How would you like to be making more money right now by doing the exact same work?
Of course, you would.
Well, I’m here to tell you it’s very possible. Even something that you can potentially achieve tomorrow. It’s called….
That’s right. You’ve known this (not so) secret all along. By definition, a raise is an increase in monetary compensation via your employer. You want that. Everyone wants that.
But judging by the fact that you clicked on this article, you’re either extremely overdue for a much-deserved raise, or you’ve never received one at all and you’re working way too hard for not enough money.
Either way, read up. We’ve got work to do.
How To Get A Raise
Achieving an increase in pay is not an impossible feat. You just haven’t taken the initiative or steps necessary to making it happen for yourself.
The reality is that like most things in life, getting a raise at work is not going to be handed to you on a silver platter. You’ve got to work for it. And it’s not something that happens for no reason either, it’s got to be earned.
When it comes down to it, there are only six imperative actions that you’ve got to take in order to get the raise you deserve and that you’ve always wanted.
If you follow these steps and immediately go to work on implementing them in your workplace, you’ll be reaping the benefits of your new bonus in no time.
1. Show up on time
The first step you’ve got to take towards getting a new raise is getting to work each day, on time, and actually contributing to the company.
At the end of the day, a raise has got to be earned first. Then given out as a result of that.
Being consistent and punctual is not difficult. But it does show your boss or supervisor that you’re serious about your work and dedicated to making the company better. The key there is that they know you aren’t just there temporarily, or even just looking out for your own self-interest.
It communicates that you are reliable, trustable, and dependable. Those are qualities that keep someone in a career for a very long time. They are also qualities that garner a higher income.
Wake up one hour early before work each day. One huge reason that most people are late is that they haven’t built in enough time in between commitments to allow for unexpected things to happen.
Getting up that early will allow you to shake off your sleepiness, get a breakfast and coffee, and mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. You will have all the time in the world to get to work on time, even if there is unforeseen traffic or some other timesuck.
Try this out for a week, and see how much better you feel and how much more relaxed your commute is.
2. Take initiative to do tasks without asking
One mistake that most people make at their job is strictly adhering to the task that is given to them, and only doing it one way.
If you are a practicing surgeon, claims adjuster, or an astronaut, then you’ve clearly got specific practices and procedures that cannot be improvised or deviated from at all. Or really bad things would happen.
But for almost everyone else, there is usually a huge potential for improvement. It could come in the form of doing a task more efficiently, changing a procedure that isn’t getting good results or even completely getting rid of some aspect of your job that has no place being a thing.
There are hundreds of reasons that you’re not receiving more responsibility or compensation. Here are just a few:
- Your boss doesn’t know that you have the ability to do more than you are currently assigned to.
- They are unaware that there is a problem with procedures or the system in the first place.
- You haven’t let them know you are interested in different or other work.
- You haven’t expressed the need for more money.
At the end of the day, it is not your company nor your superiors job to focus on the wants and needs of every employee. In fact, most companies will not care all that much when it comes down to it. What really matters is the overall health of the organization.
So taking the first step in getting recognized or making a change for yourself involves providing value for yourself.
You do this by taking initiative.
Specifically, that involves making changes (within reason and legality) that you weren’t directly instructed to do that you think will help. Or taking on more than one part of a project or assignment that wasn’t given out to anyone but that you know needs to be done.
When you get to work tomorrow, find a way to take more initiative. Here’s how:
- Write down 5 things that aren’t optimized
- Figure out how your abilities can help each of these situations
- Make sure it’s not against company policy, illegal, etc
- Restructure or complete that thing you chose in step one without asking anyone
- Rinse and repeat.
In short, Albert Hubbard said it brilliantly:
“Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do””
3. Change one big thing/process for the better
This is an extension of simply taking the initiative to get things done that weren’t asked of you. That was just the warm up.
In order to truly stand out as deserving of a work raise, you’ve got to play for keeps, and impress in a big way. That’s why the third step in this process revolves around finding the one thing that the company needs to improve on (that is within your scope of ability and time commitment) and go for that.
The point behind this is to create irrefutable value for yourself. You need to make such a positive impact, that everyone immediately notices or appreciates it because of how much of a pain point it was for the organization.
