    The best way to make even the most difficult goals achievable is to break them down into small manageable steps. Even the smallest step moves you forward towards achieving the goal.

    Just two or three little steps completed every day will, over time, take you towards where you want to be.

    Want to write a book? Writing 500 words per day will give you a 60,000-word manuscript in around ten months.

    10. Plan what you are going to achieve the day before with the 2+8 Prioritization System

    This one always works. Before you finish your day’s work, take ten minutes or so and decide what two things you will achieve the next day. This is what I call my “two objectives”.

    Once you have decided on your objectives, write down eight other tasks you want to complete the next day. These tasks I call my “focus tasks”.

    You then make sure that whatever gets thrown at you the next day, you will complete these ten tasks.

    Advertising

    Over a period of one month, you will have achieved around 300 meaningful tasks all related to your goals and important work.[1]

    11. Know what your majors and minors are

    This one is the secret of all highly successful people. They know what work has the most impact on their life and business and what work does not.

    For example, checking emails, while necessary, is not a major task. It does not move you forward in any meaningful way. Talking to your most important customer and reinforcing your strong relationship with them, that’s a major.

    One of the best examples I’ve heard comes from Brian Tracy. In his example, Brian says a salesperson doing work in the office is doing minor work. A salesperson talking with a customer is doing major work.

    Focus all your time and energies on your major work and reduce the time you spend on your minor work.

    12. Add positive pressure to get more done

    When you have goals, you feel obligated to do something about them. When you do not have a goal, you are much more likely to procrastinate and spend unproductive time thinking about what to do next.

    Goals give you clarity, goals give you purpose and when you have both clarity and purpose, you find you no longer procrastinate and you utilize your time much more effectively.

    13. Have specific, clear goals to incentivise you to move forward.

    How you write the action steps related to your goals is important. If you have a goal that says “make an online course,” you will not achieve very much.

    Writing your action steps out such as “make progress on the online course outline” or “make five slides for online course” is specific and is going to lead to action and achievement.

    14. Make progress that drives more progress

    When you see you are making progress on your goals every day, you will find you begin getting much more done.

    Momentum is created once you start and when momentum begins you find positive habits develop. Put momentum and motive together and you have the ingredients for massive progress towards your goals and your work.

    Advertising

    15. Take up accountability

    Something amazing happens to our brains when we set ourselves goals. Having goals we are very clear about and determined to achieve gives our brains the necessary incentive to focus on getting the goal achieved.

    We have accountability to ourselves. That accountability gives us all the incentive we need to get the work done every day.

    16. Use the power of Parkinson’s Law

    Parkinson’s Law states “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.

    When you have set goals to achieve each day and you begin the day with a review of what you want to get completed, Parkinson’s Law will take over.

    This means no matter what else gets thrown at you throughout the day, if you have set yourself a time, you will finish your work for the day, you will find you will finish what you have planned for the day at that time. This one works brilliantly.

    17. Become a highly focused, goal achieving individual

    Having goals you are focused on each day develops a ‘can do’ mindset. When you have a strong ‘can do’ mindset and the discipline to focus on what you want to get accomplished each day, you find work you previously thought would take weeks and months to complete soon start being completed within hours or days.

    A great mindset and a strong work ethic, coupled with daily goals will make some very positive changes in your life.

    These 17 tips are just the start. When you begin focusing your daily activities on your goals instead of on your tasks, you will see an incredible transformation take place in your life.

    Your energy increases, you feel happier more often and you start to feel you are making progress on the things that are important to you which just leads to accomplishing more and more.

    More About Setting & Achieving Goals

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next