Asking for a raise can be an uncomfortable experience, especially if you aren’t certain that your employer will agree.
As a career coach, resume writer, and interview specialist, I deal with the common question, “How can I make more money?,” on a daily basis. The real question should be, “How can I reflect value?” Becoming a valuable employee takes time, dedication, and a strong will to succeed … not to mention, a plan. A valuable employee stands out from the pack, regardless of how coworkers feel about them. They have a goal in mind, and they don’t let outside influences hinder their plan to achieve that goal.
If seeking a higher salary is your goal, you will want to have an idea of what you are worth to your employer and to other employers in the area. Do some research about the pay scales for your job in your geographic area. Additionally, as you prepare for the raise discussion, focus on documenting the ways you’ve added value to the department and the organization.
4 Tips to Increase Your Value to Employers
1. Continue your education. Many colleges and universities offer an online option for some degree programs making it more convenient to complete the next level of education in your field.
2. Be aware of and find ways to build your brand — your reputation. Think beyond the department you work in and raise your profile within the entire organization.
3. Join industry-related organizations. Like education, joining industry-related organizations can also increase your knowledge in your field. These organizations can also provide a networking forum for new career opportunities. Business executives, consultants, and owners make-up a large portion of groups’ board of directors, advisory committees, marketing teams, and public relations personnel. These types of contacts can become invaluable.
4. Maintain a system to track your accomplishments and create a professional portfolio to display them. When I consult with a resume client, I’m often surprised at how little they remember about their career or company-related achievements. Achievements are documented abilities provided to an employer. They are, in essence, ‘proof’ of your worth.
Don’t forget that asking for a raise requires an updated resume, designed specifically for internal purposes. This resume should highlight all skills and qualifications one currently possesses from in-house experience, including additional classes or involvement with industry-related organizations completed outside of normal business hours. By logging this information accordingly within the document, superiors will see the added value brought to their business.
A final tip – be practical about the timing of your request for a raise. If your company is experiencing a financial setback, wait until the company is in good standing before you make your request. If you don’t, not only will your request most likely be denied, but you will appear tone-deaf to the company’s current state.
Becoming an asset to your employer is something that takes time and dedication. If you are willing to expend the effort, you are destined to become a worthy and valued employee – and hopefully a well-paid one.