Blogger Chonce Maddox considers many things when looking for work—on top of that list is whether or not there’s room for professional growth.
Securing your first professional job right out of college is one thing, but obtaining a raise is another goal to tackle in itself. According to Payscale, while Gen Y has a reputation for being overconfident, only 37 percent of Millennials have ever asked for a raise.
I was a little scared to ask for a raise when I landed my first Grownup job out of college but luckily, my boss just gave me one after six months of work. Had he not offered, I surely would have asked.
Not to sound cocky, but I wasn’t that surprised when he offered me a 10 percent raise because I had been working toward it. Here’s how I secured a raise and promotion at just 22, and only after a few months of professional work.
Secure a Job with Room for Growth
Before graduating college, I worked a dead-end job for three years, and my employer never offered me a raise. When I asked, they only said they didn’t offer employees raises. I was working part time, and I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t a full-time employee or the company just couldn’t afford to pay more, but it sucked.
I promised myself I would find a job with plenty of room for growth after graduation, so I could have the opportunity to earn more as my skills increased. That’s just what I did. Every time I went on an interview, I made sure the company promoted growth among employees and offered raises at least once per year.
I worked at a small web design start-up with 12 employees total. It wasn’t extremely hard to stand out among my coworkers, but it also wasn’t hard to fall into their shadow, so I set out to differentiate myself and showcase my assets. Each day I showed up on time and often went above the requirements for my position.
I set out to offer value to my employer and not be a burden. I didn’t take my role for granted and was always open to improving my skills and helping the team reach monthly goals. As a part of a team, I wanted to be valued, so I showed interest in learning more and moving up within the company.
Stay out of Workplace Drama
While I don’t believe that staying out of workplace drama guarantees a raise at work, I do think it can help influence one. After all, staying away from drama with coworkers, rumors, and other disagreements leaves more time and energy to be productive and get more done.
I’m sure—like many employers—my boss was happy to hear how much my coworkers and I were able to accomplish each day because it put us closer to meeting our monthly goals. Plus, I knew my boss didn’t want to hear me complaining or having issues with coworkers. That could imply that I wasn’t mature or disciplined enough to be seen as a leader. Managers and team leaders earn more money, so I kept to myself, avoided drama at all costs, and made myself available for higher-earning opportunities.
Research Salaries and Wages
It didn’t hurt to research my position and see what other people were earning and how they were excelling at their jobs. I searched for salary levels for my job title and skillset on sites like Glassdoor.com and researched how much entry-level, intermediate, and experienced candidates can expect to earn. I could then compare my research to my salary and possibly show it to my boss if he refused to offer me a raise. While I didn’t have to bring my research to my employer, it’s nice to have as a reference.
As my needs increase and my family grows, I’ll need to earn more, so securing a raise is a value that will stay with me for a long time. Even now, I still prepare for my annual review since I view it as the perfect time to secure another raise or promotion. I bring supporting documents throughout the year that back up the claim that my skills are improving and benefiting the company. Tracking performance and staying confident is crucial because it has literally paid off.