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How to Get a Raise (Hint: Give yourself one instead)

There are three ways to get a raise:

  1. Ask for a raise (almost never works)
  2. Get a competing offer and go to your manager (pisses your company and boss off)
  3. Give yourself a raise (best option)

I remember the first, and only, time I asked for a raise. I was a recent graduate from college and was managing the operations of a million dollar branch of a Midwest pesticide company. I was getting paid about $45,000/year, but I felt I deserved more.

It was tough to work up the courage, but having to live 45 minutes away in a tiny apartment and the realization that I was living off Ramen noodles gave me that will to ask.

I didn’t have a chance. I had absolutely nothing prepared on my market value, but I knew I wanted more money. The conversation went way better than I thought it would! We talked for a while discussed a bunch of non-work things and in the end he said he’d get work on it and get back to me! Wow! What a nice guy!

2 months later, I never heard a thing and the only feedback I got was, “that thing you asked me about…I’m still working on it.”

It was a good experience, though, in that it prepared me for future salary negotiations. Later, the same company would promote me to a sales representative and give me an $8,000.00 raise plus commission without asking for it. And that is how you give yourself a raise. Change jobs within the same company that pays more.

I’ve also gotten a raise using a competing offer. I got an offer for a few thousand more dollars and then brought it to them and then they gave me a $12,500 raise to counter it, but I did that the wrong way. If I had wanted to stay at hat company, I should’ve said, “Mike, I got another offer, but I’m not going to take it. But what does my future look like here?”

My advice to you is this: Give yourself a raise by working hard and efficient and/or transition to a sales job where you can earn commission. Here are a couple steps you can do to work harder:

  1. Turn off the TV (HGTV consistently shows reruns from 5-7 years ago…really?)
  2. Work AT LEAST 2 hours per night on research, proposals, and education

Try these two steps and you’ll find you’ll give yourself a raise in no time.

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