Many people know that side hustles can be a great way to earn more income. But many still rely on a full-time job as a primary source of income. Because your day job’s paycheck is your bread and butter, it’s important to get paid as much as possible. That’s why knowing how to ask for a raise is crucial.
How to ask for a raise
Getting a raise isn’t usually an easy task at most companies, but learning how to ask for a raise will give you the best chance of landing a pay increase. Before you sit down with your boss and have that conversation, however, start with this prep work.
1. Start a ‘big wins’ file
Unless you can prove that you create value for your company, you will have a hard time getting a raise. To make sure you have the ammunition to ask for a raise later on, track your big wins at work in a private Excel or Word document.
Any time you save the company money, make the company money, complete a big project, or have any sort of workplace victory that could bolster your chances for a raise, make a note of what you did and the date. Keep it around for performance reviews and when asking for a raise.
2. Communicate victories to your boss
Your boss isn’t a mind reader or a telepath, so it’s important to let them know when you do something particularly noteworthy.
If you get an email from another manager saying “good job,” forward it to your boss. If you finish a big project, let your boss know. If you found a way to do something more efficiently, tell your boss. You get the idea.
3. Build a relationship with your boss’s boss
You’re not just learning how to ask your boss for a raise. When it comes time to get your pay increase, you have to convince your boss — but your boss has to convince her boss, and maybe even another boss or two past that.
You’ll have a much better go of it if you have a good relationship with managers up the ladder from you. You may not work with your boss’s boss regularly or directly, so sometimes you have to be creative to get face time and build that relationship. If you can get more interaction with leadership, it’s a great career investment all around.
4. Create a positive reputation with your colleagues
In your fraternity days, winning the beer pong tournament was a badge of honor. At a professional job, being known among your coworkers as the weekend partier may not be to your advantage.
Be selective with storytelling and make sure to present yourself as a professional when talking with coworkers one-on-one or with a group. Always put your best foot forward and come into meetings and assignments with a positive attitude.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the best worker in the office if everyone thinks you are a slacker, irresponsible, or doesn’t like you. That’s just how it goes with office politics. Avoid negative talk and focus on the positive in all interactions with colleagues at work or away from the office.
5. Always give 100 percent
Now that you have the reputation and relationships in place, start working on your raise. Always give every assignment 100 percent of your best effort. Pay attention to details, underpromise and overdeliver, and become the top producer on your team.
If your boss starts coming to you with one-off assignments and jobs, don’t look at it as extra work. Look at it as your boss trusting you to get the job done better than anyone else on your team. That’s a great sign!
Any time you’re getting ready for a performance review, pull out that big wins list to refresh your memory and remind your boss how awesome you are — not just because you are awesome, but because you do an awesome job.
6. Do your homework
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived. You may see the biggest success if you ask for a raise shortly before an annual review, but it can be any time of the year that makes sense for you, your boss, and the company. Be thoughtful about the timing when you consider how to ask for a raise.
Many companies offer annual raises around the end of the year, so work as hard as ever in the months leading up to the review (or whenever you plan to ask for the raise). A week or so before, schedule a time to talk with your boss. Don’t lie about your agenda or blindside her. Instead, make it clear that you want to discuss your career at the company.
The key to learning how to negotiate a raise? Do your homework. Conduct some research ahead of time at sites like Glassdoor and Payscale to see how your salary stacks up against company and industry peers.
Print out copies of those reports if they show your earnings are in the bottom 50 percent of comparable salaries. If you’re at least an average worker, you should be paid more to stay competitive.
Come to the meeting with your big wins list and relevant salary report and lay out the case for why you should earn more. Don’t enter with the mindset that you “deserve” more money, but instead focus on the value you provide to the company and use that as your argument.
In my last finance role, I was able to prove that I made the company many times my salary each year, and sometimes saved them that much or more in operating expenses. I had a clear case as to why I earned a high salary. Can you do something similar when asking for a raise?
If you can, you’re on track for a pay bump, assuming your company can afford it and is willing to pay it. Be prepared for them to say no, but if you make a good case and the timing is right, you should hope for the best.
So make your case and ask. The worst case is that they’ll say no (but you can still earn more money on the side). The best case? A bigger paycheck. You have nothing to lose, so get to work on that raise.
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
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The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
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