How to get a raise or promotion in the next 6 months

How to get a raise or promotion in the next 6 months

Every company has that employee who consistently delivers and consistently gets rewarded. 

What are they doing differently from everyone else? Sure, they’re good at their job, but they can’t be that good, can they?

Their manager usually defines this person as someone who raises the bar for everyone around them. We’ve managed them, so we know what they do, and we will give you the tools to get yourself a raise – or promotion – in the next six months.

The 360 Assessment

The best employees do two things; they consistently exceed their expectations and they make work a better place for everyone around them.

Let’s start with the ladder point.

As the saying goes, a rising tide raises all ships. If you do great individual work, that’s awesome. But if you do great individual work and you help everyone around you do better, that’s top-notch performance.

Far too many people only care about themselves and their performance. And yes – we will get to that. But it’s important to understand that the impact you have on your peers, manager, and direct reports (if you have some) is really important.

Build followership

Here are three distinct profiles. You tell me which one you’re most likely to follow.

Person A

  • Always delivers top-notch work and exceeds their goals
  • Is an asshole

Person B

  • Isn’t the highest performing person, missed their goals frequently
  • Goes above and beyond to help other people, and is an enjoyable person to work with

Person C

  • Always delivers top-notch work and exceeds their goals
  • Goes above and beyond to help other people, and is an enjoyable person to work with

To build followership, you have to be person C. Person A will do good work but won’t get the respect of his/her peers because they’re an asshole. Person B will make friends because they’re enjoyable and try to help, but they won’t get the respect of their peers because they don’t deliver.

People with great followership have both; they’re accountable/consistently deliver, and they help everyone around them.

Self Reflection

Before you start making improvements, you have to understand where you stand. That’s why these next sections will be about self-reflection and collecting feedback.

First, ask yourself these questions. Be thoughtful, take the time to get clear answers, and be honest with yourself.

  1. How have I performed against my goals? If you have tangible goals, write down your actual performance against them for the last few periods.
  2. What have I done to support my peers? How are my relationships with my peers? Write down relevant examples.
  3. What have I done to support my manager? How is my relationship with my manager? Write down relevant examples.
  4. How well am I embodying the company’s values? What have I done to demonstrate this? Write down relevant examples.

This should give you a good baseline of where to start, and the next few steps will help you validate (or invalidate) your initial findings.

360 Feedback

Now that you have your own pulse on where you stand, you should start collecting feedback from the people you work with.

360 feedback is true to how it sounds. Upward, downward (if you have direct reports), and side-to-side feedback.

Make a list of the people who you work with regularly. Reach out to them and let them know you want to improve, and would love to get feedback from them. Then schedule some time. When you meet, ask them these questions:

  • What are some of the things I can do better? Collect examples if you can
  • What are some of the things I’m doing well? Collect examples if you can
  • What do you think are the most important things for me to focus on?
  • Is there anything else you can share with me, to help me be a better employee/peer?

This will give you an additional set of data to work off of. Now, take some time to reflect on the 360 feedback in addition to the feedback you gave yourself. Set some SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

Showing your work

Once you’ve reflected on your feedback and created SMART goals, schedule time with your manager to review them. Be clear that you’re serious about growing your career, you’d like to get a raise or promotion, and share the goals you created (based on the feedback you received).

Review the feedback and goals and get any additional feedback. Then, have a candid conversation about getting a raise. If you hit these goals, will your manager push to get you a raise or promotionin 6 months? If not 6 months, what’s the right time horizon.

After the conversation, send a recap email to highlight the discussion so it’s documented.


I’ll keep this short because it should be straightforward. You have to deliver on your goals. This is the most difficult part. Work hard. Check-in with your manager and peers to ensure you’re delivering. 

Better yet, send your manager a weekly recap of what you accomplished each week. Make it easy for them to see all the great work you’re doing.

Market Research

There are a couple of important things for you to do before making the official request for a raise.

  1. Schedule the conversation in advance and let your manager know what it’s about. Don’t blindside them by randomly asking about a raise in your 1:1 – you’ll be disappointed when they don’t have a good answer for you.
  2. Research your salary range. Use FairComp to get a pulse on how much you could be making for your role, and then anchor your ask on a specific number. You should ask your manager for a specific amount. If you leave it up to them, you might get the bare minimum.

Manager 1:1

It’s time for the big conversation. Don’t worry – you’ve done everything right thus far. You’ve collected feedback and acted on it. You’ve prepared your manager for the conversation. Now, there shouldn’t be any surprises.

This meeting should be straightforward. Start by recapping all the work you’ve done, how you’ve shown improvement, and how excited you are to continue growing at the company.

Share that you’ve done some research on market rates, and believe you should be paid $XX,XXX. Once you make that ask, just shut up and wait. They may have an immediate answer for you, or they may need some time. Know what you’re comfortable with accepting.

Need additional help prepping? Check out our AI negotiation coach.

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