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Source: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, April 18, 2005

You Can Get That Raise
By Lore Croghan

Yes, you can get a raise. Take the initiative and make it happen.

And don’t be deterred if there’ve been layoffs or other troubles. This is your moment to take on tough tasks – and be rewarded with higher pay, career consultants said.

“Every company is looking for problem-solvers – and every company has problems,” said David Bowman, the CEO of TTG Consultants, a career and workplace expert.

To come out a winner, schedule a sit-down with your boss – and be sure it’s long before the annual performance review, if your company does them. Do your homework beforehand, so you can argue your case well.

Use this checklist to get organized:
  • Time your meeting with your boss carefully. Don’t schedule when he’s sick, or just cracked up the car. You want him to be in a good mood.
  • Make an appointment in advance, and make it clear you want to talk about your salary.
  • Make a list of achievements you’re proud of – and calculate how much they’ve saved the company or increased revenues. If you can’t come up with dollar amounts, figure out things like how many man-hours of work have been saved by a new system you’ve put in place, Bowman explained.

When you meet with your boss, you’re going to say, “I’m entitled to a small percentage of these savings I’ve achieved/these revenues I’ve increased.”
  • To determine how big of a raise is reasonable, look up industry averages on web sites like

    In your meeting with the boss, don’t refer to your own colleagues’ salaries, or tell your boss you want to be paid as much as he or she. This will put your boss on the defensive – and make you look too nosy for your own good.
  • Remember that white-collar employees can expect average raises of 3.6% this year, according to Sibson Consulting. Your goal is to get more.

    In your meeting with your boss, after you explain the good things you’ve done for the company, ask, “What do you think my raise should be?” Don’t name a specific figure. “He who names a number first, loses,” Bowman said.
  • It’s okay to do a little negotiating. If the boss replies with a really low sum, you say, “Boss, the average raise in the country is going to be 3.6% this year. Can’t we get closer to that?”

    If the boss names a figure that is close to what you want, pause for 10 seconds and rub your chin or stroke your hair, like you’re thinking. Then say, “I hoped it would be …” and give a number that’s 1% higher.
    • Don’t get emotional. Stick to numbers and logic. Approach this like it’s a business presentation.
    • If you’ve got an important project coming up, go for an incentive bonus instead of an increase in your annual salary. Tell the boss you want to set a benchmark – if you achieve specific results, you’ll get a specific bonus. If you exceed these results, you’ll be paid more.
    • Don’t threaten to quit, and say you’ve lined up a better-paying job somewhere else. This could be a quick way to lose your job.
    • Don’t tell the boss, “I need more money, because…” Your arguments for why you should get a raise shouldn’t be about what you want – but about what you’ve done, and what more you’ll do.

    Remember the message of former President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, Bowman said: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

    If you take that attitude in your work – and use it to shape your salary negotiations – a raise should be yours.

    Faces of success and failure

    Do: Sit up straight, make eye contact, and gesture each time you make a key point.

    Don’t: Slouch and cup your hands like a supplicant when you’re negotiating.


    Dave invites you to read other inspiring articles FREE.

    Find out more about Dave Bowman...

  • Motivational and Strategic Speaker
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