At that point, you will have done such a good thing (that will likely help the company’s bottom line), that your boss will have no choice but to give you money.
As for the specific process, you impact will depend on your field. But some examples to spark your creative juices might be:
- Finding a more efficient way to stack product if you work in a warehouse
- Creating a process for onboarding new clients if you work at a marketing firm
- Researching and developing an outline for how to maximize the positive outcome of work meetings
- Learning a new job that no one is in charge of but that your company needs
- Plan out a fundraiser for the nonprofit that you work for
It could be anything. The important thing to keep in mind is to make it something that is a known problem area for the entire organization, that affects everyone or at least a good majority.
In order to find the perfect area of improvement to make your mark. Take a survey.
Go around to all of your coworkers, in multiple departments, and just talk to them about what they dislike, or what processes or things make their job difficult.
Look for trends or common occurrences in their responses, and whichever takeaway you find most consistent, that also falls into your area of expertise, that’s your new target. May the force be with you.
4. Record your progress and how you’re helping
You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.
Or in this case, you can’t make a case for yourself to be worthy of a raise if you can’t prove that you’ve progressed enough or changed something for the better in a way that’s deserving of one.
Your boss isn’t just going to hand you more money out of thin air and is most likely also very busy. So not only do you need to have a noticeable and positive enough impact on your work environment to get your superior’s attention, you need to record how you’re doing at each step of the way and every step of progress that you make.
Recording your work as you go allows you leverage in the conversation of asking for more money at your job. Instead of saying “I would like more money” you get to switch the conversation into saying “Here’s why you need me, and here’s what it’s going to cost to keep all of this goodness”.
Just picture yourself saying that for a second. It’s empowering, isn’t it?
When it comes to advancing in any way in the workplace, or in life for that matter, you’ve got to shift your mentality from asking what you can get out of every situation, to what value you can provide to the situation.
When you are consistently providing value in a big way, you become wanted. After a while, that turns into being a necessity. Then in time, you will become indispensable.
There are a few key factors to keep in mind when putting together the proof of your excellence:
- Track your changes day to day or week to week. Not only is this good for your own confidence, but it will also create a sense of steady and consistent improvement for your task.
- Record your progress in a way that your boss will be most receptive to. Don’t simply put something down that makes you feel good but doesn’t matter. Take time to consider what your boss values, even nonchalantly ask if you have to. Doing good work doesn’t matter if no one understands what makes it so special.
- The presentation is key. When it’s time to show off your work after you’re done, it is crucial that you present your findings in the best possible way. Call a specific meeting where it’s just you and your supervisor. Build a presentation to impress. Practice what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Make it a moment to remember.
5. Compare your salary to industry/work standards
Next up, making sure you don’t make a complete fool of yourself.
It’s understandable to have a high sense of self-worth and want the best outcome for your life. But there is also something to be said about knowing a good thing while it’s happening.
If you’re making $56,000 a year when 95% of every other person at your workplace in your same role make $28,000, then asking for a raise is most likely not going to be received well. The difference between ambition and greed can be a very thin line.
However, on the flip side of that, you could be blissfully unaware of the fact that you are getting grossly underpaid.
That’s why it’s important to do a little research before you ask for your raise. Much like the middle of the three bears, you’ve got to make sure that the amount is just right.
Here’s how you find out how much money you should ask for.
- Head over to http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Country=United_States/Salary
- Search for your job and research the average salaries for your area
- Write down a list of your responsibilities and then take this survey – http://www.payscale.com/wizards/choose.aspx?tk=laptop
- Find the happy medium between the upper average amounts of others salaries in your field, and how much the survey says you’re worth.
And now that you’ve got your magic number. There’s only one step left…
6. Ask Your Boss For A Raise
In order to receive, you must first ask.
Raises do not simply come served on a silver platter in a moment when you are least expecting it doing the same old work day in and day out.
You’ve already gone through the steps of creating value for yourself, tracking the work, and making a plan to wow your boss with it, now all you have left is to make it known.
Asking for a raise can be scary, but that feeling is normal. It’s even a good thing. Fear is just your mind’s way of confirming how important a situation is.
So suck it up, relish in the feeling of the huge decision you’re about to make and go ask.
It’s that simple.
Just be sure to email me when you get that raise. I’d love to know how it went.