Do you want to get a raise at your job? Of course, you do! Who would say no to a bump in earnings?
Well, the fact of the matter is that just getting a raise isn’t so simple most of the time. Some industries have a standard cost of living adjustment or raises that come with achieving seniority status. But that’s not what I’m referring to.
I’m talking about that situation where you’ve been at your company for several years and haven’t gotten any salary increases yet. You’ve done your part and have always shown up to work on time, only take a few days off each year, and have a good relationship with everyone there.
“Shouldn’t I have gotten a raise by now?”
Well, the answer is not exactly straight-forward. There’s more to determining if you deserve a raise than the amount of time you’ve been at a particular job.
It usually comes down to one axiomatic question: how are you bringing extra value to the company?
Here’s how it works in the mind of an employer: you, the employee, are being paid for the job you do because your labor contributes to the overall productivity and profitability of the company. In exchange for your contribution to the company’s profitability, you are paid for your labor and time.
If you believe you deserve higher compensation, the key question to ask is how the things you are doing now is making everyone there better off. If you have taken on extra responsibilities over the past few months, assisted in ways that are above the call, and have done so with a great attitude, this is a great place to start if you’re planning on asking your employer for a raise.
So if you have adopted extra duties at work and are ready to contribute more to the company’s greater good, this is the time to think about how exactly your past performance justifies greater compensation, and why that higher level of compensation will spur you to do even more for the company moving forward.
If you’re in the sales industry, take a look at your past few months of sales and see how your performance has been. If you’ve regularly exceeded your target sales goals and can show how that excess has brought greater value to the company, you have some concrete evidence that you are now worth more than your current compensation rate.
When you ask your employer to pay you more, you’re asking them to increase an expense line in the company budget. There has to be some payoff for the company in exchange to justify that higher number.
If you are asking for a raise of $10,000 a year, what you need to show is how you can help the company bring in another $25,000, $50,000 or $100,000 (whatever number) in gross revenue.
A raise is effectively an investment by your employer. If you can provide solid and substantiated evidence that you are going to help the entire company become more profitable, that’s what you will need to have the standing to ask for a raise.
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for how to go about this. Sales will look different than healthcare, or IT, or manufacturing. The key is that whatever industry you work in, you’ve got to think about how paying you more translates into greater profitability for the company.
We’re not simply entitled to greater compensation because we’ve been at a particular place for a long time. If you want to increase your earnings, show your employer that you’re going to make him or her look better in the process.
If you win, the company wins! Think like that, and you’re on track to getting that bump.
For more career insight, check out Ken Coleman’s podcast.