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How to get the Raise

Figuring out how to get that raise you have wanted for so long can be confusing and disheartening for many. You've been with the same organization for a while, you're putting in the time, and for some reason others are being promoted or given raises before you. This can build resentment, quiet quitting, and hostility. Here are some guidelines to help you with getting that raise.

Step 1 - Know the metrics

Oftentimes, when you are overlooked for raises or flat out denied them, it's because you didn't meet expectations. However, if you don't know what the metrics or expectations are, then you won't know what you need to work on. Do NOT assume that the expectation is first one in the office, and last one to leave. The first six years of my career were spent in community mental health. My contract required that I do at least 1 late night a week to allow for clients to see me after they got off work. I had colleagues who would come in early and leave at 8 p.m. 3-4 nights a week and wouldn't get the max raise like I did every year that I was with the organization. This was because they missed the metric. The metric wasn't "how many hours are you at the office" but instead it was "how many hours did you bill". I would schedule six clients back-to-back and so would be able to bill 6 hours that day while others schedule 2-3 in the morning, then had a huge break, and then scheduled another 2-3 at night. I knew that the metric for the highest raise was billable hours, not hours worked. If you are unsure of the metric in your organization, ask your supervisor.

Step 2 - Working relationships

Having a good working relationship with the people who decide your raise (usually your supervisor) is just as vital as knowing the metrics. After all, that person decides how much you are worth. Figure out your supervisor's personality, and their likes / dislikes in the work place. Use a communication style that works best for your supervisor (e.g. 1 long email with all of your questions rather than hundreds of small slack messages) rather than one that works best for you. Show that you can adapt to the requirements of your supervisor's needs. You want to become that great employee, not by doing everything and overworking yourself, but by not being the "problem child". When my husband asks me about how my best employees are doing, I always respond with "oh they're great! Totally on autopilot". This doesn't mean that the employee isn't thinking but instead means that the employee knows exactly what she's supposed to do and is doing the work without me having to micromanage or steer her in the right direction.

Step 3 - Speak up

Once you know your metric, and know how to work for your supervisor, the last step is to speak up. Be open and honest about your wishes to progress within the organization or your wishes for a raise. Ask about when performance reviews occur during the calendar year and inquire about ways that you can improve your chances of getting that raise or promotion. Ask for specific behaviors or metrics you can meet throughout the year. Review these metrics and behaviors as you accomplish them in order to remind your supervisor that you are doing exactly what was asked of you.

If you are still unsure about why you aren't getting that raise or promotion that you want, feel free to reach out to one of our coaches. Together we will go through a thorough assessment of your current job performance as well as personality traits and behaviors to identify your current hurdles and create a plan to overcome them.

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