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You think you deserve a raise. Now what?

Positioning yourself to be considered for a raise takes planning, hard work and good relationships with your bosses.

I've been working as a media relations coordinator since September 2018 and have truly loved it. I work with a small but experienced team of champion women who teach me new things from how to navigate work-life balance and write compelling releases to trendy restaurants in Highland Park. I'm the youngest and most junior person on my team, so I've used the past two years to learn everything I can from my colleagues. What have I learned you ask? Well aside from tossing my heels for a pair of comfy and trendy lace-up oxfords, one takeaway shines brighter than the rest. ​Know your value. The real questions is, how do you convince your employer to reflect how much they value you in your paycheck?


You can be nearly 100% sure that even the mention of a raise or promotion will be brought up if you don't initiate the conversation. This doesn't mean that you have to be brash, but it does require forthright, timing and thoughtfulness. If you have regular one-on-one meetings with your manager, take that opportunity to have a conversation about your future with the company. Or maybe your annual review meeting is a good time to look at how far you've come and where you might go in the next fiscal year. Whenever you do it, make sure you're in the right headspace and have prepared.


I feel confident in my relationship with my manager. We share about each other's lives and she candidly shares life and career advice. Having good rapport by earning her respect through my high work performance and developing a personal relationship made the conversation about wanting a promotion much easier. I trust that she listens to what I have to say and advocates fervently on my behalf, which unfortunately, is hard to come by in a manager.


Obviously, you want a promotion because it comes with a raise and more money is good – and needed. However, there needs to be more substance to your case for why you deserve a bump. Tout your successes, areas of growth and contributions to the team and department. If you feel like you need leverage to add a sense of urgency, explain what your goals are for the future and what you'd need from your employer to make staying a possibility. If they value what you bring to the table, they might be more inclined to make things happen to keep you around. If you need a refreshed on how to give a good interview, this article may help. And this article may help prepare you for a virtual conversation if you'll be talking to you manager via Zoom.


No one is perfect, but if you plan to request a promotion any time soon, your work and attitude has to speak to your skills and qualifications. If possible, take on projects or tasks beyond and above your pay grade to challenge yourself and prove that you can handle it. All the while, make sure you're juggling your normal duties thoroughly and seamlessly. You position now should be a breeze because you're ready to take it to the next level.


After every proactive campaign or successful media placement, we send a recap email to the clients to showcase our work. Sometimes we'll get a response with praise or thanks for the work we did, and you can bet that I archive those emails to include in my annual review. Positive feedback from higher ups like the CEO or department chairs singing your praises undeniably makes you look good.


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