careers

Scoring a raise: 17 tips to get more in your paycheck

Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:23 AM ET

Even though the U.S. job market is improving, wages have flatlined. How do you beat the odds? Nicole Williams, a career expert for LinkedIn, offers 17 tips so you can score more money from your manager.

1. Learn how your company makes money 
If you don't understand how your company makes money, you're not likely to understand how your contribution impacts the bottom line. Once you understand that, you'll be much more persuasive when asking your manager for a raise.

2. Ask yourself: How does your company make money off you?
This is your job: to make money for your company. May sound crass but it's a reality. If you don’t know the answer to this question, you’re up a creek without a paddle. You need to be able to directly attach the work you do to the profitability of the company. Hint: don’t fool yourself; everyone has a role in the bottom line.   

3. Build your brand 
Don't fool yourself into thinking just because you're not looking for a job you don't need to have an online brand. Fill in your LinkedIn profile, join industry-based conversations, tweet up a relevant storm. You want to get yourself noticed long before you go in for the raise conversation.

4. Go on an interview
It doesn't matter that you're not looking for a job, the process will build your confidence and help you to prepare for the presentation. It's not as scary as you remember it being, You will be much more confident going into the conversation knowing there are other options out there (and there are).

5. Find out your hourly salary
There's nothing like figuring out what you’re getting paid by the hour to help give you the motivation to ask for that raise. 

6. Sign up for a public speaking course
They’re not just for professional public speakers. So often it's not what you say but how you say it. Telling your boss why you deserve a raise in a confident, clear and controlled manner will make all the difference.

7. Find out who's signing the check
In the majority of cases it's ultimately not your boss's decision to give you the raise. Who is the person who will be actually signing the check? That's the person you want to meet and make a great impression on over the next 30 days.   

8. Meet someone new every day
Strike up a conversation and learn something about this person and ideally, what they do -- you never know what they can teach you or how they are connected to your career. 

9. Get dressed up
Wear the one outfit in your closet that makes you feel most powerful. Watch your performance. No one does a bad job in their power outfit, and you’re not going to hide in your office after making the effort.

10. Show up early and stay late
Regardless of what you’re spending your time doing, being one of the first through the door and the last to leave creates an "I’m here to work" impression. You want to have a track record of early entrances and late departures prior to asking for your raise. 

11. Read up on the industry
There's no excuse for you not to have a handle on what’s going down in your industry so that you can strike up a conversation and be able to participate in the water cooler conversation about the latest competitor's press release. 

12. Find a mentee
Even if you’re early in your career, there is someone even further down the ladder who needs some guidance. Your boss will be thankful that some of the pressure has been taken off him or her.

13. Just say no ... without it feeling like you just said no
You need to be available to say yes to those career-enhancing, high-profile project. You can’t do that when you’re on the daily Starbucks run for your coworkers (unless of course that’s in your job description). 

14. Do one job each day to best of your ability
Excellence is like a muscle: The more you practice, the stronger you become. Choose one thing on your to-do list for today and do the very best job you’re capable of. Think you always do your best? Think again. Even the best of us have at least a 20 percent reserve. Go there.

15. Slyly tell your boss of your successes
Find a message in your inbox from anyone you work with congratulating you on a job well done, and forward it to your boss with a note like, "I really enjoy working with ____," or "Our team did a really great job with the client, and I thought you’d enjoy their feedback." Disguises the “I want you to know I did a good job and you’re not going to hear about it unless I tell you” message that you’re really sending.  

16. Clean up your inbox
Your inbox clutter is holding your back. Spend 20 minutes each day rifling through your inbox and getting rid of the messages you don’t need.  

17. Find something in common with your boss
It's a dirty secret: Bosses give raises to people who they have some connection to. 

What tips do you have? Share here

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