114 Tristan’s Tip : Making the Case for a Raise

On the thirtieth entry of Tristan’s Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield talks about how you can make the case for something we’re pretty sure all of us want – a raise. Take the time out to really build your case before marching up to your boss and demanding more coins.

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Tristan: What’s going on, y’all? It’s Tristan Layfield of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’ve teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. This week let’s talk about how you can make the case for something I’m pretty sure all of us want – a raise.

Have you ever been in a job and felt like you deserved a raise? Well, you can’t just ask for a raise because you feel like you deserve one, you have more bills, or you’re just in a financial bind. If it was that easy we’d all be making bank.

In order to persuade your boss that they should give you more money, you have to make your case, and to do that, you have to keep track of the things you’re doing or have done in your role. If you’re sort of lost on where to start with that, check out Episode 96 for my 25th tip on this podcast, Living Corporate, called “Keeping a Career Journal.”

Now let’s discuss a few ways you can make your case to get more coins.

Has your job grown beyond the job description you signed up for but it hasn’t been defined as part of your duties? In the project management realm, we call that scope creep. It’s a very common factor in why many of us think we need a raise. We get into a role, we become really good at things outlined for our position, and then we begin to take on other things to help the team, help our boss, or help the overall business. While all that is great and definitely things you should seek to do, you should also be compensated accordingly. Now, I’m not talking about the random one-off tasks your boss asks you to do as those are probably going to be covered under the “other duties as assigned” portion of your job description. I’m talking about the consistent recurring tasks that you’ve taken on that are outside of the scope of your role. When using this route, make sure to clearly identify and showcase the differences between your original job description and what you are currently doing to your manager to make your case.

Have you exceeded your sales goals every month? Have you driven your projects to completion early and under budget? Did you streamline processes that generated more revenue or other business results? These are great examples of adding value to your company, and they are also great points to make when requesting a raise. When companies consider giving you a raise, they want to know how you have directly contributed to their overarching organizational mission. Document these accomplishments and how they relate to the larger company goals to show your manager the value that you’ve added to the company.

This last option is a bit risky, and I would only use it as a last resort. Test your value in the market, and what I mean by that is apply to other roles, interview, and try to get an offer. If you land an offer that is higher than your current salary, use that as leverage with your employer to negotiate. Depending on your delivery, this could leave a bad taste in your employer’s mouth or your employer could decide not to budge at all. This is why I call this option risky, but I’ve also worked for companies that wouldn’t even consider giving you a raise until showed them another offer proving your expertise was worth more elsewhere. Sidenote: If your company is like that, you might want to just accept the new offer.

Making the ask for a raise can be difficult, especially if you don’t arm yourself with the reasons why you deserve the raise. Take the time out to really build your case before marching into your boss’ office demanding more coins.

This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @LayfieldResume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.

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