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I’m Asking My Employer to Double My Salary

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Tomorrow is Valentine’s day and I’m celebrating my one year anniversary with…my job. Not the most romantic anniversary, but exciting nonetheless. I don’t expect any gifts from my employer, but I am hoping for something bigger: a raise. Not just any raise; double my salary. I currently work part time for my county’s health department as a dietitian and I also work 2 other jobs– teaching at a community college and working as a clinical dietitian at a hospital.

I have a bittersweet relationship with my jobs. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to work more than 3 days per week at either place and I enjoy the variety I get from being in both a clinical and community health setting. However, since my position at the hospital is contingent, meaning I pick up days as needed, my income can vary greatly month to month. Some months I’ll pick up 13 days when other dietitians are taking vacations or the census is up and they need more help. Other slow months (like February!) I only have 5 days scheduled for the hospital. I’d like to have a more consistent income and I see a lot of potential for me to make a big impact on my clients and coworkers at the health department. Therefore, I’m meeting with my supervisor and director on my one year anniversary to discuss my desire to get full time hours.

Go in with a game plan

My supervisor is on board with me going full time but we still have to pitch this to her boss. Thankfully, her boss interviewed me and gave me the job, so it’s not like I’m a stranger walking into her office asking for money. Instead of whining about how busy I am and that I don’t have time to do things I think would be beneficial, I’ve come up with a game plan to present. I’ll spare the details and share the main points that you could also use if you find yourself in a position like mine and you’re about to ask for a raise.

Develop a fan club

I am the only dietitian in my department of 30+ social workers and a handful of nurses, psychologists, and an occupational therapist. This has been a great experience for me because since no one has a degree in nutrition, my position is highly valued and I get consults up the wazoo to see clients who need help meal planning, learning how to cook, how to manage their diabetes, etc. I have been intentional to follow up on consults right away and go above expectations to enable my clients to take care of their nutritional health. Because of this, I’ve met people within and outside the department tell me they already knew who I was from hearing about my work through other coworkers. When I shared that I would love to go full time, coworkers jumped at the opportunity to send emails to my supervisor and her boss to say why they think it would be a great idea.

Have evidence to show growth

I kept the caseload of clients I received when I started working a year ago. Since then it has almost doubled. I put together a document that shows how many clients I’m seeing and how often I follow up on them. Nutrition classes were formerly held once a month prior to my hiring and now I’ve got three a month and have even brought in dietetic undergrads to teach one of the classes so I can help them gain experience outside of the classroom.

Share a vision

I’d like to do so many things in my position but simply don’t have time. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of ideas that I feel will better serve my clients and even my coworkers. Instead of just saying “I need more hours” I can now say “this is what I can do for our clients if I had more hours.”

Game time

We’ll see how our meeting goes. There are always limitations out of my control, especially working for a non-profit. If there isn’t any money available to make me full time then this obviously can’t happen. I plan to pitch my part and hope for the best!

Have you ever asked for a raise? What did you do to prepare?

This has been a guest post from Jessica. She is a Registered Dietitian and shares practical, useful tips on food, fitness, and finance. Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Budget For Health.

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AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

23 Comments

  1. I probably don’t ask for raises nearly enough. When I do though, I try to prepare and pick a time when I have just completed a big project or have turned in good performance numbers.

    You appear to have taken preparation to the next level! I wish you luck!

    • Thanks, Alex. I believe the health department provides a yearly raise to accomodate inflation but I don’t think there is much opportunity to ask for a raise outside of this. If you think you’re worth the raise and have the evidence to show it, go for it!

      • Love my job, since I’ve been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I’m making it online.

  2. Good luck with the raise! The only time I have ever asked is when I can “kill them with logic” and show that I have grown the institution in solid ways. Thanks for the post!

    • That’s a good strategy. I hope they’ll see how much I’ve done and what I can do to better our clients/employees!

  3. I’ve been a small business employer for 28 years. I always gave raises every year – as well as other benefits like 100% free medical, bonuses in June and December (usually a full weeks pay or more), company paid – free lunches every Friday, etc. My employees stayed – that helped my business … and just want to say no one ever asked me for a raise!

    • I’m not surprised no one has asked for a raise; it seems like you take really good care of your employees! Unfortunately government positions don’t have as many perks as they used to. It helps that I love my job or else I’d really be looking for more perks!

  4. You have certainly done a great job preparing for the meeting and it sounds like you add value to the institution. Do you have any idea on the amount of revenue you are able to contribute in order to provide an estimated cost/benefit analysis for giving you more hours?

    Good luck with the meeting.

    • Thanks JT. I know the cost of each assessment and class I provide so it would be interesting to see. That would definitely be something beneficial to bring to a meeting like this! I’m not sure it matters for a non-profit though since it’s all medicaid/medicare/ss funded (all of my clients have some kind of government funding).

  5. I love your strategy of not asking for hours so you can make more, but showing what you could do for them if they approved you to work more hours. This sounds like a great game plan and I hope it works out!

    • It did work out! Both my boss and her boss were very receptive to the points I made! They will be taking my ideas and stats to the board and move them to say yes!

  6. Great analysis & great strategy/approach. Having supporting arguments to back up your request is key. Good luck!

    • Thanks Julie! Now I’m just waiting to hear back from the board who has the ultimate decision.

  7. For me it’s kinda shameful for me to ask for that.
    What I usually do is work hard and maintain your good performance.
    Anyway, you’re working so hard and I cannot imagine myself working more than 2 jobs a day.

    • Can I ask why it would be shameful for you to ask for a raise? I’m not sure what working environment would give that mindset. I never work more than 8 hours a day regardless where I’m working, so I’m thankful I can have a life outside of work 🙂

  8. Wow, I’m curious to know how this went. Double the salary is a big jump, but I’m sure it has been done and if you can and do prove your worth, it’s not impossible! Best of luck.

    • Thanks Tushar! Well see what happens; I hope I hear soon.

  9. I guess if you believe you are doing your job excellently and your boss is always impressed with your performance, it is justifiable enough that you ask for a raise. I haven’t tried that though.

    • Employee health is something that’s so overlooked in the workplace so I know that’s an area I can really make an impact in!

  10. Well you definitely have the guts that you need to get it all done. The most I have done to prepare for raises is to go above and beyond on my work duties to show how much can possibly get done. Sometimes you have to have the attitude and politics to go along with it all and you seem like you have those ducks in a row. It was great reading the post, inspiring.

    • Thanks, Lisa. Thankfully I didn’t even have to be the one to bring up going full time since many of my coworkers were pulling for me. I was confident yet humble at my meeting which I think are two important things to display!


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