A Raise Doesn’t Just Have to Mean Money
A raise always means more money, right? Not necessarily.
There are points in your career when the word “raise” might translate into rewards other than a salary boost. Depending on where you are in your life, you might value having more of something else. Whether it’s time, flexibility, or professional development, there are amenities your company can offer you that can translate to a raise in your career and even your quality of life.
Essentially, what you ask for more of will be influenced by what matters most to you at the time. Here are a few ideas for how your raise can be realized outside of just compensation.
Your boss might be willing to bump your title in lieu of a desired salary increase, which could help you achieve your goals faster. An upgraded title on your resume will help you get interviews for higher-level opportunities in the future, and could include being assigned the lead on a plum project, jumpstarting a key initiative, or working with another department to increase visibility and opportunities for future promotions.
Better work-life balance.
This could look like a more compressed or flexible schedule, work from home, paid days off to volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about, an unpaid sabbatical, extra vacation time, or more parental leave. Whatever it is, asking for more flexibility to focus on other areas of your life is a valuable ask.
Amenities that enhance your ability to do your job even better.
Are there things preventing you from doing your best work? Your manager could offer tools to help you be more efficient and comfortable while completing projects. From a technology standpoint, maybe a work smartphone or an upgraded laptop could get you moving faster. Or if your current desk situation isn’t conducive to getting in the zone, you could request moving to quieter corner, or near a window. If you stress about parking, you could request a paid location in a lot.
Having an intentional path to learn, grow, network, and increase your visibility inside or outside your company is not just a real career booster, but also a best practice in managing you career throughout your lifetime. A raise request in this form might be paid-for career coach sessions, annual professional organization memberships, paid attendance and time off to attend key industry conferences, classes or workshops, or a certification specific to your industry covered by the company.
Salary or cash equivalents are typical starting points in any negotiation for a very good reason. If asking for a straight salary increase does not yield the results you desire, think ahead about some alternative ways to impact your bottom line. You could ask for a performance bonus program that exceeds the standard one offered, an increased 401K match, more comprehensive health insurance, or increased equity if working for a startup.
As you think about asking for a raise, it’s worth keeping in mind—what do you truly want?