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How to Get a Raise from Your Employer

Updated on January 15, 2015
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Ms.Treadwell is a licensed attorney and the author of "How Do Hurricane Katrina's Winds Blow: Racism in 21st Century New Orleans."

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Liza Lugo, J.D.
Liza Lugo, J.D. | Source

How to Get the Money You Deserve

I am 40-something years old and have worked many different jobs in my lifetime (26 years of work experience), particularly, before I went to college and pursued my degrees with a vengeance, as if time was running out for me (I was only 33 years old when I went to college). I started working at 14 years old with my grandmother in a ladies’ dress shop in Spanish Harlem; and, from there, I tried bookkeeping, reception work, waitressing, retail, and banking. I then launched into a near-decade long career in college admissions and determined there was only so far I could go without my “sheepskin” on the wall. So, I went to law school and started my legal career.

With all of my employment experience, I realized, early on, that there is a top number employers are willing to pay for a certain position; and, once you maximize that amount, it is time to get another position, promotion, more education, or another employer. So consider these factors when asking for a raise. Most importantly, realize that you have great authority over what you can make. You do not have to settle for "peanuts." Although it might seem unbelievable, I have never been denied a raise when I requested one. Here are my top 10 ways for getting the raise you think you deserve.

Ten Ways to Get That Raise

1. Get over the fear of asking. The worst thing the employer can say is “no”; and then you are in no worse position than you were before you asked. Think about all the positive qualities you have as a person. It will pump you up and give you the confidence you need to ask for the raise. You cannot go in your supervisor’s office like a mouse begging for a piece of cheese.

2. Get realistic. Take a look at your job description and be honest with yourself on whether or not you are meeting the requirements, goals, etc. You get paid for the job you do. You get the raises for going beyond expectations.

3. Make a list of why you deserve the raise. Consider all the ways you have exceeded the requirements of the job, bring value to the company, and stand out from other employees in the same position or salary range. If you stay later than others because you want to accomplish more or get ahead of a deadline, that’s a positive thing. List all the things you do outside your job description to help others or the company. If you brought things to “the executive table” to improve conditions and job performance, put it on your list. The amount of time you have dedicated to the company is also relevant.

4. Make a list of all the positive things about your company. This is a great way to start the conversation. “I want to let you know why I like working here…”

5. What is the salary range for your position? Check with the company’s human resources representative and find out what the salary range is for your position and the range for your supervisor. It will be an impossible task to ask for a range that falls into that of your supervisor. He or she may not be making that much more than you are.

6. Consider a promotion to get the higher salary you want. Check with the company’s human resources representative for any openings within the company that pay more than what you are earning now; and determine whether you meet the qualifications for those positions. Because, if you are turned down for a raise, you can alternatively ask your supervisor to recommend you for a higher position if you are qualified.

7. Educate yourself. On your own, take a class here or there (or start a certification or degree program) that relates to your industry or specific job. It’s another plus for you to discuss with your supervisor in asking for the raise or promotion. You will be viewed as a more valuable employee.

8. Compare to negotiate. Look at other companies where your skills are applicable and valued and compare salaries for the industry. See if they have openings, and put in an application (just in case). This is the way you can give yourself a raise. If you get an offer, you can always use this as a negotiating tool. Tell your supervisor that you prefer to stay with him or her or the company and give the reasons why you prefer not to switch employers to get the money you deserve

9. Make the time. Schedule an appointment with your supervisor so that you can get the time you need to present your case and negotiate a raise. You are more likely to get the raise if your supervisor has set aside an allotted time to discuss it with you. To get the appointment, find when your supervisor has a free moment and ask permission to schedule an appointment for you to discuss your position and value to the company. Once in a while, you’ll get the response “I can talk with you now.” So be prepared just in case. Don’t walk into his or her office out of the blue and interrupt his or her project, phone call, work, or meeting. This might seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many coworkers I knew that did one of those things and then got shot down for the raise

10. Talk about what the company needs not about what you need. It will fall on deaf ears if you start with “I need more money for: rent, my kid’s college, new car, I’m having trouble making it, etc.” It’s all about the company: “here’s what I have done to improve this company; I’m an asset to this company because…; I have some (great, important, progressive) ideas I’d like to share to improve (production, customer service, increase revenue) for this company.”

