4 Tips For Snagging More Than A Cost-of-Living Raise

A cost-of-living raise is nice. But it would be a whole lot nicer if your annual raise actually made a significant difference in your paycheck. Sure, it helps to keep up with inflation. But a raise that goes above and beyond the minimum helps you feel more financially secure and builds self-confidence as well. If you want to surpass the standard cost-of-living raise, you’re going to have to do more to get more. The following tips will help you get a raise you can get excited about.

cost of living raise

1. Stand Up And Stand Out

If you’re blending into the crowd, just doing what needs to be done to get by, your boss isn’t going to feel compelled to give you a major salary boost. However, if you volunteer to be in charge of challenging projects, make innovative changes that contribute to increased profits, and take burdens off your manager and put them on your own shoulders, you’re taking steps toward getting the salary increase you want. Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. Who would you be more likely to give a merit raise to—someone who clocks in at nine, leaves at five, and shuffles papers all day or someone who stays late developing creative strategies that end up landing the company a huge client? The choice seems obvious. If you want to make big bucks, you need to make big moves.

2. Be Assertive

Let’s say you’re going the extra mile, and you still aren’t being rewarded for your efforts. That doesn’t necessarily mean your boss hasn’t noticed or appreciated what you’re doing. He might be the type who only gives out a merit raise when someone specifically asks for it. If this is the case, waiting will leave you frustrated. If you believe you deserve a salary increase that exceeds the standard cost-of-living bump, make your feelings known

3. Back Up Your Claims

When you tell your boss you deserve a bigger raise this year, don’t base your request on opinion or personal desire. Compile the evidence you need to show your supervisor why you deserve more. Then present your evidence in an assertive and compelling fashion. If you’re able to back up your reasoning with data, it’s going to be really difficult for your boss to deny your request. You may be tempted to use your financial woes or personal problems to motivate your supervisor to comply—don’t. If you deserve the raise, you deserve it. Now explain why.  

4. Prepare Answers To Possible Questions

You’ve asked for a raise, you’ve shown why you deserve it, and your boss seems to have a hundred excuses about why she can’t give you one. She may say the company can’t afford it or she wishes she could pay you more, but it’s not in her power to go against company policies that dictate inflation-based raises only.

These tactics can be very effective at getting employees to walk out of the boss’s office feeling defeated.  But if you’re prepared for these potential responses ahead of time, and you’re armed with the right responses, it’s possible to turn the tables. For example, if your boss says the company can’t afford a salary bump, show her how you were able to save the organization X amount of dollars this year with your innovative ideas. As wrong as it may seem, many managers aren’t in a position to give you a raise unless you’re willing to push for it. Go in ready to—respectfully—explain why you deserve more than the standard 1%.

You may feel like you deserve a raise just for showing up every day. But most employers would disagree.  In order to get more than the standard salary increase, you need to be more than a standard employee. You should be exceptional and able to prove you’re exceptional. With the right amount of drive, evidence, and confidence, you can achieve your salary goals.

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