by Tristen S.
Hey everyone, it’s been a while since my last post and I know you missed me
I’m going to delve back into the world of job searching after this post but in the meantime, last week’s #MillennialChat discussion on getting raises/promotions had me thinking…
So it’s your first job, heck maybe even your second job and you don’t know how to ask your boss for some extra moolah but you feel like you deserve it. I was in that same boat last year.
People kept telling me I was doing a kick-ass job but I felt under-compensated for all of the work I was doing. Lucky enough Mika Brzezinski, co-host of my favorite show, Morning Joe, put out a book called “Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth” around the same time that all of those feelings came around. The book made me feel totally empowered and put me on the right course. Pick one up, seriously (even if you’re a dude).
I felt completely inspired after finishing the book and made a course of action that put me in the right mind-frame towards earning what I felt my value was. Here’s an abridged version of that plan of action which I feel can be transferrable towards most industries:
1) Set Up a Review: It’s always important to know when you’re eligible for a review. This is a good platform for you to present your case as to why you deserve a better (and ehhemm higher) compensation. Get one on the books, and start your groundwork.
2) Prepare Your Boss: I wouldn’t go ahead and completely blind side your boss at your review and demand more money, instead, give them a heads up a week or so before the appointment that this is a topic you want on the table.
3) Advocates: You are of course your own best advocate when it comes to speaking about your work and successes however it’s always beneficial to have more people in your corner who can speak to your awesome job performance. Be able to tap them not only for advice, but also for recommendations as you prepare your case.
4) Prepare Your Case: The budget is tight in most offices, especially if you’re working in the non-profit sector like some of my colleagues in the #MillennialChat. That being said, regardless of your company’s financial state, you need to be fully prepared to discuss why you deserve more moolah. What helped me out mucho was building a Powerpoint presentation charting my big wins for the company. This isn’t something you need to do, but it’s always great to have the information written down in some capacity.
An important lesson that you learn in the marketing and ad world is that every objective needs to be measurable. So if your objective is to get a raise, point that out in the presentation and tell them how much more $$ you’d like to get – whether it’s by a percentage or dollar amount.
Without overtly throwing people under the bus, compare your performance with others around you both people at the same level as and those higher than you. This helps to establish a benchmark of what you’re actually getting done on behalf of your company. I also pointed out some errors that I either made or avoided and the ways I was able to effectively get around those.
Go back to your advocates and ask them to put together a short letter about your overall job performance. This is something that I popped into the end of the Powerpoint presentation with some pictures to try and lighten the mood some more.
5) The Review: I kind of took the reigns of my review and was the one to lead off. That won’t always be the case, I was just really close with my bosses and they knew what was coming their way.
Keep everything light-hearted and fresh – money is a difficult discussion, especially when there isn’t much of it to go around. If your boss is the lead-off, sit patiently, listen intently, heck even take notes of what they’re saying about your performance in case your short term memory is crappy. Of course by this point, being the masterful presenter you are, you’ve already gone through and practiced your delivery of this awesome document numerous times. So now that it’s the big show, be confident, not cocky, and walk through your case. Have hand-outs of the presentation and ease through everything nicely.
Remember, this is all about maintaining positivity and firm preparedness! I presented my case to my bosses and got that sweet raise. If you go through all these motions and don’t end up getting what you asked for, just take a breather and remember that it’s okay! At this point what you should do is set up a list with your supervisor of benchmarks to achieve before the topic of getting paid more is brought up again.
Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, @Tristens!