Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Want a Raise? Got These Traits?

I recently came across this Hot Jobs article about How to Get a Raise. They stressed the importance of these impressive personality traits (I’ve summarized their explanations):

1. An Owner’s Mentality – Show what you did for the company instead of listing reasons you want a raise.
2. Forward-Thinking – Work on the key goals your company has set for the future.
3. Visibility – Wall-flowers will be overlooked.
4. Charisma – You need to be able to persuade others to follow through on your plans.
5. Tough Skin – Be open for criticism so your boss knows he/she can be open with you during your reviews.
6. Empathy for the Boss – Make your boss’s job easier and getting a raise will be easier…this also means not whining when salaries are truly frozen. Simply ask to be remembered when raises are a possibility again.

I think this list is spot on. In my company, #1 (Owner’s Mentality) is the most important.  If you improve my company's product in some way, save them major money, or make them major money, you will get a raise. 
The owner of my company barely knows who I am, but everybody I work for directly seems to convince him to approve my raise every time (except during this oh-so-wonderful salary freeze).

MikeS also brought up the point that his manager looks to promote employees that consistently do more than their job requires. By doing that, an employee shows that they can perform at the next level.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

What do you think? What can help get a raise at your job?


  1. These traits I think will also help if a company might be down-sizing. I found out yesterday, that my company is reorganizing. My wife asked what does that mean for you, my response is I have no idea yet, but I'm not worried. I've been getting some good praise recently and even if my position is eliminated, I believe there are some people that would find a spot for me. I view it as more of an opportunity. Maybe a position that's a promotion will open up and I'll be a candidate for it.

    Bottom-line, if you don't have any of the above traits, why would a company want to give you a raise?

  2. MikeS, yep. Right now my company has had us on a salary freeze since November 2008, but they always gave the best raises to the people who either saved the company money or made the company money. It just makes sense, right?

    Hopefully I'll have good news at the beginning of May...

  3. Makes perfect sense. It doesn't make sense to reward those who do not do anything for the company. That being said, my company gives 2 bonuses a year. I switched jobs within the company so I missed the January raise, and I will probably not get as good a raise as I usually get (probably decreased in half) because I am taking maternity leave.

  4. Julie, I love the fact that you have realistic expectations and a plan.

    A woman here threatened to sue when she didn't get a raise during a bi-annual review a few years ago. She had been gone for 5 of the 6 months that were being reviewed...let's just say I was wondering what had she expected?

  5. This is great advice and I agree with #1 being the most important at my company. If you can't show how you add value, why would they add value to your salary?

  6. Kate, yeah, I've never worked for anybody that just gave raises because they felt generous...even cost-of-living adjustments around my company are higher for people who add value.

  7. In addition to the things you listed above (which I think are important) literally asking for a raise can help. Not too many places are randomly handing out raises now, but asking can help bring that about.

  8. Jackie, good point!

    My job has reviews every 6 months and they put off money talk until then. Many companies don't have built-in talking periods, so you have to approach the issue yourself.

    I'd put together a list of points to hit and schedule a meeting with your supervisor. If you can show tangible results, you may be rewarded if you take the initiative and ask.

    Thanks Jackie!

  9. Ummm...crappy update. My job has moved everybody who's been there for more than 3 years to annual reviews. That means I'm not eligible for a raise until November...2 year company-wide salary freeze.

  10. Bummer!!!!! That's quite annoying. Maybe all the money you're going to make from this will make up for the lack of a raise. :-)

  11. MikeS, I love the way you think! ;-)

    I'll worry about the content and be happy with any money that may come in (the $0.70 I've made since I started already makes me smile).

    I just want an online community...this blog is perfect for that. :-)