How to Get Your Boss to Take Your Goals Seriously

How can you nudge your boss to give you more responsibility and / or more money instead of just maintaining the status quo? This is what we are discussing today.

Every Monday, we address one of your pressing personal finance questions by seeking advice from several financial experts. If you have a general question or money issue, or just want to talk about something PeFi-related, leave it in the comments or email me at

This week’s question comes from Dan:

What’s the best way to use yearly averages to ask for more money? The goals that I have set are either being achieved or achieved. How can I take advantage of this feedback to shift the conversation towards more compensation / possible promotion, rather than just hearing “keep up the good work” without any further talk about future goals?

This is what individual experts usually say about a problem that affects each person differently: if you need personalized advice, you should see a financial planner.

Timing is everything

When it comes to asking for a promotion or change of rank, you want your boss to be aware of your intentions long before your review, when the actual decisions are made. Alexa von Tobel, the founder and CEO of LearnVest, is a certified financial planner, says the key is to ask what you want at least three to four months in advance.

“Typically, your company allocates a certain amount of money to raise salaries that your boss has to split among his employees,” says von Tobel. “It’s important to present your case for getting a bigger piece of the pie, long before the decision is made.”

This means that you must remain in your boss’s field of vision throughout the year and pay attention to his personality so that you know how best to approach him or her with your request.

For example, if your boss is a serious type, make an appointment that clearly states what you want to achieve. “Send an invitation to a meeting or an email that says something like, ‘I hope we can sit down and I would like to convince you of the need to review my salary,” suggests von Tobel, or other goals that you »I want to discuss. On the other hand, “other managers may prefer a more subtle approach in which you bring up the salary issue in the context of another conversation, such as a weekly status meeting.”

When you do ask, be direct about what you want and why you deserve a promotion. You will need to prepare examples of your good work – for example, the praise you received from your boss and other managers, projects that you worked on that were successful, or a benefit to the company, additional work that you have moved beyond your job description. – to prove that your value and skills have grown since you discussed your salary with your boss. Find out in advance what salary is right for you (or ask your colleagues).

“Negotiating what you’re worth is all about having the data to back your case,” says Bridget Venus Grimes, financial advisor and author of the new book Corner Office Choices: A Guide for Women Leaders to Financial Freedom. “Be able to describe in detail your work, how the organization has benefited from your work, and the amount of compensation you want based on the value you have provided to the organization.”

You need to make it clear to your boss that the promotion for you does not deplete the company, but is actually an investment to improve it. You create value for them. Sally Thornton writes in Ellevest :

Even if your role does not have a clear impact on income, define a win-win. It exists, otherwise you would not be thrilled with your work, but it may need to be clarified. We all want to feel like a valued member of a winning team with an inspired mission. So convert as much of your work as possible into tangible value: increased income, avoidance of risks, lower costs.

Whenever you feel like you or your potential manager is slipping into a defensive position, say something during the negotiation about how exciting it will be to collaborate and have more impact on the company together so that you both stay in the spirit of the possible. -together “thinking.

And if a 100% pay increase is out of the question, you can ask for more job responsibilities or a timetable for a full-time offer. “You can ask for compensation in the form of a package, not just wages,” says Grimes. “So maybe part of it is pay increases, but your firm may offer other benefits that will be important to you, such as stock options, vacations, deferred compensation.” Know what benefits your employer can offer you as a safety net.

Remember: you must prove to your boss that you are worthy of him, and he must prove to you that he is sincere in your best intentions. Binding you with promises of increased or greater responsibility for months or years, and then failing to meet obligations, is a breach of trust, in which case you should start looking for another job. If you keep setting goals and your manager brushes them off, it could indicate a toxic work environment that won’t get better as long as the current managers remain in place. You deserve more.


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