You’ve put in your time at Company X. You don’t just do the bare basics like showing up on time, not abusing your lunch and break privileges, and keeping the Twitter scrolling to a minimum–you go above and beyond, day in and day out. You know how hard you work and what value you bring to the company, and now you’d like to see that in the form of a new title and a salary increase. So what now? How do you go about negotiating a raise and promotion?
We’ve compiled some of our best advice on how to negotiate a raise and a) whether or not the timing is right to ask, b) how to go about making your dreams a reality, and c) what to do if you fail.
How to Design a Plan of Attack for Approaching Your Boss
First thing’s first. Are you ready to ask for a raise? And if so, where do you begin? Here are some great places to start if you’re early on in the process:
First, you need to be honest with yourself: do you want a raise, or do you deserve a raise? We all want more money and a more prestigious title. But in order to get these bumps, you’re going to have to prove (with concrete examples, with written lists, with references from people you’ve helped, etc.) you’ve earned them. No manager, no matter how cool, is handing out raises like free candy. It’s a big deal that involves a lot of signoffs from people at all levels. So before you go in, ask yourself: Do I really deserve this? And, if so, start planning on how you’re going to prove it.
Create a Pitch Your Boss Can’t Deny
As you continue to plan your pitch, you’ll really need to figure out how to articulate your awesomeness in terms that your manager and any other higher-ups can understand. You’ll also have to be ready for all sorts of situations–your ideal might not happen, but they might offer an alternative you’d never considered. What then?
As easy as it would be, and as much as you know you deserve it, you can’t just walk in and declare: “I’d like to make more money,” or “I think it’s time for a title change.” You need to approach your request with a well-thought-out strategy. And before you go in, think of any and all responses you might get…and how you’ll respond to each. Preparation is key. You deserve it; now prove it.
You’re Going to Have to Ask for What You Want
Just because, in your mind, of course everyone knows what a good job your do and of course if an opportunity were to open up, it would be yours does not make it true! Offices are big places with lots of stuff going on. Your internal monologue is not real life.
As in real life, in an office everyone is more preoccupied with themselves than what you’re doing. Oh, you stepped in and finished up something that technically wasn’t your gig? That’s awesome and kind, but most people will just be relieved they didn’t have to do it and move on with their lives. Keep a running list of these “above and beyonds” so you can share it when the time is right. Waiting for someone from higher up to magically bestow you with the promotion you deserve? Likely not gonna happen. You did all the hard work, and how you’re going to have to do the harder work of asking for what you want and proving it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
What to do When the Best-Laid Plans Fail
Of course, things don’t always go as planned. If getting a raise or a promotion were easy, we’d all be rich CEOs. Or, you know, retired. Read the below, dust yourself off, and try again.
You’re (hopefully, since you’re a good worker) not going to slack now that you didn’t get what you wanted. Either you’ll put your head down, continue to do the work, and ask again later…or put your head down, continue to do the work, and look for a job elsewhere that might appreciate you more or have the funds to give you what you want. If elsewhere is where you want to go, try signing up with TheJobNetwork to get matched with an ideal job for you and your career path.
Just remember–always stay classy and work hard, and your reputation will follow you wherever you go.