Existence within a legendary, economic crap pile warrants the desire for a raise. After the endless hard work, overtime, babysitting your boss’s granddaughter and feeding his pet snake, you deserve a little something extra. Of course, this is not what you tell your boss, unless you’re looking to get thrown out of the building. Similarly, launching yourself into a hysterical fit over the unfairness of employee treatment will quickly summon security and severance pay. Just relax (however unfair it all seems and even if the pet snake took a swipe at you). Good things come to those who wait. Even better things come to those who wait, smile and keep working, while cleverly plotting and pressing your best suit.

NOTE: If you’ve been a flawless employee thus far, disregard this. But, due to the complexity and effort involved, we doubt it.

Before you go storming into the main office and demand a fatter pay check, there’s some work to be done. Bosses most appreciate employees who exhibit relentless hard work – before they get their raise. This shows the big man you are self-motivated (a golden, key term for corporations) and capable of conquering work tasks without the incentive of pay. However true or untrue this may be, you’ll need to pretend pretty well that your paycheck is a second priority to your excellence as an employee. This can be done in several ways.

For the Subtly Self-Motivated Image

1. The boss has an entourage in your office. First, you’ll need to identify who his henchmen are, and, in this way, you’ll be fully aware of their presence. After all, to win acknowledgment in a work atmosphere, you need to know when you’re being watched in order to perform perfectly (without looking as though you’re performing at all).

For example, if your boss’ right hand man is on the floor, conducting general inspections, blinding every passerby with his million karat Cartier watch, put on your game face – it‘s time. Find a reason to visit someone in his general area and, loudly enough so that he may hear you and quietly enough so that it appears accidental, approach your colleague about a business matter. Sound relaxed, friendly and yet concerned only with a business conversation. Something like “Well, that’s great, (insert fellow employee name here). I just wanted to do a last check up on that project. I’m glad to see it’s gotten on its feet. Nothing gives me a good night’s sleep like another project gone, on its way and satisfactorily performed.”

Note: Any variation on this to fit your personal circumstance is fine. Just make sure that you are verbally (and subtly) establishing your engagement in the work’s quality. Nonchalantly, walk back to your work area without addressing the boss’s puppet. (Unless, of course, he makes eye contact, in which case you smile and nod politely).

For the Well-Loved Worker Image

2. Becoming beloved by all colleagues, business partners, clients, kitchen maids, secretaries, etc is certainly an attention-grabbing action (without appearing hammy). However, it’s important not to display your private intentions, meaning that to bring your boss a bagel and coffee every morning is not productive, it’s simply adolescent (unless, of course, he asks you for it, in which case bring ten).

Befriending the work floor is not a difficult task. It merely takes a month or so of casual friendliness, random questions posed to your fellow workers concerning their kids, wives and various franchises, and a few client outings whose drinks and snacks are paid for by you. For the love of everything, don’t run around with a plastic grin, giving a thumbs up to every member of your boss’s clan. You’ll sooner be fired for brown-nosing. The key to preparing your boss for a promotion or raise it to make it seem as though you’re not attempting to snag one. Backwards as it may seem, the more subtle and seemingly quiet you are about your enterprises and successes amongst colleagues, the more intrigued your boss becomes.

For the Sudden Superstar Image

3. This may take a little bit of work, but the resulting pay off is certainly incomparable. You’ll need to assess your company’s current situation and scheme. What would undoubtedly grab the attention of your superiors? What clients need to be roped in? What is the one thing your company cries over like a little girl begging for a pony? This is where you’ll want to make your move. Even by helping your company get one step closer to their greatest ambition, you are showing your attentiveness to their desires. This signifies to the boss that you are an asset to the company, and assets need appropriate compensation. In the worst case scenario, even if you cannot manage to make substantial progress in this desired area, exhibiting that you are deeply engaged in an attempt to do so is enough to tip off the man up top. You’ll be considered a dazzler amongst the other drones who simply stare at their computers and menial tasks until the clock strikes six.

Doing the Deed

Once you’ve covered your bases with the aforementioned ‘big deals for bosses,’ you’re ready to make your way into the boss’ doorway. Don’t be too serious or stark, this will only force your boss to similarly take the strict tone of a superior. Arrive flawlessly dressed, casually well-postured, confident and positive – the key is too seem as though you are this humble and heroic every day. Start off easy with something like, “Sir, I’d like to talk to you about my work here at (insert company name). During my time here, the company has become a very big part of my life and I feel a great obligation to its success. I love my work, Sir and I love this environment.”

From here, you’ll want to see how he reacts. Bosses have a billion times been asked for raises, and so, by the third sentence they’ll sniff you out like a blood hound. If he appears to be calmly sitting back and attentively listening, continue without censorship. Tell him of your dedication and your recent work to the company. You need to portray yourself as an valuable player, without making it sound like the company will crumble without you.
For this, sound out something like: “I have been fortunate to join a team that is already strong, already absolutely able to succeed and would like nothing more than to be part of its ascension. Therefore, Sir, I have come to ask you…”

The remainder of this sentence can be conjured only by you, as you are away of your company’s financial situation, willingness to extend and whether or not, by now, your boss is steaming with rage or splendidly smiling. No matter what happens, the trick to avoiding trouble is confidence and conviction. If you fully believe you are deserving of an increase in pay and you (as honestly as possible) communicate this to your employer, he will follow that conviction and consider you as worthy and valuable as you consider yourself.

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