5 Steps to Getting a Salary Increase

by Catherine Budu
Steps to Getting a Salary Increase photo

It can sometimes feel as if a raise is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ as far as your employer is concerned. Take these steps to get your well-deserved salary increase.

Renegotiating or finding ways to increase our salaries can be a stressful and confusing situation. However, we are not asking for something undeserved.

The problem of wage stagnation is quite real. According to the Economic Policy Institute, consistent positive wage growth only occurred in 10 of these 40 years from 1980 to 2020. And we’ve yet to see the full effect that COVID will have on wage growth.

So what can you do to increase your salary?

1. Choose the right moment

If you need to speak to your boss or present your case for a salary increase, you need to learn to wait and choose the right moment. When the company is undergoing an inspection or when there is too much work, your boss may be under too much stress and not respond favorably. If he or she has too many things to worry about, your request may slip under the radar.

On the other hand, a slower day can be a better choice. To achieve the best results, try to pick a moment where the boss is in a good mood, is not hungry, and so on. While these seem like small details, sometimes they can make the difference between a “no” and a “yes.”

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck

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2. Know your value

There are two main aspects to this tip. First, you need to believe that you deserve an increase in salary. Second, you need to be able to prove it to others. If you have problems with self-esteem, getting a raise may become a serious problem, because you may have issues with both these points.

Consider your experience and focus on the positive. What have you achieved? Don’t downplay yourself. You can look for proof of your achievements (compliments, bonuses, contracts, etc.). You deserve to be paid what you are worth, so you need to believe it before you ask.

Once you’ve made the situation clear for yourself, it becomes easier to make your case. You can talk about what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved, as well as about the unique skills you have. So, knowing your value and being able to communicate it are important behaviors that can help you get a raise.

3. Be visible, not invisible

This tip concerns a whole series of behavior. Your goal is to make sure that others know of you and of your contributions. Don’t let others take the credit for your projects and don’t be shy about what you’ve done. Your initiative and creativity, expressed in your projects, are your assets and can help you show that your salary should be increased.

Another good tip is to mingle. Go to corporate events and participate. Involve yourself in different projects and show that you are engaged with them. Make sure you build networks and are known around your workplace.

4. Never stop learning

This is always a good idea. If you grow as a professional, you can improve your performance and your skills, so you have an advantage over any competition when it comes to raises.

You can take online courses or check if there are any opportunities offered by your organization. Sometimes, you may even need to go back to school. For instance, some companies will require you to have a degree to advance through the ranks or an MBA. You can learn a new language and apply for a position overseas.

Any unique skills or knowledge that you have can help you increase your salary.

5. Investigate

The Internet offers an easy way of comparing your salary to those of others in the field. Maybe there are some factors for which you ought to be paid more, such as hazardous working conditions or your performance.

A thorough investigation can help you come up with a fair number and ease your doubts on whether you are asking for too much or for too little. It also gives you some help with your argument.

The different behaviors that can help you increase your salary

Here are some of them:

  • Choose the best moment to ask for an increase in your salary
  • Know that you deserve a raise and be able to convince others
  • Make sure you are known around your workplace and to your management
  • Keep learning new skills
  • Research and compare your salary

Reviewed March 2021

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