4 Steps to Making More Money at Your Job

By Miranda Marquit

Who doesn’t wish they were making more money?

When you look at your salary, do you wish you made more?

The good news is that you can almost always boost your earning power at your job. However, it’s not something you can do by simply holding out your hand and asking for a raise.

Instead, you need to take a systematic approach to making more money at your job. Here are four steps you can follow to help you increase your chances of boosting your earnings:

1. Know Your Market Value

The first step to making more money at your job is to know what you’re worth. Do your research.

Salary transparency is increasingly important to many companies, so it’s possible to see what others are paid for what you do. Look at your experience and education level — as well as your job responsibilities.

Use websites like GlassDoor, Salary.com, and PayScale. All of these websites offer information about pay. Be honest about your own skills and education, and then see what you should be getting.

If you should be getting more, take that to your boss during your next performance review.

2. Show Your Value to the Company

Let’s be honest. When you work for a company, they expect value out of you. They expect that you’ll make them money. That’s why they pay you.

If you want to make more money, you need to demonstrate your value to the company. Figure out how much you contribute. One of the things I’ve started is what I call a “brag sheet.” It’s a running list of things I’ve done of value to my employer.

That way, when it’s time for performance reviews, I can refer to it to illustrate my value to the company through how I’ve gone above and beyond. You don’t want to just present the list, but it can be useful to use as a reminder.

Also, consider that it can cost a lot to replace you. As a result, it makes sense for the company to give you a raise to keep you. While you don’t want to point this out bluntly, the fact is turnover can get expensive. It might be worth it to a company to give you a 5% to 10% raise to avoid the costs of turnover.

3. Develop In-Demand Skills

Take a look at the skills in demand in your company. It’s not just about making more money today. In some cases, it’s about developing the skills that will allow you to make more money down the road.

Are you in a job that comes with a bit of a pay cap? Once you hit that pay cap, you might not make more. So, start looking at jobs that pay what you want to make. After you identify that job, find out what skills are needed to reach that point. Make a plan to develop those skills.

It might mean getting a specific certification or completing a degree. Get the right skills, and you might be surprised to discover that you can make more money, either by getting promotion through your new skills or switching to a new company ready to pay you for your abilities.

4. Time Your Ask

If you are asking for a raise or promotion, get the timing right. When asking for more money, or a better position, it’s essential to know the best time to make your proposition.

First of all, try to make an appointment. That way, you will set the stage for a presentation. Next, try to make that appointment for a time when your boss is likely to be in a good mood. You have a good chance of succeeding if you can talk to your boss before noon.

Most people are in a better mood in the morning — just after they’ve settled in and had their coffee. Once you get to afternoon, people feel less inclined to listen. They are tired, they’ve had most of the day to work, and they aren’t in a good mood.

You can also do well by asking on a Friday morning (everyone’s happy and looking forward to the weekend) or sometime mid-week in the morning. Try to avoid Mondays.

Your timing can also be good after a major success. If you’ve just closed a big account or finished a big project, it’s a good time to ask for a raise or promotion — while your triumph is still fresh in everyone’s minds.

Pay attention to your supervisor’s moods and look for the best time to ask.

As you work on developing your skills and abilities, you will be seen as an asset to the company, and your boss will be more willing to keep you around — and pay you more on top of it.