Banking

About to negotiate a raise? Read this first


So you think you're not getting paid enough? Before you throw yourself on your boss's desk and declare "Baby needs new shoes!" you need to read the advice of Jim Camp, a negotiation coach and trainer and author of NO: The Only Negotiating Strategy You Need for Work and Home. CIO.com recently ran a piece in which Camp outlines the best strategy for negotiating a raise.

He calls his system the "No System" because "We have been taught that win-win is the best possible result, that we need to 'get to yes' so that all sides are happy. That's the biggest mistake you can make in negotiations. No is the best word in a negotiation. If you invite your respected adversary (in this case, your boss) to say no right from the get-go, you will be amazed at how relaxed she becomes during the discussion."

I thought his suggestions made an incredible amount of sense. The first suggestion was:

1. Don't be emotional-According to Camp, neediness is the number-one deal-killer. "Not needing this raise or promotion gives you power."

Basically, I think he's saying that you should approach the situation as if you were acting as your own agent. (But don't refer to yourself in the third person. Instead of more money in your hand, you might get a stapler upside your head.)

Don't try to appeal to your boss's emotions or sense of fairness. Appeal to his spreadsheet. If you can make a case for yourself by the number of hours you work or money that you've made or saved the company, that's the path you should take. Your boss will more than likely have to make the same case for his boss who will be even more emotionally removed.

Click here for the rest of the how-to-get-a-raise tips.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

28 comments
AlphaW
AlphaW

Not bad advice. Depends on your boss and his/her personality also. I always hate it when my subordinates whine about their salary, but never back it up with anything. At least make a formal presentation with salary info and your contributions if you want me to take it seriously.

Wayne M.
Wayne M.

Although some of the suggestions are reasonable, I am not ready to buy into either: * Come in dressed like Columbo. If you don't dress like you are serious, I am less likely to take your comments seriously. * Don't recommend that I say "No". Rather than put me at ease, this is going to indicate a lack of spine on your part. Do not make grandiose threats, but if you come in to me and start out saying "It's okay if you say No", my interpretation will be that you are merely looking for an "Atta boy!" and a pat on the back, rather than having a serious salary discussion. Personally, I would look past this author and find other recommendations on negotiating tactics. These do not seem to be successful tactics to me.

comperr
comperr

how stupid do you think we are? do you work for my boss?

sushant.cse
sushant.cse

Well ,on one of the occassions i ended up asking a very stupid question(A SQL QUERY) n hence gave an impression to the seniors of my team that i actually know nothing inspite of the fact that i have been doin my job pretty well . i am a newjoiner n am finding it difficult to handle the " HE KNOWS NOTHING " look by all the seniors . CAN ANYONE GIVE ME SOME TIPS IN HANDLING SQL AND THE SENIORS ? i cant use the office resource to practise because i cant experiment within the repository . IS THERE A ONLINE PORTAL WHERE I CAN PRACTISE SQL ? NEED HELP URGENTLY .

beechC23
beechC23

I don't beg or whine when I feel a raise was justified. Last time I felt one was justified, my boss had asked me to increase my travel time (not just anywhere but around the world for up to 2 weeks at a time) from about 10% to 40% of my work time. I explained rationally that this was a major change in my job description and increase in responsibilities, and I thought a salary review was warranted. I made my pitch, and then gave him a reasonable amount of time (about a month) for him to bring it to the executive level (I was mid-management at the time). The answer was no. I quit within a month to a job that had about $20k more in annual income and NO travel.

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

I think jm's comments re your interpretation WayneM are correct. Your interpretations are also correct: * Some manageres wouldn't want someone to come in underdressed. But again, if someone who normally wore a t-shirt and jeans came in wearing a suit for the day of the salary discussion, would you think that somewhat contrived? * Re using the word 'no' in this manner: I can understand you personally not being comfortable with this particular technique. Many people would feel the same. The important point that you do make, that so many refuse to even consider, is that if this technique isn't comfortable with you, then find one that is. God knows there are 100s to choose from. To have no technique, plan or process whatsoever is just plain dumb.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

1) Come in dressed like Columbo - That's not what they were saying. I took it as come in in normal business dress and don't put on a suit and tie just to ask for a raise. 2) I don't see it as asking them to say no, a LOT of bosses I've worked for are very edgy when you ask for a raise...why? Because they think you are going to jump ship and go somewhere else.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

This article was well thought out and explains the politics of getting a raise. What more do you want?

jdclyde
jdclyde

as you have shown yourself to be.

msi77
msi77

I have given here the link yet; but once more SQL-EX.RU

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis

Hi, If you have your own computer you should consider installing MySQL and the MySQL query browser. And you can also install SQL Server Express and the SQL Server management studio. This way you will be able to get lots of practice aimed at the particular problem you are on. Trying to do this kind of thing in work time can be a nightmare. Needless to say the treatment you were give is hardly professional. Managers are supposed to support their staff. Good luck. Ian

msi77
msi77

You can use SQL Exercises. Try now: SELECT Exercises.

