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Women ask for raises just as much as men do, but are 5 percent less likely to get them. While this may not seem like a huge discrepancy, it adds up to be a large pay disparity over a lifetime. In order to successfully make the case for a raise, you need to be able to translate your work accomplishments and metrics to financial gain for the company—no matter what career field you work in.
Why is this so important?
If you want a raise or promotion, you’re going to have to justify why you deserve it. When it comes time for a performance review, providing concrete metrics and numbers will prove your worth to the company financially, and will dramatically improve your chances of landing that raise or promotion. It’s in your best interest to make the business case for the work you do and prove you’re an integral team member to your boss.
Your ability to tie your work to the money your company makes will also be super helpful in any future interviews when you’re explaining why you’re an asset and how you made a difference in your last job. When you’re asked why you’re the best person for the job in an interview, one of the things your interviewer is looking for you to explain is how your previous initiatives led to tangible results.
Read more: 3 Common Work Goals & How to Crush Them
How can I make the case for the work I do?
Your work won’t always speak for itself, even if it's top-notch. Don’t wait for your boss to approach you—you’ll always be your greatest advocate, so be sure to speak up for yourself and practice some modest bragging about your work. Make sure you know what your company’s main goals are, and show your higher-ups how your efforts have contributed to those goals by either saving the company money or adding to how much they’ve earned.
Throughout the year, make sure you:
Communicate your wins in a measurable way
When you’re talking about your major successes, always make it quantifiable. Instead of saying, I’ve saved the company a lot of money through product modifications, say, I’ve saved the company $25,000 this year by modifying the product and reducing the refund rate by 20 percent.
Keep track of ideas you’ve implemented
What programs or ideas have you implemented in the past year that have had results on the company’s financial performance? For example, if you started a standing Friday lunch meeting to discuss workflow efficiency that has cut overall costs, talk about that and emphasize the quantifiable results.
Talk about your achievements during 1:1 and reviews
Use every chance you have to bring up your successes at the company. Don’t be shy about advocating for yourself—if you don’t humbly brag about your work, who will?
Create a portfolio to showcase your work
Whether it’s online or a physical book, create a portfolio that shows your major achievements at work. If it’s a hard copy, bring it to all meetings with your boss—pulling out an unexpected book to reference how you’ve contributed to the company’s revenue will be super impressive.
Emphasize examples that prove you’ve gone the extra mile
There are lots of employees who positively contribute to a company’s success, but what will make you stand out is going the extra mile to achieve your goals. Did you stay in the office past 5 p.m. for several weeks to finish the project that increased revenue? Did you use your self-starter attitude to implement a new business model that cut costs in half
Discuss your career goals with your boss
This doesn’t mean you have to lay out your life plan for the next 30 years to your boss; just make it evident that you definitely want to advance in your career. Any time you meet with your boss, inquire about any open advancement opportunities, and provide an anecdote that helps build your case for why you should be considered for future openings over another candidate.
Offer to train new employees
This is a sneaky and brilliant way to prove you’re an asset to the company. When a new employee is hired directly below you, you can say something like, Since I increased revenue by 15 percent last year by [anecdote], I’d love the chance to help train [new employee name] and teach them our best practices to further increase revenue this year. Not only does that make the case for your own work, it shows you take initiative and are a team-player. Bravo, lady, bravo.