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Because it’s been a year since you got one. Because you work hard. Because you do your job well. Because you’re always on time. Because you need one. Because you won a big deal award. Because a headhunter called you and told you about a job that is like yours and it pays more. Because you want to buy a house. Or a car. Or a diamond ring. Or a university education for your kid. Because you worked on a pitch that won a big account. Because that last spot turned out fantastic.

One of those reasons should be reason enough for you to get the raise you so rightfully deserve should they not?

No, they should not.

You might think so. Because that’s how YOU think. You think like an employee.

If you want to get the raise you deserve, you have to start thinking like an employer. Because an employee’s reasons for believing they deserve a raise are often very different from an employer’s reasons for believing an employee deserves a raise.

And never the twain shall meet.

Or shall they?

They can.

Once you start thinking like an employer.

Here’s what employers think about when they are evaluating whether or not to give an employee a raise: Has this employee improved in the past year? Have they gotten better at their job? Do they require less hand holding and maintenance than they did a year ago? Can I trust them and their judgement in difficult situations? Have they made this company/department better? Have they saved this company money in the past year? Is their contribution more substantial than it was a year ago?

I’m sorry if you have to ask for your raise.

But if you (like most people today) have to ask for your raise, remember these three points:

FOCUS on your improvements in the past year. THINK like an employer. WRITE down your (I mean your employer’s) reasons before the meeting. (Don’t worry. Writing it down isn’t dorky. What’s dorky is wasting the opportunity to get it right because your memory isn’t as great as you think it is. Especially if these sorts of conversations make you nervous.) BE SPECIFIC. Be prepared to ask for exactly how much of a raise you would like instead of being vague and hoping they come back with the number you were hoping for. Telepathy is a fool proof recipe for disappointment.

Do those four things and you’ll have increased your chances exponentially

And hopefully your income too!

Good luck!

~ heidi