Author Topic: Your practical tips for asking for a raise  (Read 921 times)

jeff

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Your practical tips for asking for a raise
« on: September 10, 2018, 05:17:56 PM »
I work in an industry overpopulated with Type A's. My colleagues (I'm speaking generally here) are good at selling themselves and understand how to move up the pay scale. I'm not so great at it.

I'm about 10 years out of college. Many of my friends and colleagues who are my age who started in the field alongside me get paid considerably more than I do, and while I know how they do it, I just don't know how they do it. Oftentimes finding another job and threatening to leave works (at least at my company), but sometimes I feel like they're able to go into a meeting with a senior level person and leave with a considerably raise or even a title bump (which comes with a significant jump in pay). I know some people who do this every 18 months to two years. Meanwhile, I've never negotiated that way in my life. My raises and title jumps have come when switching companies or relocating. That's not sustainable, or at least it's not what I want to be doing.

I fear I'm seen as someone they can walk over. So my question: What do you say in that room with your boss?

Sam

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Re: Your practical tips for asking for a raise
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 07:04:15 PM »
I work in an industry overpopulated with Type A's. My colleagues (I'm speaking generally here) are good at selling themselves and understand how to move up the pay scale. I'm not so great at it.

I'm about 10 years out of college. Many of my friends and colleagues who are my age who started in the field alongside me get paid considerably more than I do, and while I know how they do it, I just don't know how they do it. Oftentimes finding another job and threatening to leave works (at least at my company), but sometimes I feel like they're able to go into a meeting with a senior level person and leave with a considerably raise or even a title bump (which comes with a significant jump in pay). I know some people who do this every 18 months to two years. Meanwhile, I've never negotiated that way in my life. My raises and title jumps have come when switching companies or relocating. That's not sustainable, or at least it's not what I want to be doing.

I fear I'm seen as someone they can walk over. So my question: What do you say in that room with your boss?

The employee a manager likes the best is one who never speaks up and asks for more. But unfortunately, that's bad for the employee.

The best thing you can do is come prepared with a sheet of paper or a short presentation with all the value you have added this year or since the last promotion. You must MANAGE UP and remind them what you have done.

Every employee is probably earning a salary at a 5% - 30% discount to market at any given moment. Highlight your work in the next review, make them come up with a path to a pay raise and a promotion.
Regards,

Sam

techsolutions

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Re: Your practical tips for asking for a raise
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 12:19:21 PM »
in the tech space where every firm wants to put you at their  billable client
few i heard got better pay from competing firm and showed that offer and current company matched to not loose employee
depends on market timing and skills current demand etc as its billable time vs other jobs not to so clear financial numbers to quantify

Irish247

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Re: Your practical tips for asking for a raise
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 04:24:19 PM »
Jeff,  I don’t think there is a magical set of words that gets you the next title or pay raise. I think it usually comes down to confidence. You need to know what you are worth and convince your manager of that worth. This can be done via past successes or future milestone goals. The key is to let them know the metrics you want to be judged by. What goals have you set and made. Have you increased client relationships, profit, production, etc. You have to be able to show something that you did or will do.  Set the stage and create the demand. Of course as noted you can always threaten to leave but that only gets you so far. Either they meet your demand or they call your bluff. Either way if you pull the pay me or I walk game you may win, but they will look for a replacement sooner or later.  I have found a lot of success in highlighting policy changes I have made. If you can find ways to build a better mouse trap and show them how and why you keep pushing for improvement, it will be noticed. You also need to rate a change in pay and title. Simply wanting it doesn’t get it done. You show value and you will get paid. Just keep setting known goals and meet them.

sevenplaces

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Re: Your practical tips for asking for a raise
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 06:41:44 AM »
I would only add 1 thing.  You may be able to convince your direct supervisor/manager of your worth and that you are indeed worth more, however, there still may be an obstacle to your getting that raise/promotion: the human resources department.  They are removed from your activities and follow their own set of rules/policies that they use to keep everything at status quo.  So I'm saying to mentally be prepared to have your raise rejected by HR even though your manager approves it.
Robert

Kalliste

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Re: Your practical tips for asking for a raise
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2018, 09:06:57 AM »
Also, in larger companies, to get increase of salary/promotion it is usually a collegial decision of your boss peers (boss included). So you need to demonstrate your worth not only to your boss but to his peers as well from other Business Units or functions so they can also vouch for you.

daninmo

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Re: Your practical tips for asking for a raise
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 11:42:59 AM »
I have been on all sides of the "I want a raise" discussion as an employee, a corporate VP and small business (25 employee) owner. 

As an employee at a large company, I made myself so valuable that they couldn't live without me.  You would think my salary would have been top notch but it wasn't. They "hired in" outside people and paid them more several times.  I then became a project manager on a risky (think statewide electric blackout if we made a mistake), $10M project which I nailed by being under budget, on time and a cutover that went perfectly.  This was the biggest project anyone in our division had ever led.   What did I get for this feat?  A $500 bonus and the standard 3% raise.  A year later a friend of mine offered me a job making about 20% more and I took it without blinking.

As a corporate VP, I had over 250 people under me.  This is how most companies determine raises.  The company determines a % of raise for the company and this is given to the head of the departments.  The department head then gives this direction to the supervisors that report to him/her to determine raises or sometimes the department head determines all the raises.  So if your department has $1M salary budget and the company declares 3% raises that means there is $30K to spread around.  That is not much.  A good boss gives the stars a big raise, the middle folks around 3% and the low performers' nothing to little.  A bad boss gives everyone 3%.  The other thing you need to keep track of is your rising stars.  They have hit their stride and are becoming stars.  You need to get them from a fair salary to a good salary.  They may have passed their schooling or certifications and are moving from tech to engineer which means you need to give them a $10K raise.  So if you follow all this, there isn't much money left over for everyone.  You can also consider there are a lot of bosses that give all the raises to their chosen people that may be friends or they just don't know good employees when they see them.  The problem with the corporate world is that you are given too little resources to treat your employees like you would want to.  You want to work for a good boss and just as importantly a good CEO. 

As a business owner, I was intimately involved with all our projects and how our employees did on them.  They made me good money and I made sure they made good money.  I knew I couldn't make money without them so they got great raises and bonuses.  Some got so high in their pay range that I couldn't give them a raise any higher and keep the company competitive when we bid on work.  So those guys got even nicer bonuses.  The thing to realize here is that you want to work for a good business owner. One that realizes it's not just about the owner making money.  They understand your value and make sure you are happy or we go out of business.  I rarely had an employee ask for a raise because I never wanted them to think I didn't appreciate them and they were already taken care of. 

As the VP and owner, I got the "I need a raise" question all the time.  Most of the reasons were "I bought a car and need to make more money to pay for it" or "I'm getting married and my wife is in school so I need to make more to pay for the both of us".  These are not reasons to ask for a raise.  None of these are a reason for a company to give a raise and none of these help the company make or save money.  As the VP I occasionally got the I need a raise because I saved the company a substantial amount of money with this new way of doing business or I made the company 10X my salary by creating this new product.  If they don't give you a raise for that type of contribution then move on.  Sometimes the VP has used up his pool of raises and doesn't have anything to give.  A good VP will go to bat with the CEO to get some more money allocated to reward this deserving contribution.  Sometimes he strikes out. 

The thing to remember is that you agree to do a job for X number dollars.  If you do your job and they pay you what you agreed then everyone should be happy.  If you find out that your co-worker is making more than you that really shouldn't matter because that employee agreed to work for that price. Nothing changed for you other than you finding out what they made.  If you want to make more then, you need to show them how you are now more valuable than what both sides agreed to before.  If you are making a big difference and not getting rewarded then you need to move on to another job.

You need to do what is best for you because a company is going to do what is best for it.  If you are not getting compensated for your worth then you need to move on because if a company is hurting and they need to cut salaries they won't think twice about letting you go.