Want more? You should. It’s a natural human condition to look beyond, to think bigger and reach farther. The universe is continuously expanding— and so are we. Here’s how to get yours.

  1. Know your worth. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you don’t know your own worth, no one else will either. Find your truth. Build your case. Get social – join an industry networking group, meet your office mates for drinks, and research competitive job listings. Head hunters love meeting new people, even if you’re not job seeking. An hour with a recruitment specialist in your field can provide illuminating and objective insight on what your peers earn, the realities of your market and how you might shape your career over the long-term.
  2. Don’t ask, don’t get. If you believe the world is fair, loyalty always gets rewarded and employer’s surprise their best people with unsolicited bonuses or raises – you are, how we say, wrong. Businesses are profit-seeking enterprises driven to minimize overhead costs and, combined with the law of inertia, they simply won’t pay more than they’ve agreed on – until they must. So, step up and ask for what you want. Smart employers understand the logic of employee retention and job satisfaction and will treat a request from a valued employee with respect. They will likely do what they can to keep you feeling good about doing your work. Also, grandma was right, “squeaky wheels do get the grease”.
  3. Get on the same page. Suppose you want your salary to be $10,000 higher. How do you make the case? Book a performance review or one-on-one time with your boss and state your goal. Then – equally as important – ask what you need to accomplish, prove, or improve in order to justify that raise. Clarify a timeframe such as “by the next review”. Establish a task list to check off at each successive performance review so that you and your boss share a tracking tool for your progress and your earning expectations.
  4. Companies pay to make problems go away. Liz Ryan, HR consultant, author and Forbes.com contributor, suggests: “You can call attention to the biggest, gnarliest and most expensive problems your boss is facing, and you can say ‘I can take these on and solve them, but I need to get rid of my current responsibilities and I need a $20,000 pay increase.’” Making a sound business case for a new role or a redistribution of duties that makes your team more effective – and thus your boss’s goals more readily achievable – makes you look a lot more valuable to everyone.
  5. Get to yes and more. Never hurts to prepare yourself with some background reading. Roger Fisher and William Ury established the seminal Harvard Negotiation Project in 1979 and shared their findings in several books, including Getting to Yes and Difficult Conversations These books remain bibles in how to resolve conflict and get deals done. Getting More by Stuart Diamond is another gem. The Pulitzer Prize winning writer delves further into one of the key principles of Getting to Yes – separating the relationship or people from the problem – and applies it to everything from salary negotiations to convincing your favourite toddler to do what you want—not always mutually exclusive issues.