Six Secrets to Doubling Your Pay in the Next 12 Months

Many employees spend years stuck in a system where at best they receive a 3-10% annual increase in pay.  If you are the type of person who has the patience for this sort of progression, it may work well.  However, if you are the kind of person who likes rapid growth and wants to make a lot more money in a short period of time, follow these five tips and watch your salary soar.

Secret #1:  Become an intrepreneur.

You may not be an entrepreneur, but you can be an intrepreneur. Just because you don’t own the company does not mean you cannot act like you own it.  Starting tomorrow morning, act as if you own the company and think the way a business owner would.  This does not mean you get to stop doing the work assigned to you.  It just means that you are going to start doing much more work and looking at things within the business from the same perspective that a business owner would see.

One of the first consequences of this type of mindset is for you to start thinking immediately about the profit and loss for the work you do, the work your department does, and the work that others around you are doing.  Keep in mind that a business owner would never allow unprofitable or underperforming activities to continue, whether they were in his department or something under the control of the person next door.

Secret #2:  Forget five days & 40 hours per week.

If you are working five days per week and only 40 to 50 hours, try to get used to your current pay and a 5% increase at best, because employees who spend this kind of time in their job are typically doing the bare minimum just to get by.  If you are on salary and your company will permit you, start working 60 to 70 hours and focus on doing much more than the urgent tasks assigned to you.  Instead, concentrate on tasks that build something for the future.  Typically, these activities are going to be important in the future but have almost no urgency currently.

One of the most important things that you can do that will almost never have urgency is learning and educating yourself, so focus on cross-training, additional learning, and any type of education you can attain that will allow you to perform your job better than anyone else.  The beauty of focusing on learning and education is that you can easily do this from a bookstore or library if your company will not allow you to work more than 40 hours per week.  If you are paid hourly and not permitted to work overtime, then the trick is to spend 20 to 30 hours per week “working” offsite and spending most of that time learning additional things that will make you even better at your job.

Secret #3:  Get in clear sight of decision makers.

Depending on the size of your company and where you are at within the organization, the person you report to directly may or may not be the decision maker who has the ability to double your pay 12 months from today.  If you work for the decision maker, this will be easy.  However, most people find themselves in a situation where the decision maker is anywhere from two to three levels higher than they are.  It is therefore critical that you take on projects, tasks, and just about anything you can in order to be seen by the decision makers.  The more the decision maker can see you working and can see the quality of your work, the more likely you will be to get the big raise you desire.

Secret #4:  Kiss up any chance you get.

Never underestimate the power of being a kiss-up.  That means doing the things that others may not want to or refuse to do.  However, it also means simple things, such as good manners and being pleasant.  In the morning when you arrive — at least 10 minutes earlier than you are supposed to — stop by the office of the decision maker and without disrupting their work, say “Hello.”  If there are additional levels of management between you and the decision maker, make sure they know you are early to work as well.

You do not actually have to tell them you’re early, but greeting superiors ten minutes or more before your scheduled arrival time will give them the picture.  When it’s time to leave for the day, stop by all of those offices and cubicles again, especially the decision maker, and wish him or her a good night and make sure you are doing this at least 10 minutes after your scheduled departure time.  Occasionally you can even stop by the decision maker’s office and let him or her know you are going to lunch and if they would like you to pick up anything for them.

Secret #5:  Always overdress.

One easy way of establishing that you are not like your peers is to make sure that you do not dress anything like them.  Accomplish this by always overdressing regardless of the occasion.  If your company is casual, simply wear slacks and a button-up shirt or equivalent, while everyone else wears jeans and T-shirts.  If your company is business casual, you just need to make sure that you dress a little bit above, such as a nice shirt and tie for men and the equivalent for women.  If everyone wears a shirt and tie, then put on a suit.  If everyone wears a suit, put on a nicer suit and wear shinier shoes.  The bottom line is that whenever people look at you, they should get a feeling that you are way out of place and you belong in a higher position.

Secret #6:  Initially turn down a pay raises!

When your boss offers you a pay raise, always turn it down and tell them that you would like to be able to give even more to the company and you feel like you can do much more than you are currently doing.  Then give them a target salary that is much higher than the raise they are offering you and ask, “What would I have to do to earn this rate of pay in 90 days if I turned down this pay raise?”  In most cases, they will give you a list of things that may or may not seem reasonable to you.  Remember, your goal and obsession as of that moment needs to become attaining those goals.

If you follow these six secrets, you will undoubtedly set yourself up for a massive raise.  But if after nine months you feel like you are not there yet, then it’s time to set up a meeting with the decision makers and tell them that your goal is to earn X amount of dollars as of 90 days from that day.  Then ask them to tell you exactly what you would need to do in order to earn that rate of pay.

In most cases, they will provide you a list.  In the event they do not, you now have 90 days to find a job where they will see your true value and reward you for your accomplishments.  Of course, your resume, cover letter, and your interviews will be all about the last nine months, as well as your aspirations of earning your target salary and the fact that you are willing to do whatever it takes to earn it.

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