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Make More Money: 5 Stories of Major Income Increases

What would it take for you to increase your earnings by at least 20 percent in just one year?

DailyWorth talked with five women who did just that (including one who tripled her income!). And while all five accomplished it in different ways, they had one thing in common. Instead of sitting around waiting for others to give them a raise, each woman took courage, mixed it with confidence, and in her own way proved to the world “I am worth more.”

How did they do it? Read on.

Melanie Erickson, Sales Director

Increase: 20 percent
How She Did It: Approached her boss

Melanie Erickson knew she was underpaid. But the only way to fix that was if she could get her boss to think the same way. So, Melanie developed a plan. 

First, she waited for the right moment: Immediately after successfully completing a major project. “I wanted to catch them in a good mood, when this major initiative was still fresh in their minds,” Melanie says. “I wanted them thinking, ‘If there’s any question that this person could be unhappy and looking to leave, we don’t want that to happen.’”

She drafted a three-page “Why I deserve more” executive proposal. Using Salary.com and GlassDoor.com, Melanie established what others in her field were earning, proving that she was undervalued. She created a list of all her work accomplishments, highlighting that she met and/or exceeded every expectation made of her. 

“It wasn’t, ‘I want a raise,’” Melanie says. “It was, ‘I want to bring my compensation in line with my business responsibilities and contributions.’”  

She didn’t alert her boss that she wanted to discuss salary. She did not email her proposal in advance. Instead, she requested a meeting in a conference room (not the boss’ office, thus leveling the playing field) and handed him a printed copy. She then presented it to him, point by point. 

Melanie didn’t offer any ultimatums. If her boss had said no outright, she planned to ask that her immediate objectives be outlined and the request be revisited in 90 days. Otherwise, “I need to look into other options.”

Melanie didn’t need her backup plan. Her boss told her he supported her increase but had to get CEO approval. After some wrangling with human resources, Melanie learned a week later her request had been granted.

The raise made Melanie feel more confident in her job. But it also gave her confidence in herself. “It’s a pretty intimidating thing to go in and say ‘I want more money.’ It’s hard for women to do that,” says Melanie. “But you have to understand it’s a business proposition. What is your value to the organization? That’s what you have to come back to. ‘This is what I’m contributing. This is what I’m worth on the open market.’”

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