Believe it or not, I’ve never thought about asking for a raise. Ever. It has never occurred to me to walk into my boss’s office and ask for more money tomorrow for the same job I am doing today. I wouldn’t even know where to start.

What I have done, however, is asked for an increase in responsibility. It only makes sense to me that in order to receive something, I must be willing to give something. After all, isn’t that the definition of compensation? Besides that, I should never be satisfied simply settling into one spot; I want to develop myself both professionally and personally.

Money for nothing is a short-term gain. While it may help pay the bills or fill out my pocketbook, it doesn’t make me more marketable. It just makes me more expensive than someone else for that job. More money for more responsibility, though, is an investment in my career.

The next time you think about padding your paycheck, look instead toward your next position. Don’t think about a raise, think about a promotion, about what you can do to earn it. Incremental increases for doing the same job are not a reward. The real bounty is growing your capability. That’s what makes you valuable.

**Before some of my readers protest that they may have taken on additional responsibility without nominal compensation, that’s not what this is about. Either party can get ahead of the other in the give/get paradigm. Earning more is different from simply asking for more. Make sense?**

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