How To Actually EARN A Raise

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We all want to be paid more for our time and efforts than we are at present, which is understandable given we’re technically earning the same we would be if it were 1984, despite the fact that costs have risen to a considerable degree. Still, raises have to be earned, and it’s important to know the difference between feeling entitled to something and actually deserving it. We asked some of our favorite girl bosses for their advice on how to legitimately secure a salary bump. Here, their best tips.

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6 Ways To Get The Raise You Want

Kathryn Minshew, Founder and CEO, The Muse

"Several months ago, a senior leader at The Muse approached me with a request. Her role had expanded considerably in the months prior, and she wanted to talk about her salary growing commensurate with the new responsibilities. I set time for the conversation—it was helpful that she let me know in advance what she wanted to talk about—and she came prepared with a thoughtful argument for how her role had changed, the market value of the new role she was performing and her desire to continue to grow at The Muse long term. In an e-mail afterward, she shared data she had gathered about market salaries, laid out in a way that made it easy for me to share with HR. We were quickly able to establish that her request was warranted and granted her the salary increase within two weeks. Her research and preparation made it easy to say yes."

Rachel Zoe, Editor In Chief, The Zoe Report

"Always be prepared. Meet with your boss with very specific intentions, know exactly what you're asking for and why you believe you deserve it. It's also important to manage your expectations."

Katia Beauchamp, CEO and Co-Founder, Birchbox

"Always show that you're paying attention to the larger strategy and vision of the company. When you share status updates with your boss, tying the results back to that strategy is a standout move at any age or level. One of our merchants came in at an entry level but was able to deliver so much value so quickly that she was promoted very fast. At that beginner level, she was already thinking about strategy—not just execution—and became invaluable to leadership. I always take notice of people who go way beyond the scope of their job."

Talia Goldstein, Founder and CEO, Three Day Rule

"Do things that scare you. That big presentation, that new client pitch—take risks even if it's not in your job description. As long as you're also getting your other work done, your boss will notice that you're putting yourself out there. Also, just say yes. If your boss needs you to fly to New York last minute, just do it. Work ethic is one of the most underrated traits out there."

Stephanie Horbaczewski, Founder and CEO, StyleHaul

"Make sure to get total clarity from your boss on what your goals are—what you will be held to in terms of performance. Then, it's up to you to set out and exceed those goals, so that when it comes time for your review, it's a straightforward conversation and you are headed for your promotion or raise. Individuals who stand out to me are those who go above and beyond what is defined in their job description, who identify areas of opportunity in the business and take the proactive initiative to work on those areas and improve and solve them."

Shauna Nep

Alisa Gould-Simon, Entrepreneur & Brand Consultant

"Always advocate for yourself as if you were advocating for your best friend. As women we tend to downplay our accomplishments or suffer from impostor syndrome. Simply negotiate on your own behalf as if it wasn't you. It'll give you a clearer picture of whether or not you're getting in your own way. Also, never make the first offer (when it comes to a raise)."