5 Simple Ways to Get the Raise You Deserve and Add Fuel to Your FIRE

Michael QuanCareer, Education, FI / FIRE, Habits, How to, Making Money, Misc15 Comments

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So, what are the best ways to get that raise?  These 5 simple tactics will have your boss begging to give you more money!

One of the best ways for young professionals to begin building wealth is to continually increase their income over time.  It is a catalyst for catching FIRE.  Sure you can sit silently and hope for a mere 2% cost of living adjustment each year, or you can take matters into your own hands.

As the former President of an IT company, I was involved with the hiring, firing, and retention of 50+ employees during my tenure.  I’ve had good employees, terrible employees, excellent employees, and OUTSTANDING employees!

Outstanding Reaps All of the Rewards

Take note of what the OUTSTANDING employees did and find out why I was desperate to keep them on my team and ALWAYS willing to pay them more.

Employee of the Year Medal-c3

1. Understand Your Value

Understand how your position fits into the big picture for your company.  All too often young hires simply charge headfirst into a job without understanding where their value lies.

If you are to be compensated for a specific role, you should have a good idea of what this position is paid in the outside marketplace.  The best place to find this information is to research on sites like www.salary.com and www.glassdoor.com, or get salary surveys from employee placement companies local to your area – local data is more accurate.

Armed with this information, you can come to your next salary review with data to support a higher raise.  Don’t forget though, that compensation is made up of many other components other than just salary, so make sure to factor these in as well.

2. Take on Additional Responsibility

A lot of time, compensation is a function of the value you provide to your company.  So, logic would reason, in order to increase your compensation, simply add more value to your position!  It sounds simple, but I assure you this formula works.

I had certain support staff that took it upon themselves to take on larger and more complex problems.  This not only increased their skillset and made them more valuable in the marketplace, but the company benefited directly from their initiative.

I can assure you that when it came time to review their performance and consider their compensation, I was happy to increase their salary (sometimes upwards of 25% or more!).

3. Make Your Boss Look Good

Working within a company is a team sport.  But, a great player should be volleyed to your boss as often as possible.  Make sure to come in before your boss and leave after he’s gone.  Realize your boss is where he’s at because of previous experience or other factors.

Learn what your boss does excellent and model it into your own work.  When it comes time to ask for raises and budgeting for the year-end, he is going to remember you and your work ethic.

4. Ask For It

Although it’s great to provide extra value to your company and team, there are definitely times you’ll need to be vocal.

Sometimes bosses can get overwhelmed with other priorities, or company bureaucracy can stifle efforts.  But, that doesn’t mean your efforts have gone unnoticed.

You may need to bring it back to the forefront of attention and more times than not, your boss will go to bat for you if you simply ask.

Of course, ask respectfully and without assumption!

5. Become an Intrapreneur

Not everyone carries the DNA to be an entrepreneur.  That’s okay.  Most of us have opportunities to become intrapreneurs within the companies we work for.

An intrapreneur is someone who builds a business from the inside.  You may identify a special company project/initiative that needs to be completed.  If it’s within your reach, go for it!

Ask your boss if you can take the lead and subsequently build a reasonable bonus around it based on key deliverables, timelines, and other tangible results that can be measured.  If it’s important enough, your boss will more than happy to sign off on it, and your initiative will be duly noted.

Final Thoughts

Here is an actual example of someone who’s OUTSTANDING in a workplace.  Dom runs GenYFinanceGuy and shares how he went from hating his job to becoming an OUTSTANDING employee.  He made an incredible income and was able to build equity (ownership in the company).

From there, he’s gone on to start his own business and recently exited with a hefty sum.


Remember, the opportunities to “get the raise” are everywhere – earning additional income, bonuses, or other ancillary benefits. You simply need to open your eyes and take a different perspective on things.

Finally, use this extra income to fund your savings/investment accounts and your wealth will grow quicker than you can imagine.  Consider placing it into a Roth IRA which can grow your investments and later be withdrawn, tax-free!

Readers, in what ways have you taken matters into your own hands and gotten a raise/earned more money?  In what ways do you intend on using it in the near future?


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15 Comments on “5 Simple Ways to Get the Raise You Deserve and Add Fuel to Your FIRE”

  1. The whole article is great but I absolutely love tip #4. So many of us are afraid to ask for a raise. It just makes us feel uncomfortable but the truth is that if you don’t ask for it you’re far less likely to be offered it.

  2. Great Tips there. I do think that the more skill sets you have the less easily replaceable you become. We should focus on becoming irreplaceable by having skill sets that are unique. Just as DocG advised above on becoming indispensable! These are all traits of a high-achievers, and whether in corporate world or in retirement, they will continue to do well.

    1. Yes, a unique skill set that helps company productivity is priceless! Sometimes that means being the absolute best at something incredibly boring. 😉

  3. Great site and great topic! I agree with all that you’ve laid out here. I used to work for a global consulting firm (one fo the Big 4 Accounting Firms) and having that Intrapreneur mindset will definitely get you far in that type of company structure. My salary increases and bonuses was based on the quality of my performance that year. To sum it up – the more I worked and devoted myself to the job, the more valuable and highly-sought I became.

    Now I work for a non-profit organization which is the complete opposite of what I just described above. Raises and increases are based on a 3-year negotiated contract that lays out when I receive increases and how much, along with benefits. My point is that all 5 of these tips will not impact my bottom line one bit. But because I’m a high-achiever, I do all these things anyway and all they get me is more work added to my plate because my skills are in high-demand. I don’t mean to sound cocky here, but it is a bit frustrating that no matter how hard I work – my bottom line will not be directly impacted as a result.

    Anywho, I’ve just started my own blog to document and share my experience to FI. Love for you to come and check it out some time!

  4. The best thing you can do is demonstrate your worth, build your worth, and ask for what you’re worth. For example, I spent my evenings after my first post-grab job getting certified in desirable software. I used these certs to land a job that paid double, and stood my ground during salary negotiations.

  5. Nice post Michael, with some great tips. If there’s anything life taught me however, it’s that getting raises and promotions won’t save you from layoffs and re-orgs.

    It’s nice to earn more money, but don’t forget to save it. One day the axe is going to swing your way.

  6. Thanks for the info Michael.

    I feel taking on more work and exceeding expectations leads to being an outstanding employee, but without asking for a raise, then you could be over looked for what is due based on that value you mentioned!

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