Published On: Tue, Mar 3rd, 2015

How to Get Your First Salary Increase or Promotion This Year

Getting a raise at a new job is often seen as a complicated or uncomfortable task, especially for millennials. We tend to either be too scared to seek out a salary increase or promotion at our new job, or think we’re unworthy of deserving one.

I recently posted about how I found my first job out of college after majoring in an industry that was not in demand according to society. After being at my job for 6 months, I’ve already earned a 10% raise and promotion with the opportunity for even more growth as the year progresses.

I’m here to tell you that if you’re trying to earn a raise or a promotion, 2015 will be your year. These steps will help you determine your value within your company and how to communicate it to your superiors to score a much needed pay raise.

Step 1: Get a Job You Like With Room for Growth

If you want to advance at your workplace you have to actually like your job and the work that you do. Otherwise, it will be very hard to convince your boss of your work ethic and achievements if you’re not even passionate about the work you do.

When you first started your job you should have already talked to your boss or managers about growth within the company. This is crucial because you cannot earn more or advance your responsibilities if there is no room for growth at your workplace.

Unfortunately some companies cannot afford to pay their employees what they are worth, and I have seen this in my industry where writers are often under payed for their work and undervalued.

Make Yourself Irreplaceable

Once you’ve established that there is indeed room for growth at your company, then it’s time to start making yourself an irreplaceable entity of the company. Understand your role and optimize the results you bring in. Even if your department or job title is not a necessity in the company, make your superiors believe that it is.

Be a team player, but also be highly dependable and efficient with everything you do. This will make you stand out from others who are a hassle to work with and it will secure your position for a long time.

Step 2: Research Your Industry, Excel Over Your Coworkers

Research your industry and get an idea of how much people are expected to be paid. To do this try a site like Glassdoor.com which publishes salary and reviews for many companies. If you find that you are being underpaid according to industry standards, this is all the more reason to ask for a raise. If you are seeking a promotion, you will have a better idea of how much of a raise you will seek out.

Be Pleasant and Stay Out Of Workplace Drama

Workplace drama is unnecessary, distracting, and reminiscent of high school. Getting caught up in the drama will only annoy your superiors and lessen your chances of getting a raise. It’s important to keep work separate from your personal life and remain professional at all times.

Remember that your managers may be nice people, but they are observing you and how you react in certain situations more than you think. During my first few months of work there were definitely some things I could have complained about but I kept it to myself and remained focused on the task at hand.

No one likes whiners and complainers.

If you are trying to be promoted it’s also a good idea to avoid becoming ‘besties’ with your coworkers. While my coworkers are very nice and I enjoy working with them and chatting about nonsense from time to time, I made sure to keep the relationship with my coworkers strictly work-based and apart from my personal life.

I am the youngest person at my company and I’m sure that if my boss saw getting too close with all my coworkers or worse acting immature and stirring up workplace drama, he would have thought I did not have the discipline or maturity to supervise and train employees who were older than me or anyone for that matter.

Excelling Over Others

Don’t get me wrong, most jobs are heavily focused on teamwork and the finished product, as they should be. But you’ll have to admit that supervisors and managers are placed in a higher category because they excel over others in their work. You have to be willing to work hard, go above and beyond your job requirements, and even stay late some times to stand out from others at your place of work. Making a portfolio of tasks completed and ways that you’ve benefited the company through your performance is a great way to excel over others and eventually earn more.

Step 3: Leverage Your Annual Review and Ask for Your Raise

Your mid-year or annual review can be the perfect time to seek out a raise or promotion. You will be discussing your performance, most companies receive a new budget each year, and are often looking to make some changes. It’s important to ask your boss where they think you are headed in the company and express your interest in any open leadership positions if they apply.

If you are not offered a raise, be sure to ask for one that is at least a 10% increase from your current pay. If you put in the hard work and performed well you should not act entitled but yet, very humble and deserving of pay a raise. Break out your portfolio of work or simply discuss your assets and what you’ve been able to achieve and make sure your boss understands that you are here to stay and the value you bring to the company is irreplaceable. Stay persistent and remember, you’ve earned it.

Good luck!

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LaTisha Styles

LaTisha Styles is a motivational speaker, millennial money expert, and spokesperson specializing in simple finance for millennials.
LaTisha is the producer and host of Young Finances TV, a weekly series featuring funny, insightful videos on the basics of personal finance. LaTisha has been quoted in Forbes and Mainstreet, featured in The Economist, and mentioned in US News as a top personal finance expert to follow on Twitter.
You can follow LaTisha on Twitter for daily millennial money tips to budget, invest and achieve success!
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About the Author

- LaTisha Styles is a motivational speaker, millennial money expert, and spokesperson specializing in simple finance for millennials. LaTisha is the producer and host of Young Finances TV, a weekly series featuring funny, insightful videos on the basics of personal finance. LaTisha has been quoted in Forbes and Mainstreet, featured in The Economist, and mentioned in US News as a top personal finance expert to follow on Twitter. You can follow LaTisha on Twitter for daily millennial money tips to budget, invest and achieve success!

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Did you know?

African Americans are significantly more likely to have some type of debt (94%) compared with the general population (82%). Credit card debt, student loan debt, and personal loans are all significantly higher in the African American community.

Source: Prudential’s 2013 "African American Financial Experience" study