How to Get a Raise


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Getting a Raise From the Boss

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To earn a bigger paycheck, you'll need to do more than just a top-rate job. An effective strategy for obtaining a raise also requires documenting your accomplishments, understanding your boss's expectations and researching your employer's financial health.

Start by finding out how much you're worth. Check out pay-information sites such as Salary.com, SalaryExpert.com and the Labor Department's Occupational outlook Handbook at bls.gov/oco to see what professionals in your field and geographical area are making. This will help you determine how much a pay increase is reasonable to request.

Meanwhile, ask your boss for a meeting to find out what he or she considers outstanding performance for someone in your position and how you can earn the maximum amount of pay over time at your company. Write down what you both agree on and give your boss a copy.

Next, identify ways your past work has added value to your employer's bottom line. Continuing keeping track of this information going forward. More and more, raises are becoming tied directly to performance.

Once you've established your accomplishments on paper - but before you talk to your boss - find out how your employer is performing. Many organizations have published data that you can read to gauge their financial health. If your employer is in the red and mass layoffs abound, you should probably put off your request for more money until business begins to stabilize. If you decide now is a safe time to pursue a raise, go ahead and make your case.

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