Before you ask for a raise, do this one thing.

January 10, 2018

It’s not enough to tell your boss, ‘Look, you know I do a great job here every day. Now it’s time to show you know that in my paycheck.’ He may very well agree with you. But your boss is not always the final decision maker, right. Maybe he has to convince his boss, or the big boss at corporate HQ. So you’ve got to do your part to make the reasons they need to show you the money painfully obvious.

Make a list of all the good stuff you’ve done over the past year.

This sounds harder than it is. Use your calendar and old emails (you know you save everything) to jog your memory and include:

- examples of how you went beyond the assignment

- how you saved the company money

 -when you worked late, or came in early, on short notice

- decisions you made that saved your boss time, and so on

Show him all the ways you’ve made his life easier by adding value and being flexible and adaptable. Putting this list in front of him while you make your pitch is the one simple thing you can do to increase your odds of getting what you want and feel more confident at the same time.

But try this, too – when you’re done, finish with “Does that make sense?”

He will likely say, ‘Yes.’ Most people hate to say no to that question. Ever. I don’t know why but I think it reminds us of being little in school and the teacher asking the class, ‘Does everyone understand?’ And nobody wanted to be the one kid to raise their hand and say, ‘No, I don’t!’ Once you get agreement, it really opens up the conversation to move forward in your favor.

So, if you just received a piddly 2% raise should you wait until closer to year end to say anything? No, it’s still worth having this conversation with your boss now. He might be able to work on getting you something at mid-year. But do find out your company's budgeting cycle. If it’s a calendar year, budgets are probably set in October. So, make sure you're back in your boss’ office in August reminding him of your list and highlight the good stuff you’ve added from January to August.