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How To Get a Pay Raise

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What You Must Know Before Asking For a Raise

Do you feel underpaid? Are you thinking about asking your boss for a raise? To increase your chances of success, it's important to know what your job is really worth and how to effectively approach your boss about a salary increase.

Many employees make the mistake of asking for a raise because they need more money, can't pay their bills, etc. Your personal budgeting and financial problems are not your company's problem.

Need has nothing to do with it, so it's best not to talk about need when asking for a raise. Base your request on your evaluation of your skills, productivity, job tasks, your contribution to the company, and the going rate, both inside and outside the company, for what you do. Look at the entire situation from your company's perspective, and base your approach on THEIR needs, and on what YOU can do for THEM.

The first step is to evaluate your skills and your job description, both your formal written job description, if there is one, and the tasks you do that may not be part of your formal job description.

Gather copies of your last few performance evaluations, if your company does written reviews. Concentrate on showing/reminding your boss of your tangible contributions to the company. Make a list of your accomplishments, and if possible, the dollar value of each to the company. For example: "I saved the company $20,000 this year by researching and negotiating contracts with new vendors."

Next, research salaries in your area for similar jobs. About's Job Search Guide, Alison Doyle, has links to compensation surveys that can help you get an idea of what your job typically pays, but remember that salaries will vary from one region to another, so you should be sure to find some local information as well.

When comparing and analyzing salaries, it's important to consider the financial value of your benefits and perks. If your company pays for all or part of your health insurance, this is as good as money in your pocket. The same is true of a 401(k) match, tuition assistance (if you're taking college courses), etc.

See Page Two: Do's and Don'ts of Asking For a Raise

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