It is tough when you are looking for a job especially those that just recently graduated but once you have one, your next step is finding a way to get a pay increase. It is pretty exciting when you get your first pay check and when you are financially savvy, the first thing you do is to prepare a household budget to ensure that you are able to live within your means.
But in life, as with almost everything, change is constant and you will find yourself in a different situation now compared to when you just started. Coming out of college you might be single looking for a decent place to stay in that would be near your office. But now, you might have a family of your own and that small cramped space might not work for you anymore.
If you have a job at the moment, you are fortunate to not be a part of the 5.3% unemployed Americans in the country as reported by DLT.ri.gov. You have an income that you are able to bring into the household to cover all your living expenses. But if that has stayed the same considering all your years of hard work, you might want to look into getting a pay increase in the office.
This is because your needs and even wants would have already changed because of the different life you are living now. Providing for a family will take more resources from the very basic food and other living expenses up to the more complex like a college fund and even those vacations that you will take. These will all require additional funds in your budget.
Getting a bigger pay check every month
If you are like the millions of people who rely on your job to bring in some cash into the household, you might benefit in understanding some tips to get an increase in your salary. Although you need to understand some of the hidden cost in income increase, a pay check increase is usually good news for you and your whole family.
- Determine if your company has vertical promotions. Getting promoted at work is one of the ways to get an increase in your pay check. For that to happen, you must be in a company that can offer that professional growth that you need. If it is a small office and you are the only person in your department, chances are you will not get very far. Unless you see that the company is expanding and you see more people come in then you might need to rethink your options. The opportunity must be there so you can grab hold of it though there are some people who will argue that if opportunity does not present itself, you find a way to make it happen. It could be that you bring in so many clients that the company would find the need to hire more people and promote you as well.
- Do your job the best way you can. For some companies, the performance appraisal is a big deal because apart from understanding their performance in where they excelled and where they need to improve further, positive appraisals usually come with a salary increase. It is to encourage employees to perform well at the office. This is also your chance to take home a bigger pay. You just have to perform really well and try to deliver more than what the company expects from you.
- Determine your strengths. You need to be able to bring something to the table when you are asking for an increase in compensation. For that to happen, before you knock and walk in to your boss’s office to ask for one, make an honest assessment of yourself first. Look at your strengths and weaknesses and market those areas where you excel in. You need to give your boss all the right reasons to move you up the ladder. One idea is to always focus on what is in it for them because they will ultimately be the one to make the decision. Would it benefit them and the company in terms of time and talent or money? Will you be able to bring in more business for the company or would your skill set make more clients happier than they already are? Think of the benefit that you can give to the company.
- Get the necessary skills to move up. If you are aspiring to move up the corporate ladder to get that pay increase, you must have all the skills that you need to be able to perform your functions at that level. After you have an assessment of your skill set and you realise that you need to learn some new skills, you can go ahead and go back to school. It can be a post-graduate study that you can take in conjunction with your work or even a certificate course that you only need to take a few days or weeks. Who knows your company might even sponsor the cost of attendance because they also get something out of it.
- Try and improve your elevator pitch. Entrpreneur.com explains that your elevator pitch is actually some sort of ice breaker where your objective is that it leads to more dialogue about what you can offer. One tip to is to practice it with friends and see at what point in your speech your friends dozes off and ask them what point stuck to them and where you lost them. You can them improve on those and have a killer elevator pitch
Handling a bigger pay
When you succeed in asking for a raise, you need to know how to handle your money. There are a few mistakes that you need to watch out for and here are some of the most common pitfalls when your income increases.
- Check for lifestyle inflation. One of the things that fuels a financial crisis in your life could be that your lifestyle keeps on increasing sometimes at a faster rate than your income. If you get a pay increase, hold off and keep your lifestyle inflation in check to make sure that you do not squander off that extra amount that is coming into your budget.
- Adjust your budget accordingly. This does not mean that you put in more to the expense side but rather allocate more to your retirement or reserve funds to help improve your financial standing. This is one great way of making the most out of an increase in your pay check.
- Try aggressively paying down debt. Nerdwallet.com shares that the average mortgage debt, student loan and credit card debt of households can easily reach over $200,000. When you have an increase in income, it might be a good idea to try and pay a little more to your debts to you can rid off them in your budget.
- Separate your wants from needs. Think of your long term goals when you have an increase in your pay check and try not to derail off of that goal by focusing on the things that you want instead of what you need. It is very tempting to buy wants when you have extra money in the budget but stick to your plan whether it is retiring early or setting up a business of your own.
Getting a pay increase in the office is a great boost to your finances but you need to know how to get it and once you have it, how to use it properly. There are ways to help you get that bigger pay check and there are also a lot of ways to lose them faster than you got them. Be aware of how you handle your finances to make sure that if your income increases, you improve your financial standing and not the other way around.