Tech & Work

How did you negotiate that big raise?

Stock options might not look so attractive anymore. So how do you negotiate a big pay raise instead? Share your best tips—you could win fabulous prizes!

If you work in IT, you probably receive bigger raises than most workers. IT raises are above the national average according to the U.S. Office of Compensation and Working Conditions. Even so, receiving a big pay hike doesn’t always happen just because you work in IT. And it’s not your performance record but your negotiating skills that often determine whether you get what you want.

If your annual review resulted in a hefty increase to your paycheck, share your secrets to success. Tell us how you won that pay hike—what strategy worked best? Have you ever said something that backfired?

Send us an e-mail and tell us how you negotiated a raise. You could win a free TechRepublic golf shirt and a gift certificate to online bookseller Fatbrain. The people who submit the top three most innovative ideas will win.

We’ll share the information—with discretion
TechRepublic will compile the best suggestions and tips we receive and package them into an upcoming download. Help us create a valuable resource for you and your IT peers.

And don't worry. The personal information you provide is confidential. We will not use your name or the name of your company if we publish your comments. In fact, to further ensure your privacy, you can describe your pay raise in terms of percentages or avoid any description of your salary, if you prefer. Just share with us your successful negotiating strategies.

Tips and pitfalls are good, too!
If you'd like to provide just one quick tip, that's great. Or tell us something you've done that hasn't worked. We already know the experts' advice on this subject. We want to learn what works in the real world. Here are some possible examples:
  • The experts always say NOT to compare your salary with other employees, but one reader insists that's exactly how he received a 10-percent pay hike. His girlfriend worked at the same company, and he found out what she was earning. Despite advice to keep mum, he was so infuriated, he used this inside information during his review. It worked.
  • Another IT manager saved e-mail from his supervisor whenever he was directed to do something he advised against. After a major project failed, he showed how he could have prevented the failure. It was politically risky, but it paid off.

Year of the raise?
This may be the year that more IT workers will go after a pay hike. Consider the factors that may force salaries higher:
  • IT workers in start-ups may worry about the volatile stock market and may opt for bigger salaries instead of stock options.
  • IT pros in more traditional companies may be finding that they are playing a bigger role in the operation of the company since IT has become central to the entire operation.
  • With a shortage of IT professionals, some workers may be stuck at the office with much longer hours and stressful deadlines. Better compensation may be entirely appropriate.
Do you document your accomplishments? Have you found another job and threatened to quit? What’s the best way to get a better salary? Post a comment below or send us an e-mail and share your experiences.

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