40 years of faulty wiring

Don’t Ask, Demand a Raise in Salary

You know what I hate? I hate the so-called advice that so-called business and employment experts offer to people who are rightfully seeking an annual raise. The boss always comes back with some b.s. like:

  1. the company is in a salary freeze right now due to the declining economy
  2. we are experiencing layoffs of some of our employees so we can hardly justify a raise for others
  3. you haven’t justified why it is you deserve a raise
  4. you are doing the same work for us now that you did when you were hired

Let’s go over each of these arguments and knock them down one by one.

  1. Why do you care if the economy is shrinking? why should this company care? so long as their books show they are maintaining a profit from their business they are still holding their heads well above water.
  2. The layoffs are probably people who aren’t pulling their weight or they were hired for light jobs that other people could absorb as part of their own.
  3. Before you enter the boss’s office to tell your boss you require a raise (don’t ask) bring a list everything you were hired to do for your original job description and everything you have done outside of your job description whether temporarily or on a regular basis. That is probably a lot more than you realize.
  4. Mention any unpaid overtime you have put into the company.
  5. Inform the boss you like working with XYZ, you have demonstrated that with first rate work and a salary increase of whatever percent is deserved. If the boss says s/he wants to take time to think it over that may be a good sign. At least s/he is aware that you are talking money and not grovelling or asking for anything. You are politely insisting. Think they will fire you on the spot?  Not likely.

Consider how difficult it is to spend time and money interviewing applicants to replace you when you state your terms regarding salary increase. If the boss (who btw expects his or her annual increase, lets not forget) decides to let you go the company has to replace you. Clearly you are valued by your company since they need someone to fill your role. Then they have to spend time training the new hire, introducing that person to the new corporate culture and hope they have made a good choice. Quite a risk considering they already have a sure thing who has proven her/his worth time and again.

But the business experts (whoever they are) insist on two things I disagree with:

  1. ask for a salary raise – rather than demand it. Utter rot. Asking is for wimps. Step up and tell them you are worth a raise and since you are going to get it its just a matter of talking percentage.
  2. Give your boss lots of notice about the discussion you will have in terms of salary so you don’t ambush this person.  Let them prepare for the dreaded salary meeting.  Not true. The boss’s ambush is your trump card. Throw her/him off guard and make your presentation. Since you have already booked a 15 minute appointment time with your boss beforehand it doesn’t matter what the interview is for, it only matters that s/he gave you the nod for a specific amount of time with you. Any time you can trip up the person with the power to say yes or no is always a good thing.

If after all your good planning the answer is still no, polish off your resume and get job hunting. Why? Not because you are afraid that you will be let go but because in spite of all your hard work who wants to work for a company that refuses to acknowledge it? There are still a lot of companies that are hiring good quality people regardless of the shrinking economy. We are in a recession not a depression, a significant difference between the two. Use that knowledge to bolster your confidence and go get that raise you rightly deserve.


February 17, 2011 - Posted by | Career, Finance | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. My friend Fred, a talented blogger, asked me for advice the other day. Here’s a partial answer, with a few apologies to Swift: (and when you’re done with this list, feel free to read my post about shark attacks).

    Comment by howtogettrafficforyourblog | February 17, 2011 | Reply

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