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When to Ask Your Boss for More Money

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.

Making the Most of Your Performance Review

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Do you wish you were making more money? Do you feel frustrated that you haven’t received the promotion you’ve been waiting for? Well, now’s the time to make a case for yourself. It’s almost time for your annual employee performance evaluation.

One of the biggest mistakes we all make at work is that we don’t take our performance reviews seriously enough. They’re just another item to check off the list by a certain due date. With everything else we have to do, we rush through the online review process. We feel that we have too much going on to waste time on this silly annual administrative task.

But, it’s this same silly task that is used to guide your future salary. It helps your manager to decide whether or not to give you the promotion you’ve been dreaming of. So, it is worth saying that a performance evaluation deserves as much time, if not more, than any other project on your desk.

Once you’ve decided to prioritize your review, what should you know?

The first thing is, start early. When you put time into your review, the amount of detail required is heavy. You want to be sure you have time to put everything together.

When you complete your online self-review, don’t give yourself lower ratings that you deserve in an effort to be humble. Your scores should accurately reflect your work. If you’ve done an outstanding job, say so. Don’t expect your boss to convince you that your work was better than your own rating.

On each area where you rate yourself, provide more than just a rating. Write a justification that includes specific examples of your work. Ideally, these examples should tie back to your goals for the year. They should be specific and if possible, quantifiable. Show without a doubt that you have met and exceeded each goal.

Once you’ve completed the online self-review, try putting the same information into another format. Online self-reviews are often text heavy and not a great way to represent yourself. A PowerPoint presentation can be a great solution. Create different sections that are tied to your online review, but add in pictures, graphs, and other screen shots to better demonstrate your accomplishments.

When it’s time to review your performance evaluation with your boss, be on time, and be prepared. Dress in what you might wear if you were giving an important presentation on behalf of someone else. But, this time, that someone is you.

Doing a self-review can be difficult. It’s tedious. It’s detail oriented. It requires you to remember everything you’ve done in the past year. Despite all of these things, a solid performance review is worth it. If you follow the steps recommend, there’s a good chance you’ll be the only person on your team who put in this much work. And, that hard work will be in your boss’ mind when they decide who to promote and give a bigger raise to in the New Year.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.