How To Get a Raise at Work (& Hack Your Boss)

Learn how to get a raise at work, the fool-proof way even if they aren't handing raises out. You can still try these fool-proof methods.

In this article, you’ll learn how to get a raise at work, the fool-proof way even if they aren’t handing raises out. You can still try these fool-proof methods.

Increasing your salary compounding effect because your annual raise will be computed off of your salary.  If you leave your job chances are you will use your current salary to negotiate at your new company.  Bonuses and 401k match programs are also often based off of your salary.  Getting a raise has a big impact on your monthly paycheck and increases your lifetime income so that you’ll have more money in retirement.

It’s possible to get an annual raise even if your boss doesn’t like you.  Today we are talking about how to get an unscheduled performance-based raise.  Some companies may only do performance-based raises annually but these principles will still apply.

Use these tips and career advice to increase your salary at work and learn how to get a raise at your grueling 9-5 gig.

common interview questions for millennials

Prove yourself trustworthy

Before your boss will even consider giving you more money you have to be someone that the company can count on.  For starters, you need to do the basics well.  Show up on time, work diligently and be honest.  When your manager gives you a task they need to know that it will be done completely and on time.  They also want to know that you understand the businesses and provide a high level of expertise.

Demonstrate your value

Be creative:

Find ways to improve processes and standards.  When you use an inefficient process to complete a task identify it’s weaknesses and suggest improvements.  If it’s within your power to make the change without asking permission then take initiative and help create positive change.  If you do you will demonstrate leadership and value to your manager.

Help the company:

Hopefully, you are aware of your companies goals and you have been given clear direction from your manager.  That is not always the case.  Either way, take initiative, don’t wait for your manager to tell you to do something.  Be a self-starter.  Find work or projects to work on that will improve the business.

Help your coworkers succeed:

Another great way to demonstrate your value at work is to help your coworkers be successful.  A few positive things happen when you do this.  First, your bosses job gets easier because you shield him/her from unwanted questions and problems.  Second, more work gets done and you learn from your interactions with your coworkers.  Lastly, you build a reputation as an expert and reliable source.  Those are all positive factors when you go to ask for a raise at work.

Help your boss succeed:

Have you ever asked your boss if they need any help?  You’ll be amazed at the response you get.  Be prepared for them to say yes and give you more work to do but also be prepared for them to be impressed.  Help your boss succeed by being supportive and aware of their goals.  Ask how you can help them.

Run Your Career Like A Business

Too often, people who draw a paycheck from someone else forget that they need to manage their careers just like a business. They adopt a “wait and see” attitude about promotions rather than proactively planning for the next step. They also allow the luster to be diminished on their greatest product – themselves.

Companies use a business plan to chart their course for the next several years. They establish the sales level they want to achieve in two years, five years, or ten years. They then take a realistic look at what is needed to reach those levels.

You should ask yourself what job you want to have in the future. Set timelines, such as five and ten years, that are the target dates for working in those positions. Analyze what you need to reach your goals. Do you need additional certification or training to be a strong candidate for the job? If so, how will you pay for the courses in both time and money? Are there personal attributes you need to address, such as “people skills” or a tendency to arrive late at the office? Lay out your plan and begin working on the next promotion as soon as you receive the last one.

job search frustration

Businesses also make sure that their products are presented in the best light. They hire advertising agencies to develop taglines for each product so that consumers will remember the name when shopping. Products are marketed as innovative ideas that provide solutions to difficult problems Commercials never show the product failing to perform as expected, regardless of how many attempts are required to get it just right. Backdrops and flattering lights are designed to make the product appear even more enticing.

By the same token, you want to make sure that you present yourself in your best light. You are selling a product, which is your competence, experience, and knowledge. Your work should reflect your abilities. Let it show the diligence, creativity, and care you have lavished on it. Don’t turn in work that is less than the best you can do with the time and materials available. Whenever possible, sign your work so that everyone along the chain of command will know the source. You want them to create a tagline for you, one that is associated with outstanding performance.

Check your personal baggage at the door each morning when you report for work. A business strives to be known as a company that can deliver a quality product in a timely manner. Any publicity of inner turmoil can affect both sales and stock prices. Airing your personal problems at work can also reduce the value of your currency. Keep your professional life separate from your personal life.

Take a good look at the successful people in your industry, just as a business evaluates its competition. Analyze why they have succeeded and see if you possess the same qualities. Often, a promotion goes not to the absolute brightest candidate but the one who takes the necessary steps to market himself as the best choice. Position yourself so that when decisions are made, there is no more logical selection than to promote you.

Ask For A Raise

Now that you have proven you are trustworthy and you have demonstrated the value you are in a position to ask for a raise.  If you haven’t been doing those things for at least 6 months then be patient and put in your time.

Asking is the key to getting a raise.  So many people don’t get a raise because they don’t ask.  If you don’t ask then your employer will be happy to continue paying you the same amount year after year.  If you want something, you have to ask for it.

Start by scheduling a meeting with your manager.  Explain why you deserve a raise and make a case for your value to the company.  You shouldn’t have any problem making a case for your value to the company if you’ve done the things we outline above.  Don’t be afraid, ask for a raise.  It’s important to be specific but reasonable.

Plan out exactly what you are going to say and how much of a raise you are going to ask for.  Be prepared to negotiate your salary. If you don’t get the answer you are looking for then make sure you ask when you can discuss the raise again.  You may even need to ask what else you can do around the office to increase your pay.

You just have to ask.

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Beer Money
Beer Money
Brian is the chief editor of beer money and is a personal finance expert who has spent the last few years writing about how anyone can make oney online. He has been fortunate enough to have appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN Money, AOL, Discover Bank, GOBankingRates, and more. He is also diversifying his portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in hands off real estate investing via an app called Fundrise.