Jeanne Sahadi at CNNMoney has written a guide to salary secrets and myths. “Employers seem to have the better hand in pay negotiations,” she writes. “But here are six ways to better read the cards they hold.” As a small business owner myself, I think Sahadi’s points are, well, on the money.
- Secret: Your pay doesn’t necessarily reflect performance and seniority. Stay tuned to market conditions. If you notice that your pay is flagging, especially in relation to new hires, bring it up with management.
- Secret: There’s more raise where that came from. If you’re an asset to the company, there’s always more money. One of our best employees quit last spring. We offered him more if he would stay. (And we would have offered him more yet!) He was that valuable to us. But other circumstances forced him to move.
- Secret: When you’re told they can’t pay you more now, budget may not be an issue. Many factors could be involved, not the least of which is that your boss doesn’t think you’re worth any more.
- Myth: Your pay is all about you. At many businesses, compensation is systematized. This is especially true in large corporations.
- Myth: Bosses pay more if they like you. In reality, bosses pay more if you make their job easier. You may be on friendly terms with the boss, but if you’re not a good employee, you’re not going to be paid as much as you could.
- Myth: You can’t negotiate severance. The truth is that you may be able to negotiate severance if you possess some sort of leverage: you’re the key liaison with a big customer, you’re the only one who knows how to perform some critical task, etc.
Read the entire article for more details. Also see Sahadi’s previous article, “Secrets your company doesn’t want you to know”. Finally, AskMetafilter has had some good questions on salaries in the past.
Addendum: While browsing personal finance articles, I found an article from David Bach on five steps to getting a bigger raise.
[CNNMoney: Salary secrets and myths]
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