7 In LIFE/ Work

How to Earn a Raise

How to Earn a Raise, How to Get Paid Your Worth

It’s time you made 2017 the year to Get it, Girl! Get ready to conquer your professional dreams — or starting moving in their direction — and focus on earning your value.

First, understand that the plan is definitely a little different if you are starting something new, if you own an established business or you’re working for someone else — I’ve been in all of those positions — however there are also pretty specific ways to earn a raise, or how to make more money for yourself or your business.

So, want to get a raise? Do the following:

WORK FOR THE JOB YOU WANT. Don’t just think about the job that has to get done or that’s been assigned to you, think about what else would be helpful to your boss or client. Present a big idea, do a little extra research or digging, happily attend the after-hours event or weekend workshop, and think how else you can go above and beyond. You might be in your current position now, but if you want to be considered for the bigger role, and bigger salary, demonstrate your value and worth before your boss has to ask.

DON’T BE THE FIRST ONE OUT THE DOOR. Too often, I see people in at 8:30 am, out at 5:30 pm or whenever the work day ends. I’m not the kind of boss who wants to see her employees slaving away all hours of the night, but there is something to be said for staying late to crank out an assignment so you’re not handing it in three minutes before the deadline. I candidly hate bosses who want their employees to stay late just for the sake of it — what’s the point? I’m all about flexible work environments — but even the best bosses can tell the person who is watching the clock. Don’t be that person and then expect a big raise.

LONGEVITY DOES NOT EQUAL RAISE (i.e. SHOW YOUR WORTH). I’ve seen colleagues, and have been asked over the years from staff, for raises. Why though? Just because another year goes by does not mean you’re guaranteed a raise. Correction: I know some educational and governmental positions do provide an annual cost of living/raise. In private sector, demonstrate your worth, value and cite specific examples to demonstrate your value. Many years ago when I worked at a university, a boss and mentor later advised me to negotiate a new position, and raises based on “your worth.” Don’t think of your salary merely as a number, it’s a reflection of your professional value to your company and client. I think the same way now as a blogger; brands are learning the business so we’ll see rates across the board so it’s my job to demonstrate my worth. How do you demonstrate yours?

ASK FOR A RAISE. So you’ve been working your tush off, taking on increased responsibility and basically, killing it. Yes? But the boss isn’t asking to discuss your salary right now? Find a logical opportunity; say an annual review or bi-annual review to meet to discuss your position and salary. Your boss will know what’s up, and will prepare accordingly. Go in with a number in mind or a percentage increase. One caveat: don’t get personal. Don’t say it’s because of family issues, increase of bills, cost of whatever, your partying habit (lol, joking… I hope!). While I’m an ultra compassionate boss, I still need your qualifications and hard work to speak for themselves.

BE POSITIVE. Personality is key an office; after all your boss spends more time with you than his or her family and friends. Make it a pleasant, fun and happy place he or she wants to go. The same goes when you enter a review or conversation about a raise. Start out positive about why you love the company and what you do, then lay out why you deserve a raise, and then.. wait. As someone who’s in PR, it’s a fact that when people get nervous they tend to ramble. Breathe, and let your boss do the talking. After the conversation, be patient. Your boss might be the one with the authority, or might need to ask other executives.



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  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    These are awesome tips! One of the best things I ever did when I was working in an office environment was learning about other areas of the company. It demonstrated that I was team player and looking to grow. Now, if only I could ask myself for a raise!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

    • Reply
      January 24, 2017 at 4:26 PM

      That’s so smart — did you see Hidden Figures? A major component is about this exact tactic… you’d love it!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    Thanks h we are some great tips, it’s funny though about the don’t always be the one leaving early. I used to do that, stay late, come in early, put in the time. I still agree in some ways with this but I also now believe so much more in quality of life and balance. I am a better employee when I don’t sit stuck in traffic, run late to get my daughter at day care, can still work out or eat dinner as a family than I was when I would get home in time to eat dinner and go to sleep to do it all over again the next day! And now, as a boss, I only require the amount of work that can be completed during business hours, unless it’s a big event or other circumstance dictating working late.

    • Reply
      January 24, 2017 at 4:28 PM

      Absolutely…. you’re so right, Erin, and perhaps I said it wrong. I’m all for taking kids to gymnastics at 10 am, haircut at 2 or whatever has to get done — there’s so much personal stuff that we all have — so it’s nice to see that someone demonstrates their killing it, and you’re right… they don’t need to stay until 9 pm to show their value. If they work hard, they should be able to get it done on time. So glad you commented!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 9:54 AM

    These are amazing tips! Such great points.


  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 7:56 AM

    Love the flowered dress in this mornings post. Where do I find?

    • Reply
      January 24, 2017 at 4:29 PM

      Thanks, Carole! It’s actually a dress from last year at J. Crew Factory. There’s one size left… http://bit.ly/2cpk388.

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