Justin James
Justin James

... then install a SQL server on your home PC and practice there. If money is tight, use a free*Nix OS such as BSD, a Linux, or OpenSolaris. J.Ja

TechTitan
TechTitan

I WAS in a similar situation this year. Although I have an extensive programming background(embedded systems) and both network and systems automation experience... guess which skill I lacked- yep, SQL. It was simply a lack of exposure, ignorance if you will. Like any new tool, you have to get past the lingo and syntax and get to the meat of things. As this skill has matured I have found that data mining, like software design is not only a skill but an art. Here is what I would recommend... 1. take an continuing ed day class as a primer- get to know some of the syntax, SQL tools, etc. that are commonly used. Since you will probably not be designing databases from scratch or updating existing data this should be sufficient. 2. get access to YOUR database and copy a few tables. sales tables are a good start because you can compare the results of you SQL scripts to existing reports. I took basic sales reports from our Crystal reports library, studied them and then did a little data mining for practice. 3 learn how to perform "new database query" in excel- this will give you the ability to pull data from your database on familiar ground. 4 Purchase a few books. I have one that titled something like- Business Reports using Access 2003 (I have the book at home and will add a second posting when I get the full title), or one for excel. These are great at guiding you through report creation from start to finish. 5. lastly, screw the rest of them. Once you get the knack, you will be creating reports and pulling data that will make them drool. Plus it will show them how fast you can bring something to the table- zero to expert in about a week. that will make them sh*t bricks! Hope this helps, if you have an additional question feel free to email me. enrique@intelliquestss.com I certainly know the feeling...

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

with just about any programming language. write some VB or java and connect to a server (numerous choices) on your PC. -access, mysql, etc.

lee_watson1
lee_watson1

try not writing everything in CAPSLOCK, it makes you look like a n00b.

chapman.tim
chapman.tim

Its kinda strange that you are in a position where you would not be able to work on practicing SQL if you work on databases. However, there is an AdventureWorks database available for download on the Microsoft site (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=e719ecf7-9f46-4312-af89-6ad8702e4e6e&displaylang=en) As for senior management, the way to turn around their way of thinking is to show them that you do know what you are doing. Ask for a new project to work on, or try to help others in the office. If you know what you are doing, they will notice.

IanF
IanF

I had a similar situation. I'd been working for an organization for over 3 years in the same position, every year receiving promises regarding a raise and reclassification to a more senior role. Over that time period I went from a purely technical support role to a supervisory role with network admin/network security responsibilities. To augment this experience, I went back to school at night and earned a Master's in MIS with a speciality in InfoSec. With all of the credentials above in hand, and a list of all of the successful projects that I'd led and completed to date, I scheduled a meeting with my boss to discuss salary and position reclassification. I laid out my case and my boss stated they'd "take it under consideration." I made sure I did this a few months before my yearly performance evaluation because I knew the organization was slow to approve and implement position upgrades. Suffice it to say that nothing was done regarding my position. Faced with this, I hit up my contacts in the industry (always, always, ALWAYS build and maintain your network) and let it be known that I was "on the market". Shortly thereafter, I was offered a senior role with an all expenses paid move to another country (something my wife and I were very much interested in). I turned in my resignation and was immediately called into the CIO's office for an explanation. When I mentioned all of the above (the 3 years of toil with nothing to show, the meeting with my boss for a salary and position review), the CIO stated that he had no idea about it and asked if I'd reconsider (read: counter-offer). My personal opinion is, when you're ready to go and you've made that known, deciding to stay because of a counter-offer is usually a mistake. Not only do you burn the bridge of the potential employer you were going to, you also bring your "loyalty" to the original organization into question (though, my opinion on employee/employer loyalty has changed over the years). This can cause potentially uncomfortable situations in the future if you decide to stay. Obviously I thanked the CIO, but felt that I'd made the right decision. A few lessons learned from this situation: 1) It's very important to keep your network OUTSIDE of your current job intact (use professional networking tools like LinkedIn, or the like). 2) Constantly improve yourself. Whether its certifications, advanced degrees, or just taking on challenging projects, its important to show that you have the drive to improve yourself and bring additional contributions to the organization. 3) If you've stated your case to your boss regarding a raise and/or promotion, and you've seen no activity after a reasonable amount of time, it MAY be necessary to go over their head before you make the decision to jump ship (this has its positives and negatives...breaking chain of command is considered bad form in many organizations.) 4) Always know your worth. Don't think of yourself in terms of your cost to the organization, focus on your contributions. 5) Personal rule-of-thumb: If I don't see career activity (promotions, raises, increased responsibility) at the 2-3 year mark, I start thinking of an exit strategy. Obviously, the higher up the management ladder you climb, the longer this timeframe can be extended. Hope this story helps someone who may be in a similar situation.

