How to Negotiate a Raise

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It is imperative for employees to have a firm grasp of their job description. has the mother load of online salary surveys.


  • CAREER CORNER 1.800.973.1177

    PAGE 1 continued on back

    Experts say there are important rules to

    follow in securing a raise. To begin with,

    employees should not ask for raises unless

    they have been at the company for at least a

    year or more. Other issues to consider are a

    self evaluation of performance, timing, the

    approach, and alternative options to a pay

    increase such as more vacation days, flexible

    work arrangements, or stock options.

    It is imperative for employees to have a firm

    grasp of their job description and the com-

    pensation policies, experts say. Self evalua-

    tion is an important first-step in deciding to

    ask for a raise. Understanding ones worth is

    essential. Jack Chapman, a Career & Salary

    Coach and founder of www.salarynegotia-, stated, an employee must look

    at what is special and unique about their job

    performance; that is what a boss will pay


    Experts recommend that employees review

    their accomplishments and be prepared to

    discuss how and why they have added value

    to the company. Keeping a job diary is an ex-

    cellent way of maintaining a record of ones


    Successful research will assist an individual

    asking for a raise, experts say. Review what

    others in the same position in and out-

    side the organization make. Mr. Chapman

    recommends utilizing the Internet. Jobstar.

    org has the mother load of online salary

    surveys, he said.

    Timing is critical. Planning ahead will help in

    achieving the desired result. Experts advise

    that employees should be aware of internal

    and external pressures such as the financial

    stability of the company and the current state

    of the economy.

    Employees should find out if their organiza-

    tion has a scheduled time period for making

    raise requests, experts advise. Mr. Chapman

    suggests drafting a memo and handing it in

    a few weeks before the employee would like

    to schedule the meeting to discuss a raise

    request. He stated, the memo should be no

    more then a page and should list your targets

    and goals.

    The status of the business can play a key role

    in whether it is an appropriate time to ask for

    a raise. If the business is doing well, this can

    prove an opportune time to try to reap the

    benefits of the companys success.

    If an employee has recently experienced a

    major achievement, such as winning a case,

    this can also be a superb time to ask for a

    raise, according to Mr. Chapman. Another

    great time is if an employee has been handed

    additional responsibilities or an annual

    review is pending.

    Understanding the culture of the office, as

    well as the bosses personality, plays heavily

    into the effectiveness of the approach. The

    specific tactics used should be dictated by

    the character of the boss, the employees

    relationship to the boss, and the general

    culture of the business environment.

    Career coaches stress the importance of

    anticipating what reactions a supervisor

    may have. Knowing what to expect can be a

    tremendous aid in handling the overall situ-


    Mr. Chapman suggested some things not

    to do when requesting a raise. Do not talk

    about how you need this or need that. Sym-

    pathy doesnt work with lawyers. Do not give

    ultimatums and dont threaten to quit.

    The employees attitude is extremely

    significant, experts say. Weakness never

    looks good, but neither does arrogance.

    An employee should be prepared to sup-

    port his or her reasons for wanting a raise

    and gracefully handle whatever decision is

    made. Maintaining a confident, professional,

    positive attitude, as well as having the cor-

    rect information to support the request, will

    facilitate a successful interaction.

    If a request for a raise is denied, career

    consultants advise that an employee should

    suggest some alternatives such as extra

    vacation days or stock options. If this is not

    an option, employees should consider look-

    ing for new employment where their financial

    needs will be satisfied.

    Employees willing to remain with the com-

    pany despite the lack of a raise should ask

    their employers what improvements they

    can make in their performances. Positive

    changes may result in a raise in a subse-

    quent year.

    Mr. Chapman suggests an exercise that can

    improve the chances of receiving a raise. An

    employee should sit down with his or her

    How to Negotiate a Raise[by Karen A. Lefkowitz]

    All lawyers attempt to master the art of negotiation. Although frequently they use the art to further the interest of a client, lawyers sometimes need to nego-

    tiate for themselves. That is especially true when the goal is a raise.

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    boss and have the boss list what is involved

    with the employees job and rate the position

    on two scales: how well the employee is

    performing each job duty, and how important

    each duty is. The employee should fill out

    his or her own version of the list. After the

    two lists have been completed, both parties

    should compare notes. Afterward, the em-

    ployee should make sure he or she is from

    this point forward on the same wavelength

    as the boss. This one thing will make an

    employee stand out from the crowd, Mr.

    Chapman said.

    Employees demonstration that they are

    worth higher compensation should literally

    eventually pay out.