Avoid these tactics — and find out where the biggest raises come from. From Robin Ryan, author of What to Do With the Rest of Your Life: America’s Top Career Coach Shows You How to Find or Create the Job You’ll LOVE
- I need the money. Your finances are your problem — not your employer’s. Never ask because you bought a car or house, are divorcing, or are having a baby. These reasons hold no bottom-line value to an employer.
- But she got a raise! Most bosses are infuriated by this argument. Perhaps the other employee has done a better job than you. Discussing others’ salaries is unwise, often against corporate rules, and may have serious repercussions. Again, this reason doesn’t say how or what you’ve done to merit your increase.
- Threatening to quit. More than one boss has said, “Fine. Go.” Many top executives and managers think they are irreplaceable. Everyone can be replaced, so being this bold may result in losing your job, not improving it.
- Refusing to work overtime or do new projects. Most employers feel that this tactic demonstrates you are not a team player. You may get a small victory but quickly lose the war.
- Whiny never works. This little-kid approach annoys managers and puts you in a childish light. Pouting, complaining, moping, or brooding won’t change the results — only positive actions will.
- Blackmailing them with another job offer. Some people bluff or use a job offer they don’t really plan to take as a bargaining chip to get their organization to give them a raise. It’s a very risky minefield that often ends with your resignation instead of a raise.
Where the Biggest Raises Come From
The absolute best way to maximize your raise is to quit your job and move to a new employer. With a “promotional raise” you get a move up — a promotion — and a significant salary increase together. My clients are living proof that this happens, and many have had their income go up 20, 30, 40, even 50%. I have seen a few clients actually double their salaries, so it is possible to make a huge move. Compare that to in-house raises that typically run from 3 to 7%. Even if you’re not seeking a promotion, to a new employer you are attractive talent, and if you negotiate well, you’ll find it pays off.
Wayne, a client, was a fifty-six-year-old mechanical engineer who was afraid to ask for a raise. He feared downsizing repercussions due to his age and the company’s current status. Through the grapevine he heard of a good job, applied, and was offered the position. Wayne negotiated a 16% raise (to $90,000) plus better stock options.
You may find your best opportunity to get rich is to move elsewhere.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin Ryan is the author What to Do With the Rest of Your Life: America’s Top Career Coach Shows You How to Find or Create the Job You’ll LOVE (Copyright © 2002 by Robin Ryan) and other bestselling books, including 60 Seconds and You’re Hired! She has appeared on more than seven hundred television and radio programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show, and has been featured in Money, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, McCall’s, and Fortune, as well as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune. She has a career consulting practice in Seattle and has helped more than five thousand clients land better jobs.
MORE ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR
- 9 Questions for Determining if Running Your Own Business Is the Perfect Job for You
- 9 Secrets to Successful Salary Negotiations
- 12 Career Killers to Avoid
- Read Chapter 1 of What to Do With the Rest of Your Life: America’s Top Career Coach Shows You How to Find or Create the Job You’ll LOVE
- Browse more books about careers