How to Pitch for a $42,000 raise (slide deck included)

It’s true – I asked for a $42,000 raise, and boy am I glad I did it.

Before we begin, I’m not saying you should ask for as much as $42,000; it was a bold ask from me but my role had changed significantly and I backed it up with market data and quantifiable deliverables.

But, if you want to ask for a raise that’s actually noticeable on your paycheck after tax (~$10,000 or more per year) you need to be prepared to pitch yourself.

Even if you only get an extra $3,000 per year, that’s an extra $30,000 over 10 years.

That’s enough to save for a downpayment in some cities.


Because your life earnings and overall economic output shouldn’t be stunted or dictated by beige HR cardigans who cower behind “but your title is this...” or “but the average is...” or hiring managers who have never had the courage to ask for a raise themselves.

Of course, you have to act within reason but the primary determinants of your salary shouldn’t be your “title” or what the “average person” in this job makes.

If you deliver value beyond what the average person does in a particular job title or what you were originally brought on to do – and can communicate it clearly and objectively – why shouldn’t you ask for a raise and title change?


That is an old school mentality from the post-war baby boomer generation.

The world has since changed and we’re experiencing a global talent shortage across most industries. Youth unemployment just hit a 52-year low.

It comes down to how you’re being perceived and how you navigate the job market. Nowadays, if you have half a brain, a moderate EQ, and can Google “how to” – you’re pretty much viable in the market.

These are not the ramblings of an older millennial who feels entitled to a raise or job – you still have to deliver after all. I entered the job market as the recession hit and I know what it’s like to enter a tough labour market. But I’ve also coached hundreds of people on how to find meaningful work through live résumé sessions and my complimentary email course.

Thanks to the internet and the proliferation of digital products, new markets and industries that never existed 30 years ago can emerge overnight and provide countless job opportunities. Billions of dollars can be made in the first year of new products. This doesn’t just create new jobs for these hyper-growth companies; it guts other companies of talent.

The rate that companies can expand nowadays is far faster than the talent pool is growing.

Other socioeconomic factors are also at play. In 2016 Forbes noted that 35% of US workers are freelancers and collectively earned ~$1 trillion dollars. People are no longer pursuing traditional 9-5 jobs because they simply don’t have to. Also, in some industries, people are “ghosting” new jobs because they’re being snapped up elsewhere. I don’t agree with this practice but as someone noted:

“I think they have learned it from the employers… employers were notorious for never getting back to people, and only letting them know what was going on if it turned out they wanted them to go to the next step.”

This is why candidates (you) are no longer commodities; jobs are.

If you’re struggling to find work nowadays it means you’re navigating the market wrong. Sign up for my free email course for some career acceleration tips.

HERE’S A LINK TO THE SLIDE DECK (and below is an example).

1. Summarize Your Current Role.

What were you originally hired to do? This description should be pretty generic; you want the contrast of what you’ve accomplished (next slide) to be pretty significant.

Schedule time with decision makers (not HR unless you report to them) and let them know it’s to provide an overview of your role and you’d like to discuss compensation options.

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2. Summarize What You’ve Accomplished in the Last 12-18 Months.

These should be quantifiable results that objectively show how you’ve brought value to the company.

You can’t use generic terms like “improved systems and processes”. Use the Time, Money, Manpower concept and be sure to provide specific details such as “implemented a new project management tool in under 4 weeks and provided training to over 40 colleagues.”

This makes it objective – no one can contest what you’ve delivered if you quantify it. Also, this is not the time to be humble. Don’t lie, but don’t downplay any successes you’ve had.

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3. Paint The Dream.

Map out the next 12-18 months and what you want to accomplish for the business. Choose 3-5 big goals that you can hit for the company (remember, you have to be able to deliver these results). These deliverables should be very different from your original job description and you have to emphasize the stretch in your growth and ability to deliver.

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4. Kill Your Old Title. 

And ask for a new one. You need to disassociate your current role and title from what you’re going to do for the company in your next role.

