The Best Way to Get a Raise

I got a lot of great feedback on the What I Think About When I Hire Someone post, and I'm away for a couple of days, so I thought this would be a good time to review my tips for asking for a raise (note: I originally shared these in January):

People think getting a raise is a transaction; you negotiate one, then you get it. But it’s more of a process.

Here are five tips on how to get that process going in the most effective manner.

  • Make sure your relationship with the person who would get you the raise is good, as best as it’s ever been.
  • And make sure it’s a good time to ask. Don’t come in to his or her office to ask for a raise right after he got back from a two-week vacation.
  • It’s not: “Can I have more money? It’s “Can I have more responsibility?” People make the mistake of thinking: “I’m doing a good job; I should get paid more.” But your boss is already paying you to do a good job! A raise comes when you take on even more responsibility, do more work, and do it even better than the boss is hoping.
  • Disassociate your family from the situation. It’s about getting a raise - not getting a certain amount, by a certain time, to meet family obligations. And remember: You might not know the behind-the-scenes financial issues at the company. Maybe this quarter is not a good time to increase employee salaries, but the next one will be.
  • Ask your boss if you’re doing well – and then what you’d need to do additionally to make more money. “I’m grateful to be working here, and to make $XX,000. Are you happy with the work I’m doing? In your eyes, what other work would I have to take on to be a $YY,000 employee?” And have suggestions of your own. (Get the raise before the raise, so to speak.
  • Treat your boss like he’s your mother. Be eager to please him. When he/she tells you to do something, do it. And when they’re not telling you what to do, anticipate what they’d like you to do and do it. That’s credibility in the bank with them.

AND REMEMBER: Getting a raise is not necessarily about what you’re worth, but how much it would cost to replace you. If you think your boss can replace you for less money, be careful!

1 comment

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