I was very late to the game in financial literacy. I was never taught how to budget so I saw my money come in one day and out the next. I was grateful to make a stable salary so I didn’t really connect what value to my salary. And I didn’t know how to get rid of my debt and in what order. A few years ago, an IRS misstep* forced me to pay a few thousand dollars pretty quickly. I had to get serious. I found You Need a Budget, met with a financial advisor, and took control of my financial independence.
*This IRS misstep was because I didn’t file my small amount of wages from teaching a special needs improv class, c’mon man!
I was approaching a yearly review when a colleague gave me a brilliant suggestion. They told me they have sent an email prior to the review to document what they had done that year beyond what they wrote in their review and let the direct manager know of their salary expectations. I have never thought of this! This is an amazing strategy for a few reasons:
I put together a template I’ve sent to a good handful of individuals including a therapist, designer, writer, and digital producer. This content stems from my own experiences and guidance from Ellevest Magazine.
Ahead of our review discussion, I wanted to share with you my expectation for [Company]’s investment in my work and contributions to the team. Looking back on my self-evaluation and my previous year’s goals, I feel that I really found my footing. It was a huge year of change for me in my professional life. Here are a few core areas and how I have grown in them in the past year:
With this in mind, I am requesting a salary raise of $XX,XXX (X%) to $XXX,XXX (X%). Thank you, as always, for your encouragement and understanding. I want to continue to bring my best self to work, and I look forward to our conversation.
The intro paragraph should be tailored to what type of year you have had. If this your first year with a company, start by comparing what responsibilities you were hired for vs. what new ones you’ve taken on. The stories and data points should be core areas where you have improved or new skills tied to a key performance indicator. This could be a monetary win, time saved, or how you helped in retaining other employees. As for salary, I suggest providing a range to give the decision-maker anchor points for your expectation.
This template can be used for anyone. HOWEVER, I hope this is most useful for those of you who are looking to close the wage gap, by gender, race, abilities and so on. Drop me a comment with any questions you have and how I can help!