When working to set yourself up for a salary increase, it is important to provide evidence for your employer which can back up your claims about what you can and already do. When possible, use actual examples of what you have done, how well you did it, what you achieved, and how this relates to the requirements of your current job or a promotion you might be seeking. The STAR model below can help you with this.
What is the STAR model?
The STAR model is one way of presenting information against what the job requires. For each criterion, think about the following and use these points to form sentences:
- Situation – Set the context by describing the circumstance(s) where you used your skills or qualities and gained the experience. (I was a manager in ABC…)
- Task – What was your role? (I was managing a project…)
- Action/Employment – What did you do and how did you do it? (I secure the required resources to implement the project plan…)
- Results – What did you achieve? What was the end result, and how does it relate to the job you are applying for? (The project was launched on time and within budget. Feedback was consistently excellent. Received divisional achievement award for project management…)
Be specific and describe exactly what you did, including the outcome.
More ways to set yourself up for that salary increase
The following suggestions are more great ways to prove yourself valuable at work. Keep these specific tips in mind, and try some out.
Ask this question: “Could a temp do what I am doing and keep the boss happy?” If the answer is “yes” or even “maybe,” you might need to step up your game. Remember that no one is indispensable; it’s just to what degree are you harder to replace.
Proactively go to your manager with tangible ideas and results. Constantly show initiative and that you are a valuable member of his/her team. Your ideas should be measurable. For example, give ideas that could save money for your employer; i.e. how the company could be saving over $50,000 annually in IT with almost zero effort!
When given problems, get back to your manager within 24 hours or as soon as practicable. Give practical solutions and say, “Here are our options, here’s the risk with each option, and here’s what I recommend and why I recommend this.”
Command respect by asking questions rather than making demands. Seek first to understand.
Know that it’s okay not to know everything, but that it’s equally important to be resourceful.
Constantly develop your emotional quotient and be human in your dealings with people. Try to speak to them rather than just emailing people. It’s about human interactions.
Ask: “What makes [your boss] successful and how can you align yourself with that?” It’s called ‘managing up’ and it’s about figuring out how you can make your boss look good to his or her boss. Focus on delivering those priorities. Be prepared to push back and tell your manager when he or she is wrong. Never be disrespectful. Always firmly stand your ground when you feel that you are right. Always be flexible and change your approach to suit the circumstances in order to achieve a positive win-win outcome for everyone.
Ask your manager whether you’re adding enough value to the organization. You don’t have to wait for your next performance review. While you’re discussing some other project, you can say, “By the way, I want to make sure that I’m really providing the most value-added work that I can. I know you have a lot on your plate; are there any areas that I could work on, on my time, that would help make your job easier?”
Always complete your assignments well before the agreed deadline. Your manager must have the trust that you will go the extra mile and complete all assigned work on time or early. If you have questions or concerns, you must go to your manager well before the set deadline. Pass this deadline, you are “dead.” Never give reasons or excuses for non-delivery after the set deadline because, at that point, you are already “dead.”
Be astoundingly well-rounded and constantly improve yourself. Invest in your education and knowledge. Read different books and materials. Keep up with the latest news and industry updates. Acquire skills and knowledge that will be practical in the workplace and for your work.
Always see the big picture and strategic patterns across the organization instead of being limited to just what’s happening in your own department. Be a strategic and futuristic thinker.
Be adaptive and flexible to changes around you. Your job description might change as the organization evolves. Embrace that change is the new norm.
Avoid using words like: “I can’t,” “It’s not my job,” “No,” and “I hope.”