Awkward office moments that shall not be: Asking for a salary revision

23 10 2008

Shaky begging

Originally uploaded by Caterina
Some rights reserved

Most of us have been there. That uncomfortable moment in which we realize a salary revision is pending and we wonder how to approach the subject with whom it might take interest and can act upon it. David vs Goliath.

Golden rule: approach a salary revision petition when you feel you’ve earned it.

I’ve seen lots of coworkers zeroing their managers with shaking knees and tremulous voices, some of them not so sure they have done anything to ace a rise, others just kicking the ball someone else have started rolling; yet, all of them feeling that they are the ones who owe the company something.

Well friends, I am adept of the idea that if you are still happily part of an organization, the company for sure gains value by employing you; once they feel they are loosing by investing on this relationship, they will for sure find ways to communicate this to you.

Differentiate thyself. Don’t be part of the group that goes on merrily asking for a salary raise just for the thrill of it, be part of the vast minority who actually research their surroundings. This would not give you enough data to cut thru the pitch, your manager or whomever you are talking with will see you have a wobbly case and will commit on a diatribe around standard company processes for salary revisions or something around that area (you’ve earned it, so stick thru it).

Research and create a solid case. Asses your skills and role against others in the industry and what their salaries are, know if it’s the right time to ask for a raise (I’ve seen some bad timing scenarios go awfully wrong) and for whatever entity you believe in: don’t go asking just because others at the company in the same hierarchy earn X more. It might be that others have been employed after you were, and current market conditions required higher salaries; or those lucky bastards just had better individual marketing skills than you and sold higher, in which case you should learn what is amiss in your personal marketing efforts and correct them.

Don’t be bullish. Once, while discussing this with a co worker, I was asked if I believed it was a good practice to black mail the company a.k.a. “if you don’t raise my salary by X I would walk out the door this instance, I have plenty of opportunities knocking at my door these days”. I without doubt don’t recommend performing this kind of act; ask your self if you would tolerate anyone blackmailing you like this? I for one, won’t, if you have plenty of opportunities you are more than welcome to harness them. Still feel you can swim the waters using this kind of attack? Things can go three ways: you’ll be invited to do your final walk, you’ll get what you were looking for -but your manager will have a mighty torn on his back and will at the end get back to you- or you will not get the raise and still remain at the company; act by which, the powers that be will know that there are other things that attach you to the company and in the future use those against you.

(Thank you Alex for reading my blog and pointing me to the grammatical mistakes: this for these geez! And the lost don’t!!!!)

As a finishing remark, assuming you have done your homework and you’ve ascertain yourself you’re a candidate for a salary revision: be serious about this business, make sure you ask how long will it take for you to get a response back on this issue and do not fall for brownie points* stick to your goal.

* Brownie points are a hypothetical social currency, which can be accrued by doing good deeds or earning favour in the eyes of another, often one’s superior




2 responses

24 10 2008

Very insightful post! Thanks alot for this info. I know I, along with others, will make good use of it. 😀

30 10 2008

The dog is so sweet! *sun*

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