Regardless if we are experiencing a financial problem or not, wanting a higher income is something that we all share. Who does not want to earn more? Instead of looking for a second job that will earn extra income, why not just ask your boss for a paycheck raise? That way, you can increase your monthly cash inflow without putting in more hours of your time with work.
However, getting a raise in your work is easier said than done. Not all companies give annual appraisals that are usually partnered with a higher salary. So what do you do when you want a raise? How should you approach your boss to ask for one?
One thing is for sure – you need to prepare for it. This is not something that you just blurt out. Just like when you are pitching for a project, you need to make certain preparations that you might want to start doing now. That way, you have your arsenal ready as you wait for the right moment to to strike.
5 things you can do now to get a raise
There is nothing really wrong with asking for a raise this year but you have to consider the disposition of your boss when year end comes. Reports have to be made, quotas met and other preparatory tasks float in the air for next year. It probably makes more sense to wait for next year before you ask for a higher income. That way, the good cheers of the holidays are still fresh and you have a whole year’s worth of 2013 achievements to show your boss. But even if you will make your pitch next year, here are 5 things that you may want to start doing now so you can increase the chances of getting a paycheck raise.
Prepare to brag, but with sincerity. Let us start with what you have contributed to the company so far. Asking for a raise means you have to show your best qualities and what better way to do that than to show your accomplishments? Be truthful, specific and try not to be modest. You want to convince your boss that you deserve this so modesty is not really a good trait to have at the moment. If you made a huge sales pitch this year, include that in your report. Even if you gave the company savings and not profit, present it in a way that shows what the company earned out ot if.
Be visible, be very visible. Your boss will not notice you if you sit in the corner and keep to yourself all the time. Make sure you are visible and eager to get the projects that your boss wants the team to accomplish. Volunteer for tasks, be vocal about your suggestions and make sure your boss notices you all the time. Try not to be a know it all though – you want your colleagues to still like you after all. This also includes social events in the office. Be active and volunteer to organize parties. These are fun things to do in the office and it will endear you to both your boss and your co-workers.
Invest in yourself. If you really want to impress your boss, you may want to start investing in yourself. Try to learn new skills or update your knowledge about the industry. That way, you can really show how your value increased. If there are workshops available in the office or even elsewhere – sign up for them. Your skills are your greatest assets.
Be a team player. Sometimes, raising yourself up so you can get a raise will cause you to step on a few toes. In some cases, and depending on the attitude of your colleagues, this is unavoidable. But despite that, you want to avoid it especially if it will cause open hostility between you are co-workers. Be one with the team and know when it is right to put yourself up or the whole team – depending on who really did the legwork. Your boss will notice team players too – if displayed under the right light.
Do your research. Lastly, you want to know how much you should ask for a raise. You don’t want to ask too much and be rejected. Do your research through sites like Salary.com or BLS.gov (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Know the going rate for your position in the industry that you are working in.
How to handle a paycheck raise
If you are lucky enough to get a higher income for your efforts, there are certain things that you need to understand. We’ve written a previous article about the do’s and don’ts when you get an increase in income and it discusses the mistakes that sometimes get us in trouble.
One of them is a quick upgrade in our lifestyle. When you get a raise, you suddenly want to live in a bigger house, get a new car or go on a very expensive vacation. While you deserve to celebrate and reward yourself, do not go overboard. Instead of upgrading your lifestyle unnecessarily, why not increase your savings instead? If you really want that new car – save up for it. Don’t buy it with credit because you are confident that you can afford to pay the monthly installment because of your higher income. Try not to be too complacent about everything and be wise about where you will put your added income.
If you have to do something, here are three things that we suggest you do.
Change your budget. If there are necessary expenses that you had to give up in the past, now is the time to think about spending for them again. For instance, you can probably reward yourself with a monthly spa. It is not so expensive but you get to reward yourself. Or you can increase your debt payments or savings. Revise your budget so you know where this new money is coming from.
Set financial goals. It is also great to have financial goals because it will prompt you to save your money. As mentioned, one of them is a car. Or you can save up for the down payment of your new home.
Invest in other things. It is always wise to put your eggs in several baskets so your income is secure. That way, if something happens to your income, you can always get rely on another source. Invest what you can risk in the stock market. It is not something that will take too much of your time and it will earn you money while you sleep.