5 Steps I Took to Increase My Salary by $20,000 in Two Years

For most people, earning a livable income is essential for living a financially balanced life. Unfortunately, in today's economic landscape most recent college grads and job seekers are faced with relatively low entry salaries that come along with hefty responsibilities.

I am not the exception.

After being laid off from my second job in 2 years I decided to put my degree to work and went on to join Americorp, eventually becoming a full-time member of my host sites staff. After converting from Americorp where my salary was $13,000 and I was started with a salary of $28,500 and through performance and asks I was making $45,000 by the time departed 2 years later.

The pointers below apply to traditional jobs. I recognize that salary raises for county, city, federal, and state employees are regulated and less flexible.

Here are a few of my salary increase pointers before you go in and ask for a raise.

  1. Perform
    You will not get a raise if you do not perform point-blank. This means exceeding expectations, pouncing on opportunities for improvement and showing interest in growing in the company. I was staying late, cleaning after events, and going above and beyond my scope of work.

  2. Track Your Performance
    When I was preparing to ask for a raise I cited my accomplishments in my requests. For example I exceeded expected revenues by$11,000 and made mention of it. How can you resist retaining someone who makes money for you?

  3. Know Your Worth
    Be realistic in your request. Find out what people are getting paid to do your job in similar roles in similar cities. When I was researching incomes for my role I limited it to major cities. If you're living in Omaha,Nebraska don't look up NYC salaries because the cost of living affects the salaries. If most people are making 65k for your position don't ask for 80k (unless your job just seems like the type to pat more than average). Also don't ask for a raise if you know you have performance issues that need to be corrected.

  4. Find Out Who Ultimately Can Make the Decision
    I worked in a small non-profit so the ED made the decision. But in some cases at larger companies it's not totally up to your boss. Make a genuine friend in HR to find out who holds that key.

  5. Ask
    During one of my performance review my boss offered a $3,000 raise. I believed I deserved slightly more and wanted to go up to the next income bracket so I asked for $7,000 instead and got it!

I eventually ended up leaving this job for one that had increased job responsibilities, an increased salary, paid 100% of my benefits, and offered me 14 more vacation days a year. So MY FINAL RECOMMENDATION is know when it's time to move one. Know when you have either reached a performance, compensation, or passion plateau.

Have you successfully negotiated raises? Remember how nerve wrecking it was? Don't forget to comment and show other readers that it can be done!

Now. Go out and make your money girl!

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