5 Keys for Going Over Your Boss's Head to Get a Raise

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You’ve asked your boss for a raise repeatedly and she repeatedly tells you no.

In fact she chastises you for being so pesky about asking.

You ask around and learn that she’s not only failed to carry your request to her boss, but she doesn’t carry anyone’s.

And when a couple of your workmates go over your boss’s head to the capo di tutti capi, their requests are met with so much hostility that they quit (or get fired) and find other jobs.

What’s a Hard Working Employee to Do?

Your boss is the poster child for the wage gap and career milquetoast. She doesn’t want to rock the boat, ask for too much, or appear greedy and ungrateful.

She is not awake, not conscious.

She’ll never send her own food back to the kitchen even when it’s ice cold or her “well-done” steak is delivered bloody-rare.

You don’t want her limitations to become your limitations, so you need to take the person who controls the purse strings (your boss’s boss) to lunch.

5 Key Points to Remember:

  1. ASK QUESTIONS: Find out what the big boss's goals and dreams are for the company. Find out what projects she’s working on and where she needs help.
  2. BE OF SERVICE: Brainstorm. Offer potential solutions. Tell her about how your specific skills and accomplishments can help her reach her goals. 
  3. SET UP THE ASK: Tell the Big Boss that you’d like to bring your pay into alignment with your value in the market. Before you do that, make sure you’ve done your research, have gathered comparables of your position in your industry and geographic locale. Next time you meet, ask her out for coffee. Has she seen an improvement? Ask what else or more needs to happen to make a raise possible and when should you check back with her about that.
  4. PRAISE YOUR BOSS: Speak highly of the work of your immediate boss. Tell the boss of bosses that you’ve come directly to her not because of any dissatisfaction with your boss but because you wanted to get connected, and hear her perspective directly.
  5. ASSUME SUCCESS: Be positive. Don’t acknowledge the possibility of defeat. 

Lead from within. Prove your value. Be of service.

If you get stonewalled from all directions, look for a new job.

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