How to Get a Raise
Tech workers saw a 1.9% pay raise last year according to the 2014 Dice Tech Salary Survey. Does that feel like enough? How do you get the raise you feel you merit?
Make Sure You Are a Known Quantity
Market yourself, and use numbers – this is just like advice you hear all the time about touting your quantifiable accomplishments on your resume. Make sure you are giving a recap of your accomplishments in your reports or office meetings, using these quantified data points.
Be Present and Presenting
Not every interaction in a presentation but keep in mind that you choose your presence. Each time you interact with your boss and supervisors and colleagues, you have an opportunity to communicate with them about what you are doing and accomplishing. So rather than gripe about that bothersome client, highlight a sale, lead, new feature, code fix, or other solution you found to help promote the business.
Does your boss hate keeping track of the commission list, or especially appreciate an informal Monday morning recap before the meeting, or be relieved at some other time-saving service you understand benefits him/her. This doesn’t mean coffee-serving subservience where inappropriate, it means finding opportunities to be a great and reliable team-player.
Take every opportunity to maximize return and provide value. This sounds simple and straightforward but you’d be surprised how sometimes people ignore making a suggestion that could better the process/product, save some money, generate a new lead, be useful to someone in need in another department or role, because they somehow don’t feel it is part of their job area. Provide value to your company in your role and without – Merit that raise!
Ask for the Raise
If you don’t have a formal review coming up, take your boss to lunch or ask for a meeting. Tell your boss you want a raise and pitch him/her on your proposal and be prepared to demonstrate concrete examples of how your work warrants that raise. Share a vision of how your work will continue to benefit the company.
Know Your Market Value
To be prepared, you should know what other accomplished professionals in your sector and responsibility and experience level are earning. There are all kinds of salary resources on the web of course, but you can also refer to job ads, speak with a recruiter, and ask friends and colleagues in your network to get a good picture of the salary and benefits packages for competitive roles.
If at first you don’t succeed, figure out the right timing and approach to try again. Being tenacious and affirming your objectives will keep a potential raise on your boss’ radar. Your ambition is an important part of how your salary will grow over the course of your career, making sure your employer is on board with that growth requires a dialogue and a trajectory.
If you’ve tried and tried and you aren’t getting anywhere, perhaps you are in the wrong place. It may simply be time to move on. With the competition in the tech market, many companies are willing to offer more to recruit new talent. And those who aren’t willing to pay more to retain their talent will be paying more for it later. Twenty-five percent of tech workers who changed employment in 2014 did so for compensation reasons; you can too.