Stay confident and true to your ideals and work ethic. If this company or job is not right for you, admit that to yourself; and do what you need to do to move forward economically. You might just have to give yourself the raise you want.


Thanks to Tiger Mom for inspiring me to write this Hub.

Special Thanks to the HubPages Community!

This Hub was selected by the HubPages community as a Hub Nugget winner! I'm very excited. Thank you so much to those of you in and outside the HubPages community who voted. I am truly honored.

By Liza Lugo, J.D.

Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Ms. Lugo retains exclusive copyright and publishing rights to all of her articles and photos by her located on Hub Pages. Portions of articles or entire content of any of these articles may not be used without the author's express written consent. Persons plagiarizing or using content without authorization may be subject to legal action.

Permission requests may be submitted to liza@lizalugojd.com.

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    • geminitrudy profile image

      geminitrudy 5 years ago

      All of these are great tips! Another area I recommend you address is appearance. If you work in a white collar profession I recommend dressing as if you are already in the next position up. This more polished look will also help your employer visualize you in that position as well as show that you care about your company's image and your position within it.

      Voted up and useful!

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks for taking the time to read my Hub and for commenting. Good tip about appearance :-)

      Thanks for the vote up!

    • Tiger Mom profile image

      Tiger Mom 5 years ago from New York

      Hi lawdoctorlee,

      First of all, you are welcome. It is my pleasure to offer inspiration to such a prolific writer. Like you, I too, reinvented myself later in life after traveling down many different roads. Congratulations on finding fulfillment in your accomplishments and sharing your wisdom. Voted up and awesome!

    • georgiecarlos profile image

      georgiecarlos 5 years ago from Philippines

      Great hub! I especially like your first tip. Even though I am still a student, I learned that you won't get anywhere if you are too afraid to ask. It took me quite some time to realize that the worst thing that will happen to me is a rejection- it's not like I will get hurt or anything.

      Good work! voted up!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      You hit the nail on the head with number 10. It's not about what you need, but what value you bring to the company. You want to show them that you're far more valuable to them than what they're paying you. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Tiger Mom, thank you so much for taking the time to read my hub and for commenting. I so appreciate your kind words and the up votes. I always give credit to my inspiration.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks, georgiecarlos, for taking the time to read my Hub and for your comments. We must learn to take rejection in stride. It's not the end of the world. I appreciate the vote up.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      The Finance Hub, thank you so much for taking the time to read my Hub and for your comments. So glad to hear from an employer that thinks this Hub is "great work." I so appreciate the vote up.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thank you so much, alocsin,for taking the time to read my Hubs and for your comments. It's very true that, in talking to one's supervisor, it's about what value you bring to the company. They're already paying you for the work you do. I appreciate the up votes.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 5 years ago from India

      You have provided a good positive attitude towards work and feel better while doing your work. thanks for SHARING:)

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      You're welcome, Trsmd! Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub and for your comments. Gotta keep that attitude positive :-)

    • Casey Strouse profile image

      Casey Strouse 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I've always been able to get raises by demonstrating to my boss what I've been doing in the way of self-improvement on my personal time and showing them that I care enough about my industry and the company to do everything in my power to become an expert on the subject. I've even had one company pay me a higher wage AND pay for books and courses for me to get better.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Casey Strouse, thanks so much for taking the time to read my Hub and for your your insightful comments.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Very positive way of addressing this issue!

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. To all who would like to read and vote and support the Hubnuggets, this way please: https://hubpages.com/community/HubNugget-Mystery-T...

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      ripplemaker, thank you so much for taking the time to read this Hub and for your comments. I'm glad you think this was positive.

    • profile image

      Cheyenne 2 years ago

      Thanks for helping me to see things in a diefnreft light.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Cheyenne, thank you for taking the time to read this hub and for your comment. I'm glad you found this helpful. Good luck to you in all your future endeavors. May the new year bring you many wonderful things.

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