Tips for finally getting that big raise in 2017!

When it comes to tackling debt, there are only so many lattes you can eliminate from your budget. Penny pinching will certainly save you a few dollars on a weekly basis, and even hundreds over a year, but if you want to really put a dent in your debt you have to think big.

The general rule is that in order to save more, you must spend less or make more. A mix of the two is optimal, but the latter is the single best way to put extra money back in your pocket. After all, your ability to cut your spending is finite but your earning potential is not.

Also read: 5 ways spending can send you on a guilt trip

When it comes to receiving a bump in salary, the biggest hurdle is actually asking for it. We’ve compiled a list of considerations that will help you earn that ‘yes’ in 2017.

Invest in yourself

Learn extra skills that you can put to use on the job on a regular basis. For instance, if you’ve learned new design skills that eliminate the need to hire a third party designer then you’ve increased your value within your team and made yourself indispensable.

If you’re not sure where to start, think about your role and where your knowledge gaps lie. Though it varies by industry, a few popular choices include honing your computer skills (i.e. coding, design), language skills or earning a designation. Ask your colleagues what types of ongoing learning they’ve done or speak to your manager to get suggestions.

Put yourself in the role you want

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘dress for the role you want, not the role you have.’ Dressing for the next level is a start, but the key is to be the role you want. Take the time to read the job description and slowly begin to take on these new tasks.

For instance, if you want to become a manager ask to take ownership of a project or mentor junior team members. Your initiative will show management that you’re motivated and ready to take on new challenges.

Understand your value within you team

If a project could not have been completed without your guidance, make note. If you are the only team member with a particular skill set or knowledge base, make note. When it comes time to ask for a raise, it isn’t enough just to ask. You must be prepared to speak to your contributions.

Also read: 5 money questions you’re too embarrassed to ask

In fact, some of the items on your list might be news to your boss if he or she is not directly involved in your day-to-day work. Create a list of your accomplishments and save any emails from team members that include accolades for jobs well done.

Understand your value within your industry

Speak to others in your field to get a sense of salaries for your level. Look at job postings for similar roles with competitors and speak to a recruiter. Doing your research will make you look prepared and give you extra proof points when it comes time to speaking to your manager.

Apply to other roles

Beyond just looking at job postings, interview with other organizations. This is a good way to get a sense of your worth within the industry. If you get an offer at a higher salary, take it to your boss to see if it can be matched.

This is often an effective way to get a raise, but the caveat is that you must be ready to take the offer if your boss chooses to find a replacement instead of giving you the raise.

Timing is everything 

Gain a solid understanding of how your company is run. For instance, when is the fiscal year end? When is budgeting done? If a new budget is around the corner, your boss will have an idea of how much money is available for the year which makes it the perfect time to ask for your raise. Make sure to do this well in advance of budget or fiscal year to give ample time to factor in your raise.

Once you’ve done all of the above, just ask. The worst that can happen is a ‘no,’ and if you’re thoroughly prepared, the answer is more likely to be a ‘yes.’ If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Even a modest increase in salary can help bump your loan repayments and squash hundreds of dollars of interest over the long term – with absolutely no changes to your spending. So go ahead and enjoy that latte, strategize your raise and gain financial freedom in 2017.

Also read: Signs your emotions are controlling your spending

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Pira Kumarasamy

Pira Kumarasamy is a Toronto-based freelance writer and communications consultant in the financial space. She has a background in economics and enjoys making complex financial topics relatable to the average Canadian. Her areas of interest include financial markets, student loans and real estate. You can reach her on Twitter (@FrugaFinance) or LinkedIn.