Waves

7 steps to earning a raise and/or a promotion right now

There is nothing more frustrating, demotivating, and unfair, than being underpaid for the work that you deliver. Nothing makes you want to avoid the office, or whatever your workplace might be, quite like being unexcited about your paycheck each fortnight, or month. After all, while money may not be your main motivation, we do live on an economic planet, and you should be paid what you deserve for your honest efforts. If you don’t find yourself being paid what you think you deserve, a fairly common experience in today’s marketplace, then you must begin to question why, because we will tell you right from the beginning – it’s not your employers fault. Your employer is running a business, and it’s your employers job to operate this business in the most profitable way possible. No, it’s your fault. Which is a great thing, as it means that you are also the solution.

1. It's OK to ask for it

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Your mind will be your most powerful weapon, or your greatest enemy, depending on how you tend to it. In other words, we must get you thinking correctly about this situation. It’s not greedy to ask for a raise. It’s not outrageous. It’s not uncommon. Assuming that your manager is a normal person, a reasonable person with at least some previous management experience, he or she will be expecting you to ask for a raise. Yes, expecting it. In fact, it would be strange if you didn’t ask for a raise. We all need money, and as our responsibilities, dreams, and life situation changes, money drives everything forward. Unless you work in a dysfunctional, destructive, detached from reality environment, then you can be sure that many of your colleagues are asking for raises regularly, it’s just that you are unaware of it.

2. Make a decision

It’s time that you make a decision, a firm decision, that you will be paid more. Now, when you make this decision, you will simultaneously come to a realisation – if you are asking to be paid what you deserve, then you better be ready to accept even more responsibility going forward. We live in a society of give and take. You want to take more, and so you must be prepared to give more. Remember – if you give others what they want, you will, in turn, receive everything that you want. You see, this decision is easy. Of course, we all want more money, but do we want more of the time, work, and responsibility that inevitably comes along with this decision?

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3. Clarify exactly what you want

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Asking for a raise, and/or a promotion, is not an everyday conversation. It’s not something you throw off the cuff, over a cup of coffee. It is something that you must prepare for diligently. A large part of this preparation process involves clarifying exactly what you want. How much more money do you want, and why exactly do you want it? Now, the answers to these questions are not necessarily for your manager’s ears, at least not initially. The answers to these questions are mainly for you. And the clearer you become internally with what you want, and more importantly, why you want it, the more driven you become in piecing that plan together, the more detail you will be able to provide where necessary, and the more others will naturally come to believe in, and support, your mission. Only when it is clear for you, can you clearly articulate it to others. When you make a clear, purposeful, and strong decision in life, life tends to move out of your way. In fact, it will actually conspire to help you along the way. This clarity will help you, both in your preparation, and then in your delivery.

4. Determine your path

If you want to move from $70,000 to $100,000, or from $200,000 to $250,000, which steps do you need to take in order to experience this goal as a reality? Your steps of progression will undoubtedly revolve around delivering increased value. Please take the time to consider this question – how can I create enough additional value within my current role to justify my desired increase in pay? You see, if you cannot lay out a clear path that will justify your increase in pay, how can you expect your employer to align with your request? If you can clearly justify this increase, well then, you’re halfway there.

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5. Step up your game

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This may be the most important point to consider when preparing to ask for a raise or promotion. You see, nailing a raise is not an overnight ordeal. You cannot move from $100,000 to $130,000 in one swift move. So, we suggest that you begin accepting more responsibility, right now, today. Your work lies in taking consistent action over time, and maybe quite a long period of time, in order to demonstrate that you are deserving of this raise. Demonstrating your value over a long period of time is necessary if you’d like to ensure confidence in the eyes of the employer. You see, it’s very hard to turn you away if you are already in the position, already doing the work, already providing the value, that you are then asking to be paid fairly for. In other words, you place yourself in the position first, and only then ask for the raise, rather than remaining at your current level, promising that you will increase your game only once you are given the title and the salary. No, instead, take the time necessary to clearly show that you possess the skills, professionalism, and integrity necessary to do the thing, that will create the additional value, that will then warrant your raise – do you get it? You must be willing to do the work, right now, before you are paid to do so.

6. Become a trusted ally

It is becoming increasingly difficult for employer’s to locate, recruit, and retain excellent employees. Employers are looking for people that they can trust. So, you must stand out as that person. This is a huge key. Can the company survive without you? If the answer is yes, then really, you have not yet brought enough value to the table. Of course, this sounds unrealistic, and it may very well be unrealistic, right now, but this is all about your approach. If you can work your way into a position in which the company feels that your departure would affect the business in a significantly detrimental way, you can almost ask for any raise that you want. You see, we are flipping the switch here. Rather than your focus resting solely on how you can ask for a raise, we are beginning to shift it towards the idea of immense value, so much so that you may not even have to schedule a meeting with your boss in the first place, your boss may come forward and offer you the raise directly.

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7. Let the world know

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Let the world know, but do it correctly. When you begin delivering more value, it is time to let the right people know about the work that you are doing. Many of us, from a very young age, were told to stay small. Be seen and not heard, right? However, there’s no glory in playing small. You are a wonderful asset to your team, and we encourage you to let everybody know this fact. Because your manager has his or her own problems, their own responsibilities. They are completely caught up in their own day-to-day lives. Most managers are not watching your every move, so it’s up to you to show them what you are doing, the success that you are achieving, and the major influence that you are having on the overall success of the business.

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