Get a Raise Before Your Annual Review (Without Getting Laughed At)

Get a Raise Before Your Annual Review (Without Getting Laughed At)

Sure, you might think you need to sit and wait for the “annual review” to talk about a raise. But there’s really no hard and fast rule about that. It’s in your best interest to know the situations that are exceptions, and how to make them most of them.


Get all the details published on The Muse here!


When you start a job, you usually get the scoop on how and when your performance and your salary will be evaluated. Even though the protocol is changing in a lot of organizations, plenty of companies still subscribe to the annual review and merit increase methodology. And for a lot of people, those 12 months can seem interminable, particularly when you’re working your butt off.


If your place of work is one that follows the one-year rule, what are your options? Are you ever allowed to ask for a raise before your review? Yes. Of course you are. You may not get the salary bump you seek, but you don’t need permission to ask for one. I say if you can make the case, then you must.

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Here are four situations to give it your best shot.


1. You’re Rocking Your First Six Months in A New Job

You took a new job, and you agreed to a salary review in a year. But six months in, you’re killing it!


2. You Just Got Recruited

If you’re getting pinged from recruiters, it’s a sign the market may be heating up and that there’s a demand for your kind of talent and expertise.


3. You’re A Unicorn

Perhaps you started you job thinking you were going to focus on one particular thing, like software engineering. As time went on, you realized you have a ton of other skills that are being leveraged.


4. You Heard Somebody Else Got An Off-Cycle Raise

Sure, raise conversations are supposed to be confidential. But when has anyone ever adhered to that rule? So you heard someone else got an off-cycle raise. That means a couple things. One, there’s funding. Maybe the company had a really good quarter, or a good year. Two, there’s manager discretion to dole it out.


Don’t make the mistake of thinking that everyone is noticing your great work.

Or that the market has shifted. You should be the expert on what you’re contributing, and what it’s worth in the organization you work for. When you’re crystal clear on that, you’ll know when to trigger the “Let’s talk about a raise” conversation.


If you’re nervous, not sure, or don’t know how to begin that conversation, let me know and we’ll work out a custom strategy for you!





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  1. Brian Robben September 14, 2016

    Spot on tips! I feel that the best time to get a raise is during the negotiation stage before you sign the job offer. It’s during that time that you have the most leverage with the company that wants you. Once they hire you for a certain salary, it’s much harder to get the company to open their wallet.


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