While you may very well be getting a small increase in pay as a result of President Obama's recent executive order, it's important to understand that within-grade increases (WGIs) are not automatic. As a matter of fact, you need a performance rating of at least level three (or "fully successful") to qualify. You must also complete the required waiting period, which is usually at least one year.
However, instead of just waiting around, there are several things you can do to make your next performance review a success:
1. Be a Self-Starter
One way to position yourself for a solid pay raise or promotion is to institute your own work-related goals, setting them above and beyond those provided to you by your supervisor. By doing so, you ensure that you perform at a high level at all times. Just be sure to inform your supervisor of your lofty goals during your review, and explain to him or her how you accomplished (or plan to accomplish) each one.
There are other ways to display to your boss that you're truly invested in your career. One is to find solutions to problems on your own instead of constantly relying on your boss. Self-reliant employees are highly valued. You should also consider applying for the free mentors program offered by GovLoop, which can make for an excellent topic of discussion during your review.
2. Meet With Your Supervisor Beforehand
If you're not exactly sure what the parameters of your next performance review will be, there's nothing wrong with requesting a meeting with your supervisor to find out. The last thing you want is to focus on a certain aspect of your job and its associated responsibilities, only to find out that it's irrelevant concerning your review.
3. Arrive at Your Review Prepared
It's unlikely that your boss is going to keep track of each of your accomplishments throughout the year, so this responsibility lies with you. As you prepare for your review, look back at the past year and identify every single way you've added value to the organization. During the review, ensure that you make mention of each accomplishment. There's no reason why any portion of your hard work should go unnoticed.
4. Adeptly Assist Your Boss
Supervisors have inherited a lot more work from departments looking to cut back on staffing, which makes for plenty of opportunities to offer extra assistance. This can help you impress your boss and potentially improve your chances of receiving a decent pay increase. But keep in mind, though you want to help, you do not want to come off as a bootlick in the eyes of your coworkers, nor in the eyes of your of your superiors - so do your best to not overdo it.
Also, make sure you can deliver on any extra projects you take on - or this strategy could end up working against you.
Nearly three-fourths of Americans will experience an increase in taxes this year due to the expiration of the payroll tax cuts. Therefore, it's crucial to act now to better position yourself for a pay increase (and secure your job). The better you can do on your next performance review, the more likely you are to get the raise you desire - and deserve.
What other ways can you suggest to position yourself for a raise?