A Sensational Salary Increase: Five Ways to Get There

Written by Kristine Lassen

Graphic Design by Mary Johnson

“I would do this job even without a salary,” says nobody I know. Ever. Many people love their jobs, but getting paid is a primary reason most of us get up to work every day. Our salaries give us the freedom to take care of ourselves, our families and secure our future. A decent wage not only allows us to take that much-needed vacation but is linked to job satisfaction as well. We all want to get reimbursed for our work, services, and talents. Good news! You can do some simple things to increase your paycheck and get The Gift of a Salary that you deserve!    

1. Know thyself, or at least your job

We’ve all been there. You’ve found yourself performing a job that has little to do with the one you applied for. It happens all the time. For one reason or another, you’ve crept into other roles that have nothing to do with your job description. Your boss evaluates you based on the job you applied for, not what you do. It’s time to have a conversation with your supervisor and get some clarity around your position. Think about updating your job description to fit what you are doing. Or change your duties to reflect your job description. The point is to talk with your boss and take an active role in crafting your position. After all, it’s your job! You don’t want your evaluation and possible salary increase based on the wrong criteria. 

2. Know more, increase your earning

“Knowledge is power,” as the saying goes. But how does learning new skills translate into a bigger paycheck? You do it by assigning a value to what you bring to the table. Let’s say you are the only one in your office with an SEO certification and made some changes to the company website. After those changes, did you see an increase in traffic to the website? How much of that traffic converted into new business? That new business has a dollar amount assigned to it. Or, you are a whiz at graphic design, and your company can keep that in-house. You saved them from paying high contractor rates. Your unique talents and know-how have a bottom-line value. Once you know that value, you are in a better position to negotiate for a salary increase.

You can start beefing up your skillset online with low-cost or no-cost options. Investing in yourself is the ultimate win for everyone. Nobody can take away your knowledge!

Person rehearsing to ask for a salary increase in mirror.

3. Cheer your way to a bump in salary

Keep track of your work wins as they happen and speak up, so your boss is aware of your contributions. Create a Brag Book or Hall of Fame that showcases your wins at work. Make a presentation demonstrating how you saved the company money, generated more income, or helped keep clients. The changes you made to the website that led to increased sales have a dollar amount assigned to them. Bosses love the bottom line. Make sure they know your contribution led to more sales. You’ve earned that raise! Have the evidence to back it up. Be your own advocate. Nobody is invested in your career like you are!

4. Set the date

You’re on a roll now!  With quantifiable evidence to prove how valuable you are to your company, it’s time to ask for a raise. This meeting with your boss is important, and it needs to feel important. Make an appointment with your supervisor to discuss your future with the company. If your boss says, “I have some time now,” while they are pouring a cup of coffee, politely decline. Let them know you would prefer to discuss a raise at the set meeting time. Keep this a formal conversation. It is your future and deserves more than a few minutes in the break room or the hallway.  

Know what you want to say and what you want. Back it up with quantifiable evidence. Before your meeting, practice, practice, and practice some more. Do this out loud in front of a mirror. We all know that things sound much better in our heads than they do when they come out of our mouths if we’re not prepared. Your future is too important to let it fall to chance.

5. It's showtime!

Salary negotiation is where the rubber meets the road. You will meet three different negotiators when talking about money. Approach each one differently. The Accommodating Negotiator will say Yes to your requests. Your response—keep asking until you get a No. 

The True Negotiator says Yes to part of what you’ve asked for and asks, “What more do you want?” Be prepared to answer with specifics, like a hybrid schedule or the ability to bring your dog into work. Ask the True Negotiator how they will support you when asking their boss to okay your raise. Press them for what they will say on your behalf to their boss. 

If you run into the No-gotiator, don’t take their No as a given. Gather information and clarify why they said No. Maybe budget constraints have tied their hands. It could be that your boss’s boss is vetoing every request for personal reasons. Plan to meet again in 3-6 months, when those temporary constraints may no longer be an issue. 

We want you to get The Gift of a Salary that you deserve. It’s time your paycheck reflects your worth and value. You’ve earned it! For more tips on thriving in the workplace, visit our blog page!

Have a Super Day!

Kristine Lassen

I have spent over twenty-five years working as a physical therapist, helping people maximize their function and re-write their stories. Now, I am using my life-long love of words, writing, and storytelling to re-write my own.