As Featured on News Cult: How to Ask for a Raise

TBH, you’re most likely overqualified and underpaid for your job. You’re probably in 5x as much student loan debt as you’re going to make in the next 5 years, yet you probably used those student loans to graduate summa cum laude from one of the country’s top private liberal arts colleges. Congratulations–your education got you approximately nowhere. But it’s too late to turn back now, so, instead, let’s focus on getting you up to the salary you deserve.

I don’t think there is any definitive timeline for when to ask for a raise–it depends on the job. But I absolutely think it’s reasonable to request one after you have put in sufficient time and effort (use your discretion to determine what that means for you–don’t be an asshole, but don’t be a doormat either). And, guess what? Most likely, unless you actually have a good boss which is practically unheard of, you’re going to have to ask for a raise, even if it’s obvious you deserve one. Because employers don’t want to pay you more–it’s in their interest not to.

But too bad for those fuckers, because they apparently don’t know who they’re dealing with. Who is that, you ask? US–we are Spartans. We are gladiators. We are champion eaters. We don’t back down when McDonald’s tells us we’re too old for a Happy Meal toy. And we’re not going to cower in fear of asking for a raise. Here are some methods I suggest you use to go about getting your desired result: mo’ money (but less problems–we really don’t need anymore problems at this point–like, we’re already the band geeks with bad acne who couldn’t get dates to prom so had to take our cousins–please don’t add headgear to that).

OWN the room

Walk into your boss’ office, preferably at a time when he or she (most likely he if we’re being honest–sexism in the workplace is REAL) is not expecting you, and slam your fist on their desk whilst declaring your value (priceless, a la MasterCard). I find it helpful to pretend you’re Oprah.

Make a list of your accomplishments

I mean it’s obvious to us why you’re an invaluable, shimmering bird of paradise, but just spell it out clearly so there’s no mistaking it–list the ways you have contributed and gone above and beyond, and either present it to your boss formally, or have it in your head so you can make your case in conversation. But don’t be boring about it–don’t just ramble things off. Make it a meaningful, dynamic presentation (so NO PowerPoints. If you use a PowerPoint, I will personally hunt you down and give you a strongly worded lecture).

Smile while you’re talking

I know this is foreign to us, but this way, you’ll come off as pleasant, confident and steady on the outside even though you hate everyone and everything and are dying of nerves on the inside.

Express your desire to grow at the company

Even if it’s total bullshit–you’re not going to get a raise if you are honest and say, “Hey, I kind of hate this fucking job and your stupid face, but can I have more money?” Throw in lots of flowery language about how you see the “growth potential” as an “exciting opportunity” and would love to keep “learning” from your colleagues, and “verticals” and “assets” and “collaboration” and “strategy” and “integration” and “brand optimization” and “diversifying” and “landscape.”

Choose your timing carefully

Request your raise at a time when your boss needs your support more than ever. I.e. during the few days after his wife has had their first baby, or when she finds out her husband has been having an affair, or when he’s preparing a very important presentation for his boss. Think of this less as taking advantage of them/the situation, and more as strategic genius.

Fake it til you make it

Listen, we’re not fooling anyone, least of all ourselves–we are self-doubting, anxious, painfully awkward trainwrecks. So we’re going to have to pretend our lives aren’t our lives to accomplish this one. Time to put that Girl Scout Theater Patch-qualifying acting class you took when you were 10 to use and act like you are sure of yourself and know your worth. So make like you’re in bed with the last guy you dated, and fake it.

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7 thoughts on “As Featured on News Cult: How to Ask for a Raise

  1. bensbitterblog says:

    My boss is a lady, and I’m pretty sure all of us in our department make the same scraping the bottom of the garbage heap salary, so I’m progressive like that. And I actually don’t have to spit out my accomplishments because she usually spouts them out for me whenever big wigs come by. My problem is I work here and should be somewhere else, working for someone rich who doesn’t know how to manage his or her money and needs help getting embezzled without caring how much they lose. (Tim Duncan sounds good, because he lost like something like $20 million to his accountant and didn’t really care that much because he’s made over $220 mil in his career). Yeah, I need to work for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kindredspirit23 says:

    Being disabled has its advantages: ie – no boss, but it also has the distinct disadvantage of less money (much less) than when I was employed full-time.
    However, I can do little things for bosses who are not as picky,
    and I have more time to ration and create a good budget that works.
    I have and it does, so no big problem, mostly.


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