01/22/2013 05:28 pm ET Updated Mar 24, 2013

Respect and a Raise: How to Get Both at Work

In my time as a recruiter and career consultant, I've noticed a pattern among people: one of the major reasons they hop from job to job is because they never feel like there is any opportunity for growth.

People are constantly telling me how they can't seem to get ahead or just can't get their boss to respect them. Meanwhile, there are those select few who do get promoted, who do get raises and who do get major kudos from their bosses.

So how they do it? Is there some secret formula to it? Not really. In fact, a lot of it is actually common sense. Listen up as I explain how you can gain your boss' respect, and in turn, start shaping your career for a better future in three easy steps.

Step 1: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

There's a popular rumor out there that suggests Gen Y thinks they are entitled. In my professional experience working with college grads, I haven't found this to be totally true. However, there are a select few who do expect things like promotions to happen without any real effort. And this isn't just with Gen Y -- I've seen it within every age group I've ever interviewed. Those are the people who have very rude awakenings throughout their career.

So how do you make sure you aren't one of those people? By keeping yourself in-check as often as possible. While it's awesome to go after big goals and career dreams, we have to make sure that we are still being realistic and flexible along the way. Below you'll find some examples of questions to ask yourself before stating that you aren't getting what you deserve:
  • Are your salary requirements merited, or are you being overzealous?
  • Have you consistently exceeded your personal and company goals, or simply done the bare minimum?
  • Do you actually participate in meetings and brainstorming sessions or sit there in silence?
  • Do you help others without griping, or do you just stick to your own needs?
  • Have you volunteered to take on extra work, or do you avoid it like the plague?
  • Do you come up with creative solutions on a consistent basis, or let others do the thinking for you?

Step 2: Step Up to the Plate

The first time I got a raise at my current company was when I showed my boss I could really step up to the plate and work under pressure.

Here's the story: I was originally hired as the receptionist, so all I really did was admin work. One day, a former recruiter decided he was going to quit without giving notice, and just stopped showing up to work (big no-no, by the way).

Meanwhile, we had a full schedule of candidates and no one to interview them. So what happened? I ended up interviewing them on the fly, which led to my boss training me to conduct interviews and making it a part of my job description. As a result, I got a raise and eventually started getting bonuses for placements.

Was I nervous? Yeah, kind of. But when the business is in a pickle, you have to show you can step up. And believe me, that kind of attitude gets rewarded in the long run.

For more on how you can stand out and get noticed by your boss, check out this stellar guide from CareerBuilder.

Step 3: Do More Than What Is Expected

I often interview candidates who do the bare minimum and then complain that there is no opportunity for growth. If you want more responsibility, some respect, and maybe a raise, you're not going to get it just by doing what is being handed to you.

In actuality, you may have to go above and beyond what is merely laid out in your job description. As Kate White explains in her book, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: The Success Secrets Ever Gutsy Girl Should Know, you need to go big or go home.

Maybe you're writing up a report, notice odd sales patterns and mention it to your boss. Or maybe you take the initiative to plan the next event. Whatever it is, make sure to put in more than what is actually expected of you.

For optimal results, make sure to repeat the above mentioned steps as often as possible. It may not always be easy, but coming from a place of serving the business rather than serving yourself will help you make tremendous progress in your career.

How have you stepped up to the plate at work? Tell us in the comments!

This article originally appeared on Levo League. You can read more, comment and share it here. If you liked this piece, check out our other stuff!