How to get a REAL raise in 5 simple steps

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You work hard, but if you’re being honest with yourself, when was the last time you worked hard on getting paid what you deserve?

When was the last time you went to the company you work for and told them what you’re worth?

Some people work for 10, 20, or even 30 years and never tell a company how much they should be getting paid.

I don’t want that to happen to you.  That’s why I’m going to give you the exact steps you need to take to get the raise you deserve.

The US Census Bureau reported that the median income in America went up a measly 0.9% in 2018.  At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average price of consumer goods went up 1.7% in 2018.

So, to make that a little clearer, the same amount of money in 2017 will buy you less in 2018.  And unfortunately, most people didn’t get a raise to keep up.

Going to the Bible, The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Romans.  The letter can be found in the book of Romans.  In Romans 4:4 he says, “When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.”  Unfortunately, too many people look at their paycheck as a gift, instead of looking at it as something they’ve earned and deserve.

This is why Payscale reports almost 50% of workers feel underpaid.

You must understand, the employer’s goal, whether consciously or subconsciously, is to pay you the minimum needed to get the maximum output.  This doesn’t make them good or bad — it’s just business.

You need to make it your priority to always ask for what you’re worth.

You cannot rely on a company or someone else to determine your value.

The goal is not to be greedy. The goal is to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, and the people you love.  Also, remember, asking for a raise is the simplest and fastest way to make more money.

A 30-minute conversation can help you make an extra $20,000 per year.

With all that being said, here are five steps you can use to finally get a REAL raise.

Build A Relationship with Your Manager

Donald Dell, an attorney, and author of the book Never Make the First Deal Except When You Should.  In his book, he said, “All things being equal, people like to do business with friends. And all things not being equal, people still like to do business with friends.”

You don’t have to be best friends with your manager or your supervisor but you need to have a positive relationship that goes beyond asking “How was your weekend?” on Monday mornings.

Here are seven tips you can use to build a better relationship with your manager.

1.Leverage commonalities

What things do you have in common?

You may be shocked to find out you have more in common with your manager than you think. Make the effort to find common ground because that’s the easiest way to build a relationship.

2.Stop Complaining and Being Negative

Often, people go to their manager to complain about co-workers, complain about workload, complain about someone outside of the organization — just stop.

People don’t like negativity.

Try to keep that out of the workplace and try to be positive.

3.Go to Manager with Solutions, Not Problems

Too often, when people have something they can’t solve, they just go tell the manager, with no possible solution.

If you’re going to bring a problem to your manager, at least try to have a solution even if it’s wrong.

4.Share Praise Whenever Possible

If people mention you did well on something, try to also mention the role your manager played.   This will serve as an unexpected compliment your manager would appreciate.

5.Help Whenever Possible

If you hear your manager’s working on a project, even if it’s outside of your current role, offer to help.

6.Ask for Help

What I mean when I say “ask for help” is go to your manager and help validate a solution you’ve already come up with. This will keep them involved and will allow your manager to see the critical thinking that you’re putting into the work you’re doing.

In addition, it feels good when you ask them for their opinion, because they feel like you actually value their opinion

7.Always Under-Promise, Over-Deliver

Don’t say you can have something done by X date, without being sure you can meet X date.

Why not give a date that you know for sure you can hit and then get it in sooner? That’s a lot better.

If your manager can count on you doing what you say you’re going to do, it will definitely improve your relationship.

Determine Exactly How Much You Should Be Paid

One of my team members came to me and said, “I deserve a raise.”  I responded by asking, “How much do you think you should be paid?”  His response was, “I don’t know, but I’ve been here three years, and I’m doing a good job.”

Basically, he was relying on me to determine how much he was worth.

You don’t want to be in that position.

You should already know what you’re worth, and come to the table telling your manager how much you deserve.

Here are some resources you can use to determine how much you should be getting paid.


It’s a free salary calculator that provides a free salary report based on information about you. They will give you a range of what you should be making based on your exact information.

Glassdoor Know Your Worth

This free tool allows you to enter your title, location, and other details and will tell you approximately what you should be making.

They have a salary tool with a huge database of salaries.  You can pay to get a personalized report.

Linkedin Salary

This shows you the base salary of any given job title and includes details like bonuses and stock options.


Recruiters in your industry are making offers and seeing resumes day in and day out.  They get paid to do this.

They also get excited if you ask them about opportunities because this gives them a chance to promote you to companies, allowing them to make money.

Call recruiters in your industry and ask them how much people are getting paid for your similar experience.

