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Dr. Greg Segment Summary

It’s Time to Ask for That Raise

Dr. Greg Ketchum, 01/29/05

With the turning of the New Year it's time to reevaluate your job/career. I'm calling this the "Year of Taking the Initiative," or doing those things for your job/career that you've been procrastinating on for far too long. Asking for a raise is one of those steps that most people procrastinate on.

First, here are some examples of critical mistakes and key success factors concerning asking for a raise.

3 Critical Mistakes

  1. Assume your boss knows the value you add/successes you’ve had.
  2. Threaten to leave if you’re not prepared to do it.
  3. Assume that getting a raise is your “right” and part of the job.

3 Key Success Factors

  1. Know your worth. Research like positions. Salary.com & classifieds.
  2. Know what you want and what’s acceptable. Include perks, time off, etc.
  3. Timing is critical. Don’t ask during a downturn or cutbacks.

Here are some action steps to help you successfully prepare for and manage the conversation with your boss over a raise.

Action Steps

  1. Prepare to Sell Yourself
    Make a list of your accomplishments. If you can quantify in terms of revenue increases or cost decreases even better. Include ideas for future key projects you’d like to do. Write it out along with your salary research. Get ready to sell.
  2. Know Your Boss
    Know his/her style, i.e. how they like to get information, the best time to approach, how they make decisions, potential objections.
  3. Manage the Conversation
    Make your case, have written accomplishments & salary research, have fall back positions, prepare for a “no,” ask what marks you need to hit to get a future raise or what career advancement options exist. Be prepared to take baby steps.

If All Else Fails And You Get a Flat Out No

  • Suggest a Time Out
    Suggest that you leave the material with them and that you get together to follow up in a couple of days. This gives each of you time to reconsider.

Remember, you’re asking them to increase their investment in you. Emphasize what return they can expect.

If you’ve got work or career topics you’d like to see us address, just send me an email at drgreg@talentplanet.com.


®2005 All rights reserved. Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Career Advice

Dr. Greg is the “KRON 4 (San Francisco) Workplace and Career Expert”

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