stuslom2
stuslom2

I think beechC23's advice is simple, effective, and straight to the point. 1. Be prepared to back up your request for a raise. 2. Ask in a professional manner: straight to the point but being polite and non-demanding, pointing out reasons. 3. Be prepared for a no. If it means your not prepared to look for another job and staying would be worse, then don't ask. 4. If you are financially stable ENOUGH and emotionally strong enough to get a NO answer then you are in a better position to stay or to look. 5. To sum it up: Prepare as if doing your homework, ask in a straight forward polite way; be prepared for options if a NO is received, and if not prepared then don't ask.

links
links

You risk being laid off if your timing is not right after all...While it does seem to be nonsensical to go in dressed formal when you have been wearing casual clothes while interacting with your boss, it does not hurt to let your boss know you are serious and have other options as well... I'm just hoping something gives for me near the end of this month... VXA Tapes edit: typo couldn't resist correcting :)

TechTitan
TechTitan

I have to agree with this thought. I am currently hesitating asking for an increase in pay for the same reason- and point of fact, this would indeed be the case- I am looking to jump ship, actively! I could, however be persuaded to stay with a relatively good pay increase. The job is good, the hours are good, the benefits average, but higher pay would balance this out. Some employment strategists say: Never threaten for a raise, or Never take a counter offer when you give notice, or Well, you get the idea. So what happens when this IS the case!?!? I don't want to threaten, but I am looking, and I am willing to reconsider leaving... BUT, I would take the first best offer that comes my way. It's not a threat, but the truth. How would you readers recommend making this position less threatening???? To date, I can't think of a way...

Yardbyrd
Yardbyrd

....bordered on obnoxious. You correct player spelling in WoW chat, too, don't you?

HJ_Hansen
HJ_Hansen

I think he was just trying to emphasize his desperation. Of course, judicious use of the emphasis would be recommended.

jerry_pendergraft
jerry_pendergraft

I have been with this company for about 2 years. I have seen a small raise and also I have been given more resposibilities. The company I work for has plenty of clients. I have done some kind of work on most of them. Either dev work or just maintinence. Ive done a little bit of research and found that someone with my degree with 2 years of exp should be getting 25k - 30 k more than what I am currently getting. I think that I am worth more than I am getting but would like some one elses opinion.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Getting a degree, unless it provides a direct and tangible benefit to your employer, should not be grounds for a raise. Your salary depends on what you provide to your employer. But getting that degree make also make you eligible for an internal transfer and it shows initiative. So it does have non $$ benefits. The exception of course is people in a consulting firm -typically they charge their customers more for people with PhDs than BAs. I agree with everything else you've mentioned. James

JamesRL
JamesRL

You never want your request to come across as a threat or blackmail. So your task should be to take the emotion out of hte equation entirely. You need to have a reason to ask for more money. This is usually: a) you have taken on more important responsibilities in your role and haven't been compensated, or b) your role is well under market rates - not been graded properly. Don't assume your boss has given this alot of thought. He/she may be aware of the generalities, but you need to lay out a business case for the raise. The latter situation is the hardest, especially if your peers are in the same situation. I was successfuly at my current job at getting many people on my team regraded - instant promotions. It took alot of effort and paperwork and pushing to make it happen. And I agree with the never threaten or take a counter offer. Too often I see people who take the counter become unhappy, unproductive or worse. Many end up leaving later. James