This post is part of our series 7 Weeks to Your Best Finances.
This series is meant to serve as a 7-week path to improving your finances. It will cover all the important topics like starting a budget, saving money, making money, investing, and more.
To find out more and see all the tips and ideas for improving your finances check out the dedicated 7 Weeks to Your Best Finances page.
Do you believe you deserve a raise? Not sure if you can get one? Or maybe you’re not sure how to get one. Many employees find themselves in this situation.
Companies are looking to save as much money as they can, and if you appear to be happy with your current pay, there is often little motivation for them to simply hand you a raise.
But that doesn’t mean that a raise is entirely out of the question. Your employer has invested a ton of time and money in hiring you. They want to keep you happy if they can, because happy employees perform the best. Employers want to reduce turnover because it is very costly and time-consuming for them, so it is in their best interest to take care of you.
So sometimes, you need to take matters into your own hands. Though you ultimately don’t have the final say of whether you get a raise or not, you can focus on what you can control. Here are 10 things to focus on if you want a raise.
1) Find and Compare Salary Data
Do you know what you’re actually worth? The mistake a lot of people make when asking for a higher salary is they demand the salary that they simply want. They don’t look into what a realistic pay range is for someone.
So many factors affect a salary. Location, cost of living, industry, years of experience, time at the company, and job title are just some of the factors. Companies have access to detailed resources that have calculated competitive salary ranges, and from there will determine a salary.
Do your research. Websites like Payscale, Glassdoor, and Salary.com allow other people with similar job titles to report their salary and job details, allowing you to compare what someone in a similar situation to you may make. These resources are great for giving you a ballpark range of what you’re worth.
2) Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
Many times, people feel as though their bosses have no idea how much they accomplish in a day’s time. And what would you say if your boss asked you what you actually did every day? If you were to try to explain your accomplishments, you would be generalizing and it wouldn’t sound very impressive.
Make a habit of keeping track of everything you do every single day at work. This way, when it’s time for your annual review, you have physically documented every one of your accomplishments. Your worth just shot up enormously to your company.
Keeping track doesn’t have to be tedious either. Many computer programs and email systems let you add tasks throughout the day and keeps them filed once you complete them. Or, simply writing down a few sentences in a notebook each day regarding what you accomplished will suffice.
3) Gain In-Demand Skills
Are you up-to-date on your current skills? Are there other skills you could learn in order to progress faster at work?
Continuing education and racking up certifications are certainly one way of improving your skills, but there are also quicker (and cheaper!) ways to show your commitment to yourself and your organization. Coursera and Khan Academy are two websites that allow you to register for college and graduate level classes for free. While you have to pay to earn credit, the free courses will still progress your skills and knowledge all while showing your organization that you are committed to developing yourself.
So consider what skills would really help to advance your career. It could be a technical skill, like coding, or a soft skill like public speaking. Not only will you grow yourself and your career, but you will show your employer that you refuse to become stagnant, which is rare in the corporate world!
4) Take On More Work and Make It Known
When the chance to take on a new project, task, or role come up, do you jump on it? Or do you refuse to do any more work than you’re paid to do?
Take on as much extra work as you can. Whether it’s projects, tasks, creating new programs, taking on more work shows that you are progressive in your job. And if your employer doesn’t automatically recognize your hard work, be sure to show them your accomplishments.
5) Find a Mentor
Building positive relationships with those higher up in the company will not only likely get you a raise, but it will progress your professional and personal life.
Finding a mentor is the absolute best thing you can do for your career. You’ll learn from them and have someone to advocate for you within your organization. A good mentor won’t just help you at your current job, but they will help you conquer your life-long career.
6) Learn about Other Departments
In an organization, every department is connected and needs to operate together to run the business. If you’re in a slower season at work, see if you can take time to learn the ins and outs of another department, or volunteer to help another department with basic tasks during their busy time of year.
Taking the initiative to volunteer in another department shows that you want to grow and broaden your business sense. You’ll be regarded more seriously in the organization and are setting yourself up for more pay.
Whether you agree or not, getting a raise often relies more upon who you know than your actual work. Or, if it doesn’t, networking certainly doesn’t hurt any.
Get involved in your organization, and get to know others in different departments. You never know who may be able to help you progress in your career down the road. Plus, it makes your work environment more positive when you know more people.
How to Network Effectively for a New Job
8) Focus on What’s Visible
Do you often feel like your hard work goes unnoticed? More than likely, your boss has no idea of everything you achieve in a day’s time.
While you might be flawless in your work, you might not be focusing on what’s most important to your superiors. Think about what your boss might value the most. If your boss values high communication, maybe focus on responding quickly to him or her.
Do well at everything, but by prioritizing the top things your boss will notice you will earn more without stressing yourself out. You can’t do everything perfectly, so focus on doing as well as you can on the most important things.
Remember the 5% rule: approximately 5% of your work really matters and is what you are judged on. Make that 5% count!
9) Remain Positive
It’s easy to become negative when you aren’t being paid what you think you’re worth. But being negative definitely won’t ever get you a raise.
It can be hard, but remember why you took the job in the first place. Remind yourself of the good aspects of the job. And commit to working harder than ever before.
10) Ask for It
Sometimes all you have to do is ask! Employers may not be handing out raises, but a good employer will listen to your case and consider it.
Bring examples of all of the work you have completed and any examples of where you have gone above and beyond. You want to remind them that you offer a ton of value. Instead of making about you and why you want or deserve a raise, make it about the work. Because asking for a raise shouldn’t be a big deal. It is simply asking for fair compensation for your value to the organization.
There are so many ways to work on getting a raise, but sitting back and doing nothing is not one of them! By focusing on providing quality, valued work and making sure the right people hear about it will get you on the path to financial success within your company.
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