Who wouldn’t like to make more money? If you’ve read my column before, you probably know that I’m an advocate of changing companies every three to five years (for many industries). On top of gaining extra experience, switching has the potential to bump up your pay considerably. But, there are often times when you need a raise at your current employer.
So, where do you start? If you want the best chance of landing a raise of more than two or three percent, do it at a time when your role has evolved quite a bit. This would be the case if your work has grown into a new area, has expanded significantly in scope, or has added management responsibilities. For example, if you were hired as an individual contributor and are now managing a team of seven, the scope of your job has changed.
It’s easier to ask for more money if your job has changed significantly because you aren’t asking for more money for your existing job. That may sound silly, especially if you’re doing more than your peers. You may be smarter, saving more money, or getting more done. But, it’s hard for a manager to justify paying you much more for any of these things.
When your job has changed, you’re essentially asking for a fair amount of money for a new job. While you’re making the case, it may also be a good time to request a new title and an updated job description. This way, you are officially taking your current position to the next level.
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to make a case for more, you’ll want to find the perfect time. It may be during your annual performance evaluation. Or, you may want to lobby for more money at another time, in hopes that your manager won’t be restricted by a certain pool of money.
Whenever you decide to do it, plan ahead. Request a meeting in advance, so your boss won’t be caught off guard. Prepare your case in such a way that your manager can easily advocate for you. In other words, don’t make it hard for your boss to give you more money. Do as much of the work for them as you can.
Consider preparing a presentation that shows how your job has changed. Highlight your accomplishments. Include any numeric results you can show, including how much you beat your goals, and how much revenue you saved the company. You put this much work into everything else you do at work. Why wouldn’t you take the time to put it into your own presentation?
Remember this. Your boss may say no. It may be out of their control. Be careful not to come across in a way that may jeopardize your current job. And, if your company isn’t willing to value you, be ready to begin looking for another one that will.
Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.