Jan2014Headshot

For most people, earning a viable income is essential for living a financially balanced life. Unfortunately, in today’s economic landscape, most recent college grads and job seekers are faced with relatively low entry salaries coupled with  hefty financial responsibilities.

I am not the exception.

After being laid off from my second job in 2 years, I decided to put my degree to work and joined Americorp, earning a salary of $13,000. Eventually, I was hired full time and my salary was increased to $28,500. Through various performance increases, I was earning $45,000 by the time I ended my employment with them 2 years later.

The pointers below apply to traditional roles. I recognize that salary raises for county, city, federal, and state employees are regulated and less flexible.

Here are a few salary increase pointers to help you before you ask for a raise.

  1. Perform: You will not get a raise if you do not perform. This means exceeding expectations, pouncing on opportunities for improvement and demonstrating an  interest in progressing within the company. Prior to and following my raises I was staying late, cleaning after events, and going above and beyond my scope of work.
  2. Track your performance: When I was preparing to request a raise, I cited my accomplishments in my requests. For example I exceeded expected revenues by $11,000 and made mention of it. How can you resist retaining someone who makes money for you?
  3. Know your worth: Be realistic in your request. Find out what people are getting paid to do your job in similar industries and similar cities. When I was researching market compensation for my role I limited it to major cities. If you’re living in Omaha, Nebraska don’t look up NYC salaries because the cost of living affects the going rate. If most people are making 65k for your position don’t ask for 80k (unless your employer just seems like the type to pay above average salaries). Also, don’t ask for a raise if you know you have performance issues that need to be corrected.
  4. Find out who ultimately can make the decision: I worked in a small non-profit so the Executive Director made the decision. But in some cases at larger companies it’s not totally up to your boss. Make a genuine friend in HR to find out who holds that key.
  5. Ask: During one of my performance reviews my boss offered a $3,000 raise. I believed I deserved slightly more and wanted to go up to the next income bracket so I asked for $7,000 instead and got it!

I eventually ended up leaving this job for one that had increased job responsibilities, an increased salary, paid 100% of my benefits, and offered me 14 more vacation days a year. So MY FINAL RECOMMENDATION is Know when it's time to move on. Click To Tweet

Know when you have reached a performance, compensation, or passion plateau.

Have you successfully negotiated raises? Remember how nerve wrecking it was?  Don’t forget to comment and show other readers that it can be done!

Now. Go out and make your money girl!

rihannnagif