In today’s world of extreme competitiveness, asking for a raise is a delicate issue. But with March around the corner and the appraisal cycle in its last phase, it's time you pull up your socks and act to add a digit (or two ) to your pay cheque. Here are a few ways to get a raise without asking for one (or getting fired, of course)!
Bring in new business, even if you are not in sales. It’s the perfect way (and in some cases, the only way) to get noticed by the big bosses. Market your organization to your contacts and networking circles, get projects for them and earn some brownie points (and hopefully a raise too).
Everyone loves to look good in the eyes of their seniors, and your boss is everyone too. S/he too wants a raise just as much as you do. So a bit of a praise (not flattery), and some public appreciation of your boss's leadership skills will turn out to be beneficial for both of you.
Okay, while no one is indispensable, the key is to hold a set of important keys in your hands. Besides working on your KRAs (key responsibility areas), take up tasks that may seem trivial but hold an important place in the work chain. Stand out – it’ll make your bosses realize how productive you are, and that big fat raise shouldn’t be too far.
Stay on the cutting edge of your industry and your area of expertise. Don’t just own a set of required skills, be a pro at something - so much so that you become the go-to person for that area. The idea is to stay alert and reach out before people even realize there’s an issue. Your bosses will take notice in no time.
Get mentored by someone two or three levels above you – someone who is super-fab at their work (and at networking), and whose opinion carries a significant amount of influence over the super-bosses’ perception. That way, when the management is contemplating on who gets the next assignment or promotion (or raise), that someone at the table will be advocating for you.
From organizing the Christmas party in office to arranging a talk on breast cancer for fellow employees, volunteer for tasks that no one wants to do. Never think of them as petty. These efforts showcase your willingness to be a team player and the bosses will think you’ll stay with them for longer than the others. Brownie points again, yay!
Think a high-profile assignment or a prestigious project. This may not entirely be in your hands, but you must try. That’s where your social and networking skills come in the picture. And, of course, having a mentor helps. Instead of whining about how much work you already have, show your bosses how you can bring value to other projects too and create an impact.
Let the bosses know (super-subtly) that there are lucrative alternatives lingering in the background. But please don’t sound like you are giving them an ultimatum - for all you know, that might make them fire you first during downsizing! Highlight your key accomplishments and contributions at the company, then mention to your boss what you are hoping for – casually but clearly.
Acknowledge the fact that as important as your awesomeness at your job is, what your teammates say or think about you is equally important. Be adaptable. Brand or re-brand yourself and position it well. Take the opportunity to toot your own horn without the appearance of bragging, especially among the right people. Most importantly, don’t crib!
Now that you know how to play your cards, don’t wait until your annual review to raise the topic of your raise. Most often than not, by then the decisions are already made. Act about two months ahead of the review, and ask your boss to schedule some time for you to discuss your performance. Bring up all your documented accomplishments so that there is substance to what you're saying.
P.S: Tell us which of the above points worked for you, and we will use them with our bosses to get a raise too!
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