The first part of God’s Provident Plan for a Christian’s personal finances is contentment in Christ, which results in spending less money. The second part is working hard, which results in making more money. Combine those steps with good stewardship, and you’ll make the most of what God has given you so you can give to others in His name.
Following God’s call to work hard means doing a good job and earning as much money as you can. (Not for your own gain, but so that you might be able to give generously to the needy) One way to earn more money is to get a raise in your current job.
Earn Your Raise
Usually, you won’t get a raise unless you deserve it. I’m not talking about a cost-of-living adjustment. I mean a raise over and above that inflation increase. And the only way to truly deserve a raise is to work hard and provide value to your company.
There are a few specific things you can do to put yourself in a better position to get a raise. Here are some ideas:
- Work Hard – Don’t waste time at work. Your employer will be able to tell if you’re just wasting time or if you’re working hard. This is especially important in blue-collar jobs because your productivity is often directly related to how hard you work.
- Work Smart – Find ways to increase your productivity without letting quality suffer. Keep your eyes open for ways to help your company save money or, even better, make more money. Do more than what you were hired to do. Over-deliver, track your accomplishments, and you’ll be well on your way to getting a raise.
- Be Nice – Be friendly and courteous to your boss, co-workers, and customers. Your ability to work well with other employees and deliver high customer satisfaction will greatly help you earn a raise.
- Be Helpful – Don’t shrug off extra responsibilities because “That’s not my job.” If you are willing to help outside of your normal job duties, your boss will notice.
- Get Educated – Getting a degree, taking more training, attending seminars, or even learning on your own will put you in a position to earn more money. Seek skills that your employer needs or will need – especially if those skills can help your company save or make money.
- Talk to Your Boss – When you accomplish something great, make sure your boss knows. Don’t brag about how great you are, just fill him in on the details. Also, talking to your boss can alert you to more ways you can over-deliver. Maybe he needs help on a big project. Maybe the company is really losing money in one area and you have a solution. Don’t be obsessed with pushing your own agenda. Listen genuinely and seek ways you can help.
Just doing these things won’t guarantee you’ll get a raise. You may be the hardest working person in the whole company, but if your boss doesn’t realize it you won’t get a raise.
You’ll Need to Ask
You’ll almost always need to ask for a raise. Unless your boss is very aware of your accomplishments, it’s unlikely he’ll just announce he’s giving you a 10% raise. So plan on asking for your raise. Here are a few guidelines:
- Do Your Homework – Know how much your skills are worth. There are plenty of free resources online to help you determine your value as an employee. Factor in any advanced skills you have or achievements you’ve made. Come up with a figure, put it on paper, and be prepared to explain how you got there.
- Practice – Know what you’re going to say before you go talk to your boss. Why do you deserve a raise? What have you done over and above your regular job duties? How have you provided extra value to the company? Write down your answers, and practice your explanations.
- Facts & Figures – Don’t rely on purely anecdotal evidence when you ask for a raise. Get the facts, figure out how much you’ve saved or earned for the company, detail any improvements you’ve made, and present them to your boss in a clear, concise manner.
- Approach Your Boss – Don’t storm into your boss’s office demanding a raise. If you don’t have a scheduled review approaching and you haven’t had a raise in some time, ask to speak with him. If you’re not sure what to say, try this phrase: “I’d like to talk with you about a salary adjustment.” Present your case calmly and politely, and avoid ultimatums. Threatening to quit will only put you in a tough spot in the future.
- Be Prepared for Any Reaction – If you actually deserve the raise, you’ve done your homework, and the company can afford it, you’ll likely get the raise you ask for. However, your boss may be in a bad mood (don’t approach him if he is), may need to talk to his superiors, may not have the money to give you a raise, or he might just not like you. Don’t be rash when you respond, and be willing to wait if necessary.
- Take Further Action If Needed – If you don’t get the raise and you actually deserve it, it might be time to start looking for another job. Don’t quit before you have accepted a firm offer from a new employer. And be very wary of any counter-offers made to keep you on board. It’s almost always a terrible idea to take one because of the impression it gives your boss and co-workers.
Just Do It!
Don’t bemoan your financial woes or explain away with excuses. If you want a raise, put in the work needed to get it and be prepared to ask. Don’t talk about what-ifs or worry about how you’re going to make it work. Just do it, and you’ll be climbing up the salary ladder in no time.