Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Time To Ask For That Raise

Here is a quick little notice from an Ohio TV station (which sounds suspiciously reminiscent of the fictional 70's radio station WKRP) about how now is a good time to ask for a raise. Salaries have risen faster than the cost of living for the first time since 2001. This year, white collar salaries rose 3.6 percent, and next year they're projected to rise 3.7 percent. Happy days are here again. Supposedly...

The article lists four reasons why your boss would give you a raise. They are - once again with my own annotations - as follows:

1) Positive Attitude - The Happy Face reigns supreme in the world of the corporation - although, paradoxically, why would you want a raise unless you were less than fully content? Bosses surely prefer employees who are content with their lot to those who want more. But there are other manifestations of a "positive attitude". Eagerness to improve productivity would fit the bill here, and this aspiration meshes well with the eagerness to improve one's income. Get a raise by trying to get a raise, so to speak, for the entire company.

2) There is a valid business reason for giving you a raise - Make you want of this one. The important thing to remember here is that no boss will give you a raise just because you want to put your kids through college, take a trip to Paris, or buy a Mercedes. He or she has to be getting something in return. Mimicking indispensability is one tactic. Make your boss think your company cannot survive without you. On the other hand, that may sound a little too much like extortion and might actually backfire.

3) Timing - Ask for a raise when profits are high, business is growing and management is spending more on everything in general. You might have the luck to be swept up in a tsunami of increasing expenditure that is lifting all boats. In this case, you could find yourself getting a raise not because your performance has been special, but because you are just like everyone else - which defeats the ego satisfaction that can come from getting a raise in the first place. Nonetheless, good times may be times when, if you don't ask for a raise, you're being a little too passive for your own good.

4) You did your salary research - This tactic involves getting the facts on what your counterparts are being paid elsewhere, and then presenting those facts to The Man. It presupposes that your boss is rational and likes facts, which is a big if. It will also work only if you are being paid less than you would be elsewhere, which is another big if. Even then, this approach is borderline adversarial, as it involves confronting your boss with an argument, however logical - and it, too, could backfire.

"How To Get A Raise" from WKRC 12 Cincinnati

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