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Seven Best Ways To Get A Raise

Sep 3, 2008
Nobody likes the feeling that comes with having more month left at the end of your money. And while we're always advised to cut our expenses, such a strategy can only go so far. Sometimes, you absolutely have to increase your income and for the vast majority of us, that means getting a pay raise. The following suggestions are not guaranteed to land you one; if anything, getting a raise is never guaranteed unless you're self-employed and manage to grow your business. But if you follow the advice below, you will be way ahead of the curve compared to your coworkers who figure that complaining and/or playing the office politics game is what's going to get them ahead.

First of all, you have to ASK FOR IT. It's unbelievable the number of people who keep saying to all their coworkers (who have no power on the matter) that they want a raise, but they will never walk up to their boss and state their case. Also, keep in mind that the further down the corporate ladder you are, the more you need to do to get yourself noticed.

Make yourself indispensable. Identify those tasks that no one seems to be able to do particularly well, or that often require that they call for outside help, and master them. Do your best to spread your skills in a number of different areas within the company. Your market value is tied to the particular set of skills you bring to the table for the company. It helps if said skills either make the company money, or save it money.

Convince others of your talents. This one falls right in line with the previous suggestion. If you can manage to demonstrate to your customers, coworkers, and subordinates (if any) that you have special skills, it's only a matter of time before your boss gets wind of it. Stating your case will get that much easier.

Don't make threats. Unless you have a written offer lined up, never threaten to quit. If your boss calls your bluff, you will end up being in big trouble. On the other hand, if you do have real offers from other firms, you have just gained great leverage in future pay raise negotiations. One more thing, be prepared to come up with a solid case. Needing more money to make ends meet is hardly an iron-clad case.

Put the emphasis on quality and efficiency. When times are tough, companies hold on to talented staff. Those who use company assets wisely and help improve the company bottom line are more likely to be not only kept, but rewarded for their contribution

Don't compare yourself to a better-paid coworker. You'll most likely find yourself in the situation where your boss puts you down, pointing out your shortcomings (everyone has some), while singing your coworker's praises, just to defeat your arguments.

Perfect your timing. A company that's in the middle of a downsizing isn't likely to simultaneously hand out generous raises. More often than not, the deciding factor whether or not you will actually get that raise is company performance. If the company is bleeding money, it doesn't matter how hard you're working, it won't help your cause.
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