Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Want A Pay Raise!

If you are anything like me, you NEED - not want - a raise. Wages just don't seem to match up with the cost of living these days. There are things you can do to bring home more money; like get a part time job, freelance, work overtime, sell your stuff, and all the other things I mention all the time...or you could ask for a raise (if you truly deserve one).

The Standard Advice For Getting A Pay Raise
Of course, most advice on asking for a pay raise is pretty apparent. For instance, most people think it’s a good idea to approach a supervisor when the company is doing well. This makes total sense as it’s the same thing when you’re trying to communicate with an obstinate spouse. Bring a “tough” subject up when the timing is good, and you’ll get a better shot at getting what you want. You want things to be “win-win” here. By contrast, if the company stock suddenly does a $700 swan dive, save your talk until the following month or decade.

Another piece of standard advice: update your resume with any new skills you’ve learned at your job. Something like “outsourced the entire company phone tree to a central location in Eurasia” sounds terrific. “Perfected my fantasy football team roster in just three tries” may not be so relevant. Don’t discuss the number of YouTube videos you’ve watched since the quarter began, though. But what’s better is that you keep learning new skills so that your performance will support your request for a raise or promotion.

Don’t be shy about what you’ve accomplished for your department or company. For instance, you could mention the range of clients you’ve brought into the company. Clients who spend thousands or millions a year on your products are prime. However, if you’re in retail, you don’t need to bring up the squadron of power walkers who only come in to use the bathroom.

During the negotiation itself, be aware of your body language and try to sound calm. Leave the pepper spray in your desk!

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