The Go-Getter's Guide to Getting a Raise

Is it about time for getting a raise? You've been working hard and exceeding expectations, so how do you get that extra incentive rolling in? Asking for a raise can be one of the scariest things to do in your career. But hey, if you can master the boardroom and the business trip, you can handle getting a raise. Read on to get our best tips for getting the next level up on your salary. 

Pick the Right Time

When does your company usually give out raises? Finding the appropriate time to start your advancement campaign is essential. Say your company has a very strict policy of only giving raises and promotions once a year. Advocating for a raise six months before that will do you little good. Get the in on when your company does promotions.

If it's at any time, you're in luck. Take advantage of your 1-1 time with your boss and ask for that raise. Just make sure it's after a win or at least not after a big loss. You'll also want to take into account how your company is doing. If they recently had to lay off 50 people or took a big financial hit, it may not be a good time. Assess your company's environment and make your move.

When is a good time to talk to your boss? Are they antsy to get out the door at 4 pm? Are they practically nodding off in the afternoon? Make it easy on your boss to say yes and choose the best time for them.

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Get Your Data

When you go into the meeting asking for a raise, you want as much data as possible to back what you're asking for. This comes in at least two parts. First and foremost, you need data on your own success to support your ask. You should always be tracking your achievements and whenever possible, turn these into quantitative stats. Say you completed a project saving the company a certain amount of time. Think about how much money that time is worth and tell your boss just how much you saved the company. You deserve a piece of that! For whatever you do, find ways to create data points that show just how valuable your work is. You're going to want to bring all your best work to the forefront when you're going after getting a raise.

So you've got the data on yourself, now you need data for others in your industry. Do your research to find out what other people make in positions like yours. Get on glassdoor and look around. Specifically, search for your title in companies in the same state or similar areas. You can also search online to get ranges of what people in your position are usually paid. With this information, you can make a reasonable and data-backed ask for exactly how much you want.

You can make your salary ask a lot more poignant if you come in with another offer on the table. It's always a good idea to be interviewing and looking at what else is out there. If you get to the point where you get an offer with a higher salary, this can help your boss tell their higher-ups just how much he or she needs to give you a raise so you'll stick around. Just make sure that you would be ok accepting the offer if your boss says you should. When you come in with an alternative offer, you always have to make sure that you would be ok going with that.

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Prep for Negotiation

With the nerves that almost always come with asking for a raise, it's a good idea to prepare. If you go in completely cold, you have no idea what the outcome could be. Do a little research on how to negotiate effectively and you'll be ready to wow your boss.

My latest find for negotiation tips was on the Advice to My Younger Me podcast. The host spoke with Melissa Hereford, a negotiation expert, on how to successfully negotiate for what you want in work and in life (The best part? It's short and sweet at just 20 min long!). Melissa shares exactly how to prepare for a negotiation with tips that anyone could use. My favorite part was how she talked about not going straight in for the ask and also not belittling your ask by using words like 'just' or 'a little'. Start the meeting off on a good, positive note. Don't scare your boss by making them think you're quitting. Keep things light-hearted yet professional.

Once you've found your purpose at work, it's time to start climbing that ladder! Find your favorite resources for negotiation prep and get out there!