How digital natives can ditch their shame and request a raise (infographic)

Digital marketing is easy, right? Anybody could do it?

That might be what your boss likes to think, but of course you know differently. There’s far more to it than typing out the occasional humdinger and hitting that Tweet button. As your boss would soon find out were they to replace you with the mail boy.

Digital natives are no strangers to being accused of acting like they’re ‘entitled’ to more than they really are. So between the fact that you’re of a certain generation and the fact that nobody outside digital marketing really understands what a complex art and science it is, it’s no wonder if you feel shy about asking for a raise.

Lose that feeling today.

Why? Because believe it or not, seven out of ten of us who ask for a raise will get it. Which suggests that maybe the truth about management is that they know you’re worth more than they’re paying.

Makes sense, really. Why would they voluntarily give you more money if you don’t ask for it?

If you’re still shy about asking, consider this: you may worry that you’ll come across as entitled if you put that request in, but maybe you’re literally entitled – you have a right – to a better wage for what you do. And you can prove it, which saves you having to feel weird about asking for more.

What is your work worth?

You can never fully quantify the financial ‘worth’ of your work, because the system is so skewed in the first place. Who’s to say that one person’s working hour is worth ten, a hundred, a thousand times as much as another’s? Unfortunately, the world of work subscribes somewhat to the law of the jungle. So you may not be able to add an extra ‘zero’ to your salary just because you work ten times as hard as the guy who owns the business where you work.

However, you can figure out what it would cost to replace you. Hit salary.com to find out what other people with your job title are earning in your part of the world (or internationally if you work remotely). Look at what extra you bring to the role: you’re a native in the language in which you’re marketing? You have experience or education that increases your value?

Remember, it can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to recruit someone new – plus the time and hassle involved. Which means if you’re not earning the market rate for what you do, it’s very unlikely the boss can afford to say No to a raise – as long as you’re willing to walk away (but before you do anything drastic or make an ultimatum, read the next section).
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Asking for a raise

Okay, so you’ve figured out how much you should be getting paid. How about asking for it?

It’s important at this point to jettison those feelings of injustice that you have for being underpaid. Otherwise you will indeed come across as being entitled. And you don’t need to use emotional blackmail, either – because you have facts on you side. However, you do need to give the impression that you’re dedicated to the company and that you’re the right personality to have onboard.

And that’s why making that ‘raise or quit’ ultimatum is rarely a good idea, or successful.

You’re wonderful, remember? That’s why you deserve a raise. So start reminding your boss why you’re wonderful – and why you’re wonderful for their business.

Make a note of all the successes you’ve had. The follower numbers you’ve drummed up. The links you’ve built. The stats, but also the good-will, the personality and connections that you’ve created by being the right person for the job.

Have this information on standby, but also get into the habit of sharing your successes with your boss – it’s not always easy if you’re not in the same office.

You also need to be vocal about the ‘wins’ of the business as a whole. This is for two reasons:
  • It shows you’re not just showing off when you talk about success.
  • It shows that you’re personally invested in the welfare of the company.
Cool. Now, let’s hope you entered negotiations with a clear sense of what you want and what you’re willing to accept. Have you demonstrated what other people in your position are earning? Have you demonstrated why you should be earning more – and settled on a figure to ask for (of course, it should be a bit higher than what you’ll actually accept)? Do you know what you’ll do if your boss says No, all the same?

You’re going to need a good safety net if you’re planning to just walk away. So look at other alternatives. Decide in advance how far below you’re initial figure you’re prepared to go if your boss is willing to negotiate. And think of other ways you can be compensated for your work if they’re not willing or able to part with any more cash.

You might ask for reduced hours, or extended holidays. You might look at other perks you can take in lieu of a raise. You might suggest that instead of a raise, you get some bonuses fixed in place for hitting certain targets – it’s hard to argue with this if those targets are of real value to your company.

Keep the dialogue open

It’s hard not to sink into a ‘me v. them’ mindset when you feel undervalued at work. But remember, dedication to the company itself adds value to your presence.

Plus, employment is genuinely a two-way relationship. The better the business does, the better you do (ideally) and vice versa.
Also Read: How to get better at chatting with people IRL (infographic)
Ask not what your employer can do for you, but what you can do for your company… to get that raise. More training? More responsibility? Of course, the net increase has to be worth any extra work you put in, but if you position your raise as business development your boss may be more willing to listen.

In any case, preparation is the key, so don’t let that resentment build up until it bursts – channel it into a meaningful strategy. Here’s an excellent step-by-step resource for getting that raise. Compared to the hard work you put in every day, building your case for a deserving wage is easy-peasy.

How to ask for a raise without coming off as entitled - infographic

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