Old Colleagues at Different Companies

Talk to old colleagues that work at different companies. Oftentimes, because these people are outside of your company, you can get a realistic opinion about what you can expect to be paid.

Now you know how to develop a relationship with your manager, you know how to determine how much you should be getting paid, next…

Show Proof You Deserve More Money

You need to show that you’re producing more than you were hired to produce.

Are you managing more people?

Are you managing larger budgets?

Are you creating systems that make the company more efficient?

You want to track your results in a log.  You also want the results to be quantifiable.

For example, THIS activity increased revenue by THIS much.

And money is not all that matters.

Here’s a list of results that you may have impacted that create value:




  Customer service


Impacting any of these things positively shows you’re adding value to the company. You can use your log to guide the conversation with your manager as well.

After you’ve logged your results, the next step is…

Pick the Right Time

Timing is very important.  Picking the wrong time may make it impossible for your boss to give you a raise, even if you deserve it.

Here are some things you need to consider when you’re trying to pick the right time to ask for a raise.

Don’t Wait Until Your Performance Review

The reason you shouldn’t wait for your performance review is that typically the increases have already been determined and passed through several departments before your manager ever even sits down with you.

This is why you want to have the conversation ahead of any performance reviews.

Understand Current Company Financial Performance

Has the company recently announced positive or negative results?

If your company is going through hard times, even if you’re performing, you can’t go to them and try to ask for more money.  You should make sure you understand where they currently are financially before you try to ask for more money.

Does Your Recent Performance Warrant a Raise?

Have you just completed a successful project?

Have you just brought on a new client?

Have you just implemented something that added value to the company?

You want to make sure you’ve just done something that has added value to the company. These are the best times to ask for raise.

Schedule Time with Manager

Make sure you schedule the time with your boss, so they can be prepared.

Don’t just walk in the office and tell the boss, “Hey, I want to make more money.”

It’s going to throw them off guard, it’s going to frustrate them, they’re already busy working on something, so just take the time to schedule the meeting with them so they can actually prepare.

Take Time to Do Your Research

Make sure you’ve done your research and you’ve prepared properly before trying to meet to talk about a raise. Don’t rush it.

Make sure you developed that relationship, you know exactly how much you’re worth, then you want to schedule that time.

By now you’ve developed a relationship with your manager, you’ve determined how much you’re worth, you’ve documented your performance the right way, and you picked the right time to ask.  Now is the fifth and final step in the process of getting a real raise…

Meet with Your Manager

When you meet with your manager to ask for a raise there are some important best practices you need to consider.

Initially Ask in Person

Do not start off by asking for a raise in an email. Nowadays, people don’t like face-to-face conversations, because it makes them uncomfortable.

Look, talk to them in person.

They can see where you’re coming from.  You can see their body language, and you can better understand their responses.

If you’ve initially asked for your raise in person, all follow-up can be via email.

Focus on You and the Team

It’s important when you’re meeting with your manager to focus on you and the company as a team.  Focus on positive improvements you’ve noticed since being a part of the team and get confirmation from your manager of these positive results.

Things like, “Hey I really think we’re gelling together well. The client has really started to say some good things, and we’ve turned that relationship around.”  Taking this approach is more of a humble way of saying you’re improving the team, while also getting your manager’s buy-in.

Show Appreciation, Gratitude, and Excitement for the Future

Remember, they are your client.  You are providing a service to this company.  You want to be grateful that they’re hiring you to provide that service.

Gratitude goes a very long way. Remember that when you’re meeting with your manager.

Be Specific

If you’ve done these other steps, if you have a good relationship with your manager, if you know exactly how much you should be getting paid, if you picked the right time, and if you documented your performance properly, you should be able to go into this meeting with confidence and be very specific about your ask.

Don’t be vague or unsure.  Confidently communicate how much you deserve.

No Ultimatums

You don’t like ultimatums, and neither does a company.

No, “Give me this or I’m going to leave.”

They already know that if you’re coming to them for a raise that you’re potentially unsatisfied and thinking about leaving.  You don’t have to say it.

Plus, if you’re paying for a service and they increased the price of that service and told you to pay it or they’ll cut the service off, it wouldn’t feel too good.  That’s what it feels like when you give an ultimatum. 

This is a horrible, horrible way of getting a raise.  Even if you’re successful, there’s a bad taste in the company’s mouth, so don’t take that approach.

These are five steps that will genuinely get you the raise you deserve.

Do not skip a step.  Do everything, and I can almost guarantee you’ll get the raise you deserve.

Even if you don’t, you’re now prepared with documentation you can take to another company and have them give you the money you want.

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