Feeling undervalued and underpaid? Spending your spare time looking for a new job? Think again: you might not be presenting yourself to your best advantage at your current position.
Perhaps just as importantly, the ‘best practice’ for getting yourself a wage hike at work overlaps broadly with the steps you can take to improve your reputation at the office in general. That’s because the secret to asking for a raise is not how you frame the question: it’s learning to let your boss know just how valuable you are throughout the workday.
Today’s workforce is in something of a bind: we’re taught to sell ourselves and smooth-talk our way through interviews and networking opportunities, but face knocks to our confidence through the constant murmur that we’re ‘entitled’ or somehow lazier or inferior to proceeding generations.
But improving your profile in your current role doesn’t have to involve showing off. And showing that the value you provide your employer should be adequately compensated is not the same as assuming you ‘deserve’ more.
Instead, learn to communicate with your boss frequently, and not just when you (or she) wants something. Let them see when you’ve done something well by updating them with measurable results, or notifications of milestones that you (and your project) have reached.
Arrange regular one-on-one feedback sessions – the kind they probably talked about when you started work, but never really got around to arranging – so that you can demonstrate what you’ve achieved, and show that you’re eager to learn and develop more. That way, you’re not just talking about your achievements, but also showing humility and engagement with your work.
You can even ask – at these sessions or whenever’s appropriate – if there are any development opportunities you should take to improve your game. If they don’t come up with much, find your classes or seminars to attend, and make sure to mention them next time you have that conversation.
Finally, figure out how much other people in your role and with your profile are earning. You can use a site like payscale.com to do this. Then aim a bit higher so you have room to negotiate, and identify a good moment to make your request for a raise.
Your boss will find it hard to argue with you if you can demonstrate that your role is worth more, that you’re dedicated to it, and that you’ve been engaged with professional development. And if they do say No, guess what – you’ve already improved your value and your profile in the industry, and you’re in a stronger position to look for a new job.
For a closer look at how to improve your profile and approach your boss for a raise, work through this new infographic from resume.io. Life is short, and if your boss doesn’t value the work you do, it’s up to you to prove her wrong!