It seems like just yesterday we were making New Year’s resolutions, and yet the year is already flying by. Maybe you’ve slayed a few of your health and fitness goals, and hopefully you’ve even checked off a few boxes on your travel bucket lists. But you can’t forget those career resolutions you made. If you’re in major boss mode, why not start plotting and planning your next raise right now? It’s not as scary as it sounds, we promise—keep reading and we’ll share our best advice for how to get that raise.
There’s a lot of chatter out there about how to negotiate and ask for a raise, but it’s also important to know what you should do before you even have the talk with your boss. Of course you’re a badass, but can you clearly communicate why you deserve a raise? Do you even know how much money you’re seeking?
HelloGiggles asked top career execs and life coaches for tangible tips and steps you can take right now to get ready to ask for a raise. You’ve done the work already, and now it’s time to step into the rest of the year earning everything you deserve.
1Communicate with your boss—often
According to a survey from monday.com, a team management platform, more than half of employees go the entire week without communicating with their boss to share what they’re working on. So something you can do today, right now, is have regular check-ins to report the status of any projects you’re managing. Additionally, Leah Walters, head of communications at monday.com, stressed the importance of learning exactly how your boss likes to communicate: in person, via email, Slack, etc. “Asking your boss how they would like to be kept in the loop maximizes your chances that they will see your contributions and notice your progress,” she says.
2Write out a list of your achievements
While we might all think we deserve a raise because we just do, your boss wants to know exactly why you think you’ve earned it. That’s why you need to spell things out, says digital marketing executive Lorena Garcia. “Create a list of what you have achieved over the past year and the impact those actions have had on your department or the company as a whole,” she advises. The impact can be how you saved the company money, made your boss’s life easier, or even how you helped the company overcome a major hurdle.
Coach and author Marion E. Brooks adds that it’s key to show how you’ve gone above and beyond your current pay rate and even title. “I have had people ask me for raises because they did the job I was already paying them to do,” says the What You Don’t Know is Hurting You author. “If you believe you have delivered superior results, identify three to four clear examples that you can share with your manager.”
3Plan how you want to contribute moving forward
Garcia notes that superiors respond positively to employees who have a plan for the future. “It’s important to not only bring to the table the achievements you have made, but also ideas for the future. It shows your dedication and passion for your job,” she explains.
Lauren Berger, author of Get It Together: Ditch the Chaos, Do the Work, and Design your Success, agrees with this sentiment. She recommends emphasizing to your boss how you hope to grow alongside the company. “I know that this is something I want to hear from team members,” she says. “Who wants to waste budget on a team member who’s out the door?”
4Know your number
So you’ve started communicating more with your boss and have your achievements clearly defined, but wait, do you know how much of a raise you want and what the percentage increase is from your current pay? “Saying ‘I deserve more money,’ or ‘I want a raise’ is ambiguous. A penny is a raise. You have to be clear about what you believe you deserve,” says Brooks. If you’re unsure of a good number or starting point, check a site like Glassdoor to see what the average salary is for someone in your geographic location and position.
5Visualize your ideal outcome
You’ve got your ducks in a row, but there’s also power in visualization. Life coach Stacia Pierce believes in affirmations. “Create a goal card for your raise,” she says. “Write your intention in the present state: ‘I am so grateful and happy to have gotten a raise in the amount of __________.'” This can be a card you keep in your wallet, a sticky note on your mirror, or any written visual reminder of your future achievement.
6Have a backup plan, just in case
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but sometimes even after you’ve prepared, are on your A-game, and have more than earned your raise, it just doesn’t happen. This can be the result of company downsizing, changes in your industry, or other factors that have nothing to do with you. Before you even go in to discuss the raise, Berger says to have an alternative plan in mind in case things don’t go your way.
“It’s always worth asking for more, but you also need to plan what you are going to do and how you will react if you don’t get more,” the Career Queen founder says. You may decide you want to keep the line of communication open to broach the subject in the next six months, or it may mean you start seeking other opportunities. Either way, it’s important to have a game plan that works best for you.