Top 5 Things You Should Do Today to Get a Raise This Year

by Joe Lavelle on November 11, 2009

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At the risk of being repetitive, my mission is to help accelerate your career by helping you get bigger raises and faster promotions.  You might be asking, can I really get a raise in these economic times?  In my recent research, I found a great article on exactly this topic by career writer Andrea Kay.

I will get straight to the point, the answer is: yes, you ABSOLUTELY can.  However, it will not be easy.  You must follow the strategies that I detail in my new book Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail.  And you must make a compelling case for your boss and your company.

Here are the top 5 things that you can and should do today to ensure that you get a raise this year.

1) Most importantly, your personal contribution (or personal ROI) must be indisputably positive.  Feel free to contact me to learn to compute your ROI, but a good rule of thumb is that your total value  should be at least 2.5 times your salary.  So if your salary is $100,00 you should be able to demonstrate that you provide at least $250,000 of value to your company.  (How many new clients/customers have you helped your company acquire?  How much additional revenue and profit have you helped your company acquire from current clients?  What ideas have you implemented for cost savings? etc)

2) You must must define and measure your personal ROI for your boss.  Your boss will most likely not have the time nor inclination to do this for you. You need to become really skilled at writing performance reviews, especially yours.

3) Do everything you can to make your boss successful.  The reasons are detailed in this recent post.  Suffice it to say that your boss will be far more inclined to make sure you get a good raise if you have made them look exceptional.

4) Establish and leverage a mentor within your company.  Networking is always important, but having a relationship with someone at your company that understands how raises are distributed can and will help you understand what can differentiate you from others.

5) Research market salaries for your position and use that data to support your case for a raise.   There are a variety of resources to accomplish this for all job categories.   If you are having trouble, start with Google and your Human Resource department.

You will undoubtedly encountered roadblocks ….  Attack your raise plan with great enthusiasm and confidence.  Be realistic enough to know that you will encounter some, maybe even many roadblocks that you did not anticipate.  Feel free to contact me for help or advice.  If you are able to overcome the roadblocks effectively, your boss will be impressed and will further inclined to give you a raise.


So, you followed the 5 steps and you are getting a nice raise, congratulations!  Read this article that cautions you about automatically spending all your new income.   Additionally, I could not agree more with a comment on the article from CPA Kevin McCoy

“If you get a raise, automatically transfer the difference between your new net paycheck and your old one into savings or invest it. You’re used to living off the old amount, so it is easy.”

I followed this strategy for the first 10 years of my career and I could not be happier with the financial results.

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