Ask anyone what they would change about their jobs, and chances are most people will say that they want to earn more money. Who wouldn’t want a little extra in their paycheck every week?
While many companies do regularly increase employee salaries to account for increases in the cost of living, merit raises aren’t always a guarantee. In fact, more than 75 percent of employers believe that their employees are fairly paid, and aren’t generally in a big hurry to open up the coffers and offer more. And sometimes, even if the money is available and your boss would be willing to consider a pay increase, your performance may not be worthy of one.
The best way to get a raise is to ask for one (surveys show that 75 percent of employees who ask for a raise actually get it). Even if you don’t go to your boss and ask, you can increase the chances of getting a raise if you do the following. When you do these things, you are virtually guaranteed to impress your boss — and get a bigger paycheck.
1. Earn Certifications
Certifications, especially when you work in IT, are objective proof that you not only have the specific knowledge and skills to do your job, but the fact that you put in the time to meet the qualifications for the credential show your employer that you are serious and committed to consistent growth and improvement. This is particularly useful when you earn an in-demand certification or a certification that no one else on the team has. You can potentially open up new opportunities for the company and make yourself indispensable thanks to your advanced skill set, which usually translates to more money.
2. Find a Mentor
Working with a mentor can help your career in innumerable ways. By working with someone in a more senior position in your company, you can gain new insights into the business and have help navigating some of the more difficult challenges you face in your work. However, having a mentor is also useful when it comes time to seek a raise. Having someone in a position of leadership in your corner who can advocate for you, and give you some guidance on how to approach your request for an increase can be invaluable in moving you forward.
3. Take on Leadership Roles
One of the best ways to get noticed at work is to volunteer to take on leadership roles whenever you can. This could mean everything from representing your department on a company-wide committee to tackling one of your boss’ pet projects to simply being a connector that brings different departments together for a common goal. When you lead by example, you begin to build a reputation and a higher profile within the organization. Your boss will undoubtedly take notice of your commitment, and you can leverage that for more pay.
4. Quantify Your Accomplishments
Providing evidence of your accomplishments and your contributions to the company has long been a recommendation for those looking to score a raise. However, it’s not enough to simply go to your boss with a list of things you’ve done and hope that will be enough. You need to quantify your accomplishments; in other words, it’s not enough to say that you brought in four new clients. You need to detail that you brought in four new clients that led to a 35 percent increase in sales. By putting your accomplishments into real numbers — especially increases in revenue and cost savings — you reveal your true value to the company.
5. Become a Positive Influence
Finally, most employers want to retain employees who help build morale and keep the energy positive. Your boss isn’t going to reward you if you are a negative influence in the office, spreading gossip, complaining, and always focusing on the negative. This doesn’t mean you have to be Sally Sunshine all the time and ignore real issues, but if you work on becoming a good team member and finding the positives in every situation, your boss will take notice — and you’ll be a valuable asset to the company.
Of course, getting a raise also relies heavily on your job performance and your ability to fulfill your responsibilities successfully. If you can do that, though, and focus on these tips, there is a very good chance that your raise request will be granted.