Working Effectively

Career Advice From 40HRS

Mar 18, 2014

Working Effectively

Build your case

1. Review your job description.

Have you taken on new responsibilities since your last raise (or since you were hired)? Has your productivity increased over time? Are you doing work that people in positions above you usually do? Keep a record of the projects you work on, and any special achievements. Be ready to quantify your achievements when you speak with your boss, and have plenty of examples to refer to. Be sure to show how your efforts have benefited the company in order to prove that you deserve a raise.

2. Determine your market worth.

Knowing your market value is important. Compare your compensation with that of others in your industry and position. If you are not sure how to get this information, try posting an anonymous question on a message board or chat website.

3. Consider your worth to the company.

Would you be hard to replace? Review what you, your team, or your department contributes to your company. Is it something that could be easily outsourced? If your company were to downsize, would your team survive the cuts?

4. How do you feel about your job and your company?

If you have issues with the benefits, the hours, your boss, and your prospects for the future, you might review whether you really want a raise or a new job altogether. But if your only complaint is the salary, think about other things you would accept if your boss won't offer you more money.

Negotiation tips

1. Timing is everything.

Once you've decided to ask for a raise, set up a meeting with your boss at a time that is convenient for him or her. If you can, try to arrange it for a time that your boss will be most receptive. For example, if your boss has stressful meetings every Tuesday, schedule it for another day. Let your boss know what you plan to talk about so he or she will be mentally prepared for the meeting.

2. Put together a written proposal.

Enumerating your contributions to the company, and how you've improved over time. Point to as many bottom-line achievements as you can. If you have brought in new clients, developed new ideas, or streamlined a process, point it out. Refer to your skills, talents and market value (along with the sources of your information), and give your boss a range of what you feel is fair compensation - realizing that you will probably get something towards the low end.

3. Be reasonable and professional.

Check your ego at the door, and try not to tie your self-image to your salary. Even if you're completely dissatisfied by your employer's offer, don't threaten to quit or start sending out resumes. It's a small world - don't earn yourself a bad reputation, and don't burn any bridges.

4. Be patient.

Don't expect an answer immediately. And remember the larger the company, the longer it will take. In the meantime, keep up the good work. Remind your boss why you deserve a raise.

5. Be prepared to compromise.

If your boss agrees to give you an increase that you don't find acceptable, look for a compromise. Would you give up some cash for equity, fully paid health insurance, or the opportunity to work more reasonable hours?

If, after all the negotiations, you're still dissatisfied, start looking for a new job. If your employer doesn't recognize your talents, someone else probably will. In Vietnam's competitive job market, you're likely to get a raise even if you make a lateral move.

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