Is It time to Ask for a Raise?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics made official what tech professionals have
known for some time: Wages aren’t keeping up with inflation. Increases for 2009
and 2008 for private industry workers were the smallest since the Bureau
started keeping records more than 25 years ago, according to information released Friday.

MoneyWorking harder for less money is bad for morale, and it won’t
pay the bills. So now that the economy is
improving, is it time to take action? The good news is that job seekers in some areas are receiving
multiple offers, which is helping to drive up salaries according to tech
recruiters. At least a few job seekers reported similar experiences on the Dice Discussions board.

Sometimes the only way to get more money is to change jobs,
so you can reset your salary to market rates. But if you’d rather stay put and
receive a larger increase, you’ll need to take the bull by the horns and lay
the foundation before annual
raises are doled out. Take these steps now to get a bigger raise in 2010.

  • Act
    now:
    If you haven’t traditionally pushed
    for more money, your