So how do you reach your full earning potential? The first step is to confirm that you are currently receiving fair payment for the work you perform. During the tough economic situation of the past few years, many people have not received a raise for some time. Perhaps you felt lucky to have a job at all.
If it has been awhile since you reviewed your salary, it may be time to approach your boss about a raise. Before you knock on his door, though, take a look at the following tips to ensure that your request is granted.
- Know what you're worth. Take advantage of the internet’s resources to determine what your peers are earning in your city or region. Being able to show your boss concrete proof that you're being underpaid makes it much easier to ask for more money.
- List situations where you have gone above and beyond what was expected of you. Have you taken on new duties since your last raise? Be sure to detail those new responsibilities during your conversation with your boss. Did you come to the rescue during a crunch time at work? Make sure you point that out, too.
- Give examples of ways that you help the company be more successful. Perhaps you have brought in several new clients to your company. Or maybe you've developed a new filing system that saves time. Be prepared to regale your boss with tales of your achievements since your last raise. If you're afraid that you'll forget them when you're actually in the boss’ office, write down a few notes to keep you on topic.
- Avoid citing the length of time since your last raise. It can be very tempting to request a raise simply because you haven’t received one in a great deal of time. Don’t give in to the temptation. You don’t want your employer to think that you expect a raise just because you work for him. You’re much more likely to be successful if you stick to showing him objective ways you contribute to the company.
- Don’t give ultimatums unless you’re prepared to follow through with them. Many people think that the easiest way to get a raise is to mention that you’re prepared to look for another job if you don’t get a raise. Or, even worse, to threaten that you already have a new job offer. Unless you really are ready to look for a new job or have that job offer, don’t issue ultimatums. Your boss just might end up wishing you good luck on your new endeavors and leave you with no income at all.