This separation helps you make bigger jumps in salary because you’re showing how different the roles are – you’re not comparing apples to apples.

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Tell them “I understand this is a big departure from what I was originally brought on to do but I’ve shown you that I can deliver results and I’m invested in this company.”

5. Map Out Your Strategy.

You have to back up your goals with substance. Provide a high-level roadmap on how you are going to accomplish what you promised.

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6. Provide Multiple Options.

Salary negotiations need to have some give and take. Provide 2 or 3 salary options for management to review and consider. Options show that you’re willing to have a conversation and are not providing an ultimatum.

Also, realize that they’re not paying this upfront. You’re asking for this figure over the course of 12 months where at the same time you’re going to be bringing intrinsic value to the business.

If the scope of your role has grown by 30% then why shouldn’t your compensation also grow by 30%?

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7. Back It Up With Market Intel.

You can’t just pull a number out your rear end. Do your research using LinkedIn, Glassdoor and other relevant sites (remember what I said about being able to use Google?). I used a combination of online research and a well-known salary guide.

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8. Recap (with confidence and enthusiasm).

You have to portray confidence in your ability to deliver what you’ve outlined and that you’re worth what you’re asking for. If people don’t believe you they ain’t gonna pay for you. Wrap it up and thank them for their time.

This is just one way to ask for a raise so feel free to add your comments and ideas below.

Good luck,



Sam is the Founder of – a career coaching, résumé-writing and recruitment business. He's previously landed jobs at Apple and lululemon. Following this he was a headhunter for the executive arm of the largest recruitment firm in the world - Adecco - and also for the largest privately-owned Canadian recruitment firm - Design Group Staffing Inc.

He has worked for Canada’s most innovative company – Axiom Zen/CryptoKitties – and now coaches people around the world on navigating the job market and how to grow professional networks.

Get his free 5-day Career Acceleration course here or if you need help with writing your résumé click here!

Other Articles:

Tired of applying for jobs? Skip HR and try this instead.

How to answer “What’s your salary requirement?" or "What are you currently earning?"

How to Overcome Age Discrimination During Your Job Search

To all the “Bitches” out there in the workplace.

Time, Money, Manpower: a brief lesson.

Applying the Time, Money & Manpower* Concept

You have to learn to write and sell your accomplishments in terms of:

  • Time: when have you done something ahead of schedule? How long was the seminar you delivered? How often did you do a task? How long was that project?
  • Money: how much money have you made, saved or managed for the company? Talk in percentages or 4/5/6/7 figure budgets or the number of transactions, etc.
  • Manpower: how many people do you manage? How large is the team you work in? Who else do you work closely with? How many clients/vendors/customers do you maintain?

The top performers of any industry are always able to quantify their success and usually talk in terms of Time, Money & Manpower. For example:

Don't write this: "created and developed the company's marketing strategy and promotional materials"

Write this: "created and developed an 18-month strategic marketing plan which included the launch of 20 new products and 2 new services. The promotional materials spanned 4 distinct markets and involved collaborating with 3 other department managers (Sales, Supply Chain, and Distribution).

Being able to grasp and apply this concept will help you sell your accomplishments on paper, during an interview, and make negotiating your package easier.

*I also mean Womanpower and People-power.

How to Transition Industries or Roles (a step-by-step guide)

Let’s get real for a moment.

The average person who is tenacious, and willing to learn (or can use Google), is probably capable of excelling in multiple career paths far beyond what their résumé or degree might say.

But why is it so darn hard to transition industries or roles? 

Changing career paths is one of the most common things people ask me for help with. On a weekly basis I hear:

“I’m want anything outside of my industry”

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I’d like to try something new”

“I’ve applied to the [insert industry] multiple times but I never hear back”

I’m not saying you could go be a surgeon or an aeronautical engineer tomorrow without any training but why can’t someone in sales transition to marketing, or marketing to operations, or move from the finance industry to the sports industry? Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make bold career moves by building your network.

1. Determine what kind of move you're trying to make.

There’s 3 different types of moves you can make.

