Receiving a Raise

5 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Receiving a Raise

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

In March 2017, ATD Research administered a survey to 1,230 U.S.-based, full-time talent development professionals asking about salaries and benefits. The median survey respondent was a woman, had obtained at least a bachelor’s degree, and had more than 11 years of experience in the field.  

In 2015, ATD Research found that 75 percent of talent development professionals received a raised within the previous year. In its upcoming research report, How Does Your Pay Stack Up: 2017 Talent Development Compensation, Benefit, and Job Seeker Report, 84 percent of participants experienced a salary increase within the last 12 months, which is a 9 percent increase over a two-year period. 

The typical pay increase fell between 2 and 4 percent of talent development professionals’ base salary. Supervisors and team leaders—who oversee groups or teams but not departments—received raises at a slightly higher rate than other groups. In addition, individuals with three to five years of experience earned raises at a slightly higher rate than those with more or less experience. 

Regardless of whether you received a raise recently, here are some tips for negotiating a future salary increase. 

1. Keep a Brag Book 

Most people don’t like to brag about themselves, but it’s important to keep a record of your accomplishments over time. Each time you complete a project or accomplish anything at work, put a page in your physical or virtual notebook that describes it. These don’t have to be major accomplishments, just examples that demonstrate that you get results and possess the skills you claim to have. Use the SOAR format (situation, obstacle, action, result) to describe your accomplishment and include quantifiable results whenever possible. Your brag book will come in handy when you prepare for your next performance review, update your resume or LinkedIn profile, or prepare for job interviews. 

2. Develop Yourself 

Not sure which skills you should be building? Periodically review job postings for positions to which you aspire. What skills and credentials are employers looking for? The jobs don’t have to be in your city or region; the point is to find three to four job postings for positions you’d love to be qualified for some day. What skills and knowledge do you need to develop so that you can be ready for that type of job in the future? 

Take advantage of professional development opportunities whenever you can. If there are employer-sponsored leadership development programs at your company, ask to be considered the next time they’re offered. Enthusiastically participate in relative employee development programs and look for opportunities to use and demonstrate your new skills. 


Don’t restrict yourself to employer-sponsored offerings. Seek out other ways to stay abreast of the skills and trends in your field. Subscribe to news feeds. Participate in online courses and workshops in your field. Join a professional association and participate in local chapter meetings and programs. If your employer won’t pay for your dues, consider it an investment in yourself.

3. Find a Mentor 

Identify a mentor in your company or community who is willing to support your professional growth by becoming your mentor. If your company has a formal mentoring program, sign up and actively participate. If not, you’ll need to find someone on your own. This article provides some practical tips for finding and working with a mentor. 

4. Take on Special Projects 

When volunteers are requested to work on a special project or organizational initiative that interests you, be first in line to help. Special projects enable you to build your skills and gain visibility within your company. Take a leadership role in your professional association or volunteer in your community to gain additional opportunities to build your skill set. 

5. Build Your Network 

Don’t underestimate the value of building your network inside and outside your company. Get to know people within your organization who are moving up. Build bridges to your peers within other departments. Become more visible to senior leaders by participating on cross-functional teams. Whatever you do, don’t hide in your office and expect to get noticed for your good work! 

Outside your company, find people who are engaged in activities that interest you and follow them on LinkedIn or Twitter. Identify companies that are known for excellence in your field and seek out connections to people who work there. Your college alumni network and professional associations can also be helpful in your quest to develop a network. 

Identify a few things that you can start doing today to make yourself more marketable and deserving of a raise next year.  

To learn more about talent development compensation, look for How Does Your Pay Stack Up: 2017 Talent Development Compensation, Benefit, and Job Seeker Report in summer 2017. The full report, which includes key findings, graphs, and tips, will be available August of 2017.

About the Author

Sue Kaiden is the Project Manager, Credentialing for the Association for Talent Development’s Certification Institute (CI). In this role, Sue manages the preparation products used by candidates for the CPLP and APTD credentials. Prior to joining the CI team, Sue was the Manager of the Career Development community at ATD. Before coming to ATD, Sue held executive and consulting roles in the healthcare, IT, and nonprofit sectors and founded a career coaching firm, CareerEdge. In addition, she started a job search support program for unemployed and underemployed people in the Philadelphia area which she ran for 11 years. Through this program and her coaching practice, Sue helped hundreds of people find meaningful work. Sue is the author of  Keeping Your Career on Track (TD at Work) and the editor of Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing a Job You'll Love, a book written with 16 top-notch career coaches that was published in October 2016 . Sue holds an MBA from Cornell University, a BS from Miami University (Ohio), and is a certified Myers Briggs (MBTI) and Strong Interest Inventory practitioner.  

About the Author

Clara Von Ins is the Human Capital Specialist at the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Prior to working for ATD, Clara worked for the American Red Cross as the disaster program coordinator in Santa Barbara, California.

Clara received an bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University in psychology and education. She is currently attending the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill remotely to obtain a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on nonprofit management and community and economic development. 

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