How To Get Paid More At Your Current Employer

by Brown-Volkman, Deborah Friday, February 15, 2008
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Do you want to ask your boss for a raise, but are unsure how?

Getting a raise doesn't have to be difficult. Think about it this way: You work hard. You contribute a lot to the company you are working for. If getting more money is something you deserve, it's OK to ask for it.

There are four steps to getting a raise:

1. You find out what you are worth.
2. You get this information together with additional information so you are prepared.
3. You request a meeting with your boss.
4. You ask for your raise.

Let's go into each one in more detail -

1. You find out what you are worth.

If you want to make more money, do the following: Change your beliefs. The money you make is directly tied to the money you believe you will make. Believe that you are worth more and you will be. If you do not believe it, then no one will. If you are not making what you deserve, ask yourself what limiting beliefs are holding you back. Ask yourself what is keeping you from believing in the value you bring to the workplace.

Investigate so you know for sure. To date, it's not appropriate to ask colleagues what they make. It would be much easier if you could say to your boss, "Bill is making $150,000 a year and I am only making $100,000, and we are doing the same amount of work. So, can I have a $50,000 raise, please?"

Instead, you have to do your homework so you can go to your boss and say, "This is what other people in my industry in comparable positions are making, and I am doing the same amount of work, or more, so I would like a raise."

2. You get this information together with additional information so you are prepared.

If you want to gather information, do the following: Take out the job description you were given when you were first hired. If you don't have it, make a list of your initial duties. Compare what you were doing then with what you are doing now. If you are doing more, you should be getting paid more.

Go through your inbox. What's in there? Have you received thank-you letters or compliments from co-workers or your staff? Have you received thank-you letters from customers, or complements from your boss? Print these out so you can show your boss that the people you work with (including him or her) see you as valuable.

Select a number that you want to make. It's important that you have a number in mind, something to shoot for. You can't get what you want unless you know what that is. It's also important to have a plan B. Ask yourself what you would want instead, if you do not get that number. More time off? A larger bonus? Do you want to work from home? Do you want to have some of your commuting costs paid for? Have this planned out ahead of time.

3. You request a meeting with your boss.

The best way to get a meeting with your boss is to simply ask for a meeting. Tell your boss that you want to talk to him or her about your role in the company. If your boss asks you what you want to discuss when you make your request, say, "It's nothing bad, I promise. I just want to review a few things with you."

Or, you can put yourself on your boss's calendar. Half and hour should be fine. At the scheduled time, go in, and discuss your raise.

4. You ask for your raise.

Be as professional as possible in this meeting. You are not there to blame your boss or the company for anything. You need to be upbeat and optimistic. If you find that you cannot have this discussion without anger, wait for another time. Work with someone like a career coach to role-play the discussion so you so come across positively.

Expect to get your raise. Your intentions make a difference. Why would your boss give you a raise if even you don't expect to receive it?

Your goal is to leave this meeting with an answer or an appointment to discuss this matter again. As discussed in the chapter about following up, do not leave with, "I'll get back to you." Keep making appointments and keep following up. If you find that you are getting nowhere after six months, you can decide if you want to continue working for a company that does not truly value you or your contributions.

So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!