  1. Same role, different industry.
  2. Same industry, different role.
  3. Different industry, different role.

See below:


Knowing what type of move you're trying to make will help you determine the kind of questions you're going to need to ask people. Naturally, the third type of move is the most difficult but the first two should be easier as you'll already have the role or industry in common.

2. Use LinkedIn to connect with people in similar jobs that you want.

You need to start building relationships with people who are currently in the role or industry that you want to go after.

Use LinkedIn to reach out to your target audience and conduct 15-20 minute informational interviews. An informational interview is an exchange of ideas about a particular role, industry or company but no formal hiring decision is made or necessarily discussed.

Your goal is to learn about the role/industry by asking thoughtful questions so you can understand what gaps you have in your experience or the biggest barriers you're going to face and, most importantly, BUILD RAPPORT with someone.

How to ask people for informational interviews:

This following is a sample template taken from my online course and coaching program which teaches you how to tap into the hidden job market and build your network. Copy and paste the following in a message (once they've accepted your LinkedIn connection request). If you can't send a connection request because they're a 3rd connection check out this mini hack or if you have InMails you can use those too.

“Hi [NAME],

Thanks for connecting with me. 

I see you’ve been at [company] for over 5 years now - how are things going? I’m a huge fan/customer/have heard good things/admire the cause/have used the service for years. (CUSTOMISED + RELATABLE)

Most people I know use LinkedIn to build professional relationships - is that what you use it for? (IF THEY SAY NO THEY'RE A WIERDO)

If you’re open to building your network, it would be great to chat via phone for 15-20 minutes. I’m looking to make a move into a [insert role]/the [insert industry] over the next year or so and wondered if you could spare some time to exchange ideas about some trends and what challenges I might face? (THE ASK)

Can I call you before work at 8:15AM or after work at 5:15PM for a brief networking call? Or let me know when is best. (GIVE 2-3 EASY OPTIONS FOR THEM TO CHOOSE FROM)

I look forward to hearing from you and if you’re really busy and can’t get back to me - don’t worry, I’ll follow up with you next week. (GIVE AN ESCAPE ROPE IN CASE THEY'RE BUSY - ALSO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO FOLLOW UP).




Not everyone is going to get back to you - and that's OKAY.

People get overwhelmed and some people (not just millennials) are socially inept or highly introverted, and the idea of talking over the phone with a stranger might be too much for them.

Take those on the chin and move on.

During your calls, you want to conduct research by asking questions like:

  • What is your day-to-day like?
  • What major trends do you see affecting your industry
  • What formal qualifications are required for this career path?
  • What advice would you have for someone looking to get into your field?
  • What kind of people does [company] look to hire?
  • What skills, education or experience would you look for before hiring someone on your team?
  • How do you/does your company usually hire people?
  • Who are some of the key influencers in your industry?
  • What resources do you refer to in order to stay current in your field?
  • Have you ever hired and taken a chance on someone outside of your industry or someone green?
  • What experience is particularly valuable to your department/company?
  • What advice would you have for me in order to make a successful transition to this role/field?

Again, your goal is to conduct a gap analysis on your experience versus the experience required for your target role. Aim for 15-20 informational interviews.

3. Use LinkedIn to connect with hiring managers.

Regardless of the type of transition you're looking to make, you'll need to build your network of people who typically hire for the position you want. Your next step is to reach out to direct hiring managers (avoid HR unless you want an HR position).

Most hiring managers have hired someone who is light on experience but comes via a referral or someone that they know to be smart, reliable, enthusiastic to learn and hardworking.

Once you've conducted 15-20 informational interviews with people in the role you want you should have a good knowledge of the day-to-day duties, primarily skillsets required, and how this role affects or functions within a business. This will allow to "talk the talk" when you're on the phone with hiring managers.

Remember: "Sellin' ain't tellin'"

Half of selling yourself as a potential candidate is the ability to ask thought-provoking questions about their business and dig for pain points while offering solutions and ideas based on the experience you have. That's why it's important to start with people who have the role that you want and learn from them before approaching hiring managers - so you have ideas and thoughts worth bringing to the table.

