How to Ask for a Raise in a Bad Job Market

The best time to ask for a raise is just after a stellar performance review because your boss will be anticipating it. If you've just been promoted or received new responsibilities that are typically associated with a higher-level position, it's always appropriate to broach the subject of a salary increase even in a difficult market.

But how do you ask for a raise? Here are some of my top tips:

  • Before the meeting takes place, role-play it with a friend so that you can practice a tone that sounds friendly and assertive rather than bitter and entitled.
  • If you can, try for an informal setting like coffee.
  • Once you sit down with your manager, start positively. You might, for example, say something like: “I've gotten so much out of working here and really appreciate you mentorship and the opportunities you've given me.”
  • Then, ask if she'll consider a salary increase in light of your recent performance. You might lead off with: “Now that I've been doing the work of a senior account manager for almost a year, can we consider an increase in compensation to reflect these new responsibilities?”
  • As clearly and concisely as possible, go over the highlights with some concrete examples. Focus on the benefits your boss and the company receive from your contributions rather than the additional money you need or desire.

For example, you should say something like: “Because I can do the job of both an account manager and a programmer, I'm saving the company an additional salary” rather than: “I need to be making more income to pay for my wedding next year.” And don't bring co-workers into the discussion by saying: “Well, Peter Gibbons has only been working here a few months and I know he's making way more than me.”

If y

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6 Tips for Landing Your Dream Job

Do you have a job that's just like everyone else's? Are you looking for a nine-to-five...but wish you weren't? Do you wish there was another option, one that would lead to an exciting, unique, and fulfilling line of work?

I recently interviewed more than 100 people who currently hold their dream jobs as research for my new book. These individuals — who are travel journalists, event planners, fashion designers, forensic scientists, interior decorators, internet business owners and more — have one thing in common: persistence.

As unattainable as a dream job might sound, with the right amount of forethought and preparation, you can make the move as well. Here are six tips to get you started:

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Requesting (and Receiving) the Raise You Deserve

First things first — when is a good time to ask for a raise?  Coming off a strong performance review in which your boss acknowledged your accomplishments is a good bet, because he will probably be expecting you to broach the subject of money.  If you've just taken on a new role, or your management has raised the bar for your performance, it is perfectly legitimate to ask for an appointment to discuss "compensation commensurate with new responsibilities".

Before you sit down with your manager, you'll want to be prepared with a list of contributions that have enhanced the bottom line.  As you're putting together your case, be hard on yourself.  Look at the situation from your company's point of view.  Have you honestly acquired such valuable skills, performed at such a high level, and exceeded expectations to such a degree that your company should shell out more money to keep you?

When scheduling the meeting, pick a time when your boss's stress level and workload are as manageable as possible and tell her what you want to talk about so she's prepared.  An informal setting like lunch often works best because it allows you to relate to your manager on a personal level.  Before you meet face-to-face, decide on a number that you'd be satisfied with, and think about how you'll respond if you don't get it.


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