I’ve often talked about compensation across my content but I want to get very specific with you in this post. First, we’ll walk through the basics of asking for a raise and what knowledge you should equip yourself with before you ask. Then, I want to offer you an alternative ask that I think is highly underrated and that’s asking for compensation that isn’t directly monetary.

First, the raise.

When considering asking for a raise, it’s important to first know that mid-year can be a tough time to make your ask. Many companies allocate raises and promotions at the beginning of the annual operating year and or the beginning of the fiscal year. So the first thing is to know how your company runs a budget schedule. Find out if your company is running on a fiscal year (probably starts in July) or are you running on a calendar year (which likely starts in January). Once you have that information, backed out three to four months to know when budgets are likely being put together. This can make it much more likely that your raise is granted.

The second thing to know is that raises are typically rolled up at a department or a senior vice president level. What that means is that everyone that answers to a one person, all of those raises get combined and that person is given a set amount of money and then they have to allocate it back out.

So let’s say that your department is only allocated $20,000 in raises, and there are 10 people who are looking for raises, asking for raises in that budget cycle. Well, each one of those people may have a great case for why they want to raise, or they think they deserve a raise or, you know, hopefully they’ve actually put together a rationale for why they have earned the raise. And it’s demonstrated through the results, which is what I would teach you if we were working together.

Regardless, you could still not get a raise just because there’s not enough money allocated to the department that you’re in based on the number of people asking for raises. You may need to keep building your case and keep working with your budget cycles to finally get a “yes” to your ask.

But what if you can’t get that raise? What money can you ask for that isn’t necessarily more salary. There are thousand ways you can do this and get really creative but the three that I like best could be broken into three main buckets:

  1. Development and training: This could look like going to conferences or trainings that are building additional skills for you. Things like executive training classes can be invaluable. Especially if you’re getting into the big schools like Northwestern who offers some of the best stuff for women specifically. Those kinds of courses and trainings can be $24,000+. So securing that from your company can be a HUGE raise. That’s something that’s benefiting you as an individual that is not coming out of your pocket as the company is paying for it. That’s my favorite way to actually get more compensation.
  2. Time: Another thing to consider may be continuing to work from home or starting to work from home if you aren’t already. If you can’t do that, can you work four 10s or a 9/80? Those are just flexible working schedules, four tens. mean you only work four days per week at 10 hours per day to get your 40 hours. Nine 80 is a little bit more complicated. It’s typically eight, nine hour days and one eight hour day, and then a day off every other week. Find a flexible work schedule where you can and save money on childcare, gas, etc.
  3. Reimbursements:
    This is a really great way to, again, get more money back into your bank account that’s not directly tied to your paycheck. So my, my top recommendations to ask for on reimbursement is cell phone. It’s typically very common for a company to reimburse cell phone. It may be at a certain rate or a certain title within the company that that happens. So see if you can get your cell phone plan, reimbursed internet for your home. If you do have a working from home arrangement or if you can prove that you do a lot of work from home, can your company consider reimbursing your internet costs, mileage or public transportation?

I once worked for a company that offered free public transportation passes in the city that I lived in, but almost no one took advantage of it and the thing that was really interesting about that specific plan is it was unlimited use. I did clarify with my company, that I could use this when I’m personally taking public transportation. It turned out that they payed a flat per month so employees were free to use it as much or as little as we wanted. It was something we already did as a company at that time because it gave us a really great benefit. So ask, see if there are public transportation, reimbursement options.

I know a very good friend of mine works for a company that you just have to sign up for an app and the app Tracks when you use public transportation or pay for public parking. The company just reimburses right to my friend’s bank account.

Another thing to consider is tuition reimbursement. It’s very, very common for large corporations to have a tuition reimbursement plan. Do you know what it is? Do you know how you qualify? Do you know what the steps are? Do you know what you need? I’ve worked for companies that have tuition reimbursement anywhere from $2,500 a year to over $10,000 a year. It can be an incredible means of adding to your personal value and growth without paying a dime out of your own pocket.

The last main area that a lot of companies will reimburse is in daycare. So if you have young children and you’re paying a daycare costs, see if your company has a daycare stipend or reimbursement. If they do, make sure you’re taking advantage of that.

There are thousands of ways to do this. These are just my top three but this is part of what I coach on with my clients. I ensure that they’re asking for these things when we’re going into salary or a new job offer negotiations.

If this is something you’d like support with, I would love to hear from you.

You can reach me at [email protected]