During a recent round of performance reviews, two of my reports asked for raises. One of them got it and the other didn’t.
By understanding why, you can be the guy who walks out of that conference room with a spring in his step — the guy for whom mortgage payments suddenly become less foreboding, a carbon-fiber bike seems reasonable, and the boss looks less like a ball-breaker and more like a bonus-bestower.
The single most important detail: The guy who got the raise didn’t get it because he asked for it. He got it because he’d earned it. I knew long before the meeting that he would. He’d been swinging above his weight class for a year, and it was more than deserved.
So if you want a boost in pay, here’s the first lesson: Do a bang-up job. But there’s a second lesson that’s equally important: Be patient. It usually takes time to get a raise, even a whole year. The money has to come from somewhere, after all, and it may not be there today. So unless you work for a family-run business where the owner can just whip out his wallet, getting a raise means changing your department’s overall budget, which doesn’t happen overnight. Your boss will probably have to sing your praises to his boss — and that means you need to write the lyrics for him.
So, if you work your ass off and play your cards right, here’s how to guarantee that 2015 is the year your paycheck gets bigger.