4. Follow up with your new connections and ADD VALUE to their day.

At the end of each informational interview you should be determining whether you've built up enough rapport to keep in touch, ask for a face-to-face, or if you want to let the relationship fade.

Consider this exercise as "professional dating" - you're not going to match with everyone.

Follow up schedule:

  • Within 2 hours: send a thank you email/LinkedIn message. Ask them how you can help them in the future (offer your network, be a referral partner to them, etc).
  • Within 24 hours: send a handwritten thank you note (Google their office address). If you're too lazy, scared or insecure about your handwriting to do this, don't bother reading any further.
  • 2 weeks later: send an email with an interesting article or white paper which is relevant to their role/their business or something that came up during your conversation. Let them know you're still researching the industry/role and remind them that you're happy to help them if they need something.
  • After that, once a month is sufficient but make sure you're always bringing value to their day. Don't just follow up with "I'm still looking, let me know if you hear of anything". Use the calendar on your phone to set reminders.

This is about building relationships - for the long-term - with potential future colleagues and being genuinely curious about how you can help others.

Like dating, building a genuine rapport takes time so be patient.

5. Making the ask

Once you've built up a network of 20-30 professionals in a similar role that you want or who hire for the role you want, you'll be surprised at how much movement you'll see in the industry. Your new LinkedIn connections will also open up the number of 2nd connections within that field.

Remember: serendipitous things happen when you take the time to grow your network and offer to help others.

If you see an online posting for a position you're interested in - and you know the hiring manager or have made a connection with someone in the company - make the ask.

Don't assume you'll be top of mind just because you chatted to someone on the phone or had coffee with the hiring manager. You have to be BOLD.

You can also ask your new network to introduce you to people that they know for additional informational interviews. Keep building your network.

Copy and paste the following message (tweak as necessary):

"Hi [Name]

Hope all is well.

I noticed your company is hiring for a [insert position] and wondered if you'd be open to a brief chat about it or if you'd encourage me to apply?

As you know, I've been researching about transitioning to a role like this and I'd love to the opportunity to exchange some thoughts about the deliverables of the role and what I could potentially bring to the table. If nothing comes of our conversation I'd be happy to search my network for someone who could be a better fit.

I'm sure you'll get some strong applicants too so no pressure if you don't think it's a fit this round - I understand how this typically works and I still appreciate all the help you've given so far.



The important thing to note is keeping it low pressure and telling them it's okay to say not right now.

6. Make sure your résumé/CV is filled with Time, Money, Manpower accomplishments.

Résumés and CVs don't get you the job but they're still a formal part of the recruitment process and you need to make sure yours is showcasing your biggest career accomplishments and what transferable skills, and results, you can bring to the table.

Generic and nebulous terms like "dynamic, results oriented leader" isn't going to cut it so remove that crap from your résumé.

You have to learn to write, sell and talk about your accomplishments in terms of:

Time: when have you done something ahead of schedule? How long was the seminar you delivered? How often did you do a task? How long was that project?

Money: how much money have you made, saved or managed for the company? Talk in percentages or 4/5/6/7 figure budgets or the number of transactions, etc.

Manpower*: how many people do you manage? How large is the team you work in? Who else do you work closely with? How many clients/vendors/customers do you maintain?

* I also mean Womanpower and Peoplepower.

The top performers of any industry are always able to quantify their accomplishments and usually talk in terms of Time, Money & Manpower. For example:

Don't write this: "created and developed the company's marketing strategy and promotional materials"

Write this"created and developed an 18-month strategic marketing plan which included the launch of 20 new products and 2 new services. The promotional materials spanned 4 distinct markets and involved collaborating with 3 other department managers (Sales, Supply Chain, and Distribution)."

Writing your accomplishments using this concept will make it easier for hiring managers outside of your industry/role to understand - objectively - what you can bring to their team.

If you struggle to sell yourself or don't know how to do this I can write your résumé for you - while you watch - in an hour.

Good luck,

- Sam