You deserve a raise. Or a promotion. You’re pretty sure you’ve earned it.
Now what? When is the best time to ask for a raise — that perfect moment when you’re most likely to get a yes? And if you don’t get it—or that promotion you are due — what can you do to get it next time? Are there really ways to boost your odds?
These are topics that several LinkedIn Influencers weighed in on this week. Here’s what two of them had to say:
Liz Ryan, chief executive and founder at Human Workplace
“You could go through your whole career in some jobs without ever asking for a raise… (but) there's something very important that happens to you when you have to speak up for your own value,” wrote Ryan in her post The Five Best Times to Ask for a Raise. When you can value your own contribution to the team and your company in a way that your boss “has to acknowledge the gap between your contribution and your compensation, that's an empowering moment,” she wrote.
What are the right grounds for asking for a raise? Among them:
“You can get a raise if you can make the case that you're underpaid relative to other people who do the work you do,” wrote Ryan.
“You can pitch your boss on a salary increase if you've taken on a big new responsibility that makes the organisation money or saves money for them,” she wrote.
“If somebody quit or got laid off and you took over their duties, you've got a case to make, also,” Ryan wrote.
Now you have the grounds for a bump in pay, but “in any of these scenarios, timing is a huge factor,” Ryan wrote. “You can’t wait for your annual review meeting, because by then your manager has already proposed your new salary” and gotten it approved by management.
Ryan suggested first having something to show the boss, “a roadmap for your future in the organisation.”
“If you want to lobby for more than whatever your employer's standard pay bump is, you have to bring up the topic three months before your performance review meeting, at least,” she wrote. Show the boss your roadmap, what you can do for the company and the responsibilities or added value you’ve brought to the company.
“We may not get exactly what we ask for, or perhaps not the first time we propose it, but we have to know what we're worth and be able to make the case for our own value,” wrote Ryan. “We need to be able to negotiate for our worth the same way we'd negotiate buying or selling a house or a car.”
Alex Malley, chief executive at CPA Australia
You were so sure the promotion would be yours. But then, someone else got the title. “Early in my career I witnessed what I deemed to be travesties of justice as my colleagues were promoted ahead of me,” Malley wrote in his post Why Did Someone Else Get Your Promotion? “After many years, I got my senses around how to effectively position myself for a promotion.”
How can you do it, too? Malley offered five keys to making yourself invaluable — and landing a new title. Among them:
“Look outside, not in. Spend time observing external environments that ultimately will affect your organisation’s future. Study trends, commentaries, and any other information that sends relevant signals about what is occurring in your sector,” he wrote. “Begin to socialise these topics with operational and senior colleagues. Become known as the person who is wired in to what is going on in the market place.”
“Work for respect, not popularity. In the short term, promotions come and go — in the long game, respect builds a positive career trajectory. To build sustainable respect… exhibit the capacity to look for solutions when others may have given up,” suggested Malley. “Being the positive voice when difficult issues arise will set you apart in the minds of your colleagues, and leave the clear impression that you can be relied upon in difficult or complex circumstances.”
“Avoid being typecast. You must periodically test your employment relevance by mapping your skills against advertised roles, sometimes applying for different jobs, or having conversations with recruitment firms,” Malley wrote. “This keeps you attuned to your own professional growth, or otherwise, and informs you for a better conversation at performance review or promotional opportunity times. It is a lot easier to build your case for promotion when you have an objective sense of your value in the market.”
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