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Marble Jar Gang Career Counseling: I Want a Raise


The basic premise or formula is to recognize that when your skills + traits + behaviors are placed in the right environment the out come will give you a greater chance of success and happiness in your work.


Let’s just assume that you have ‘thought’ about this awhile but now you are ready to do something about it, such as ask your manager for an increase in pay. Before you schedule that appointment you’ve got some questions to ask yourself.


1. Are you happy in your position and is this simply a matter of aligning your compensation to your current responsibilities?

2. Do you know the value of your position and have you checked out comparable pay for the same level and responsibilities? Check out Glassdoor.com, PayScale.com and Salary.com for typical salaries.

3. Would you be willing to be flexible in timing of the raise (at the beginning of the new fiscal year), would you entertain additional paid time off instead of cash or would you take a one time bonus and stay at your current rate?

4. Have you taken on additional responsibilities or projects and does this effect your duties daily, weekly or was it a ‘one-off’ project to help out? Maybe someone quit and you assimilated some of their responsibilities into your work day.

5. What if they say no to your request? Have you considered how that will impact you? Will you want to leave the job you said you were happy doing?

If all these questions are answered in a positive manner then this is how you proceed.

· Do that market research and know your worth. Have a range that the raise might fall into versus one specific number. A min-max conversation. Know what the %’s are with this range. Homework to check on your current market value at: https://www.payscale.com and look up “what am I worth?” and get a marble in your jar.

· Schedule the appointment wisely. Look at the boss’s calendar of events and find a slow spot on the schedule. Avoid periods before and after travel, board meetings or promotional launches.

· Write out what you want to say. Make a chart of increased responsibilities with the frequency of these activities and the length of time they take. Define the of achievement beyond the norm. Bring any congratulatory letters from customers or vendors. Have concrete data on your contributions to the company. Think of it as a marketing plan for yourself and plan to present it professionally. Be very careful as to not sound like this is an ultimatum.

· Do not add additional topics into the meeting. Be straightforward and say that you want to open up the conversation about your compensation. The body language and tone of the answer to that statement will tell you a lot about how it’s going to go. Give your best pitch and remain positive, tell your story of the value you add. Then listen carefully. Your active listening should include paraphrasing to make sure you have gotten it correctly. This is a conversation and it should be respectful even if you are turned down.

· If you are given a negative answer then you should understand why. Can you do more in your position? Is it the company financials? Are there Human Resource issues with salary ranges? Is your manager, in some way, unhappy with your performance?

The most important item is that you are really good at your job, you deserve a raise and you’re not asking for a promotion or title change…just compensation for the value you bring.


For a deeper dive into describing your own value check out this article: https://www.ted.com/playlists/507/get_paid_what_you_re_worth



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