Rather than negotiating with your boss with fingers crossed, consider these ways of giving yourself a "self-raise."

by Hashim Warren


Giving advice about asking for a raise is like giving advice about dating. Everything you suggest can be reasonable; however, people will still have to deal with the emotional decisions of another person.

Let me stay on the safe side and teach you a way to raise your pay that I’m confident will work for everyone. Check out these four proven ways to increase your salary without begging your unpredictable boss:

1. Freelance

Why spend your nights and weekends using your unlimited mobile minutes when you can use your skill to help other people and businesses, for a price?

Yes, I know everyone in our business already claims to freelance on the side. However, when I coach people on this, I find that most have no system for winning customers, no process for completing projects and—worst of all—no framework for how much to charge or how to collect it.

I was in the same boat until I read The Unlimited Freelancer ebook. At first, I was skeptical whether it would help me because other books on the same subject suggested “cold-calling” for clients, which I refuse to do.

The Unlimited Freelancer took me step-by-step through the 21st century way of setting up my freelancing business, including how to use the Web to promote myself without being obnoxious. No cold-calling here.

Buy the book for less than 20 bucks, and I get a finder’s fee for sending you over. Once you buy, shoot me a note to let me know how things are going. I may feature your freelance business in a future post on Career Green Light.

2. Get A New Job

The high rate of turnover at music labels, movie studios and television networks is scary for some, but an opportunity for you.

Every week, there’s a new opening out there that perfectly fits your skills. So, using less effort than you need in most industries, you can hop from your current job in entertainment to a different one, for a huge boost in your salary.

Look around you. You’ve seen more people leave for higher pay, then come back for even higher pay, than you’ve seen workers stay and receive a raise. It’s the crazy nature of our business.

If you’re not actively freelancing right now, you should be. Apart from earning more money, it’s one of the better ways to discover your next full-time job, without even looking.

3. Start Off Right

When you’re offered your next job, you have your biggest opening to negotiate a raise for yourself, even before you begin.

I’ve had my salary raised at almost every job I’ve accepted. I’ve been paid more than the other people in the same position, at the same company, who have already been there for years.

It doesn’t make sense, but that’s how it works.

Television executive and reality show producer DMA has great advice on how to price your work when you have a new job offer. Study her formula and use it to guide your next salary negotiation. It will save you from starting off underpaid, which is a worse hurt than never earning a raise.

4. Manage Your Money

The simplest way to get a “raise” is to get more out of the money you already have.

Pouring over your bills and budget every half-week is for people with more time than most of us have. Instead, try the three bucket method, developed by a personal finance expert but useful for people who don’t want to spend a lifetime studying this stuff.

I used a modified version of that method to effortlessly kill thousands of dollars of debt some time ago.

Another way to get more out of your money is to spend it on things that will help your career. Skip that film premiere and buy a book that will help you build a new skill. Cancel your vacation this year and spend that money on a continuing education class.

(Did you know career-related expenses are tax deductible? Unfortunately, movie and plane tickets are not. :) )

A raise from your company is their way of investing in you. Are you willing to invest in yourself in the same way you’d ask your boss to?

It’s About Control, Not Money

There’s nothing worse than the feeling that someone other than yourself is in charge of your livelihood.

By putting one or more of these self-raise tips into practice, you won’t just earn and keep more money, you’ll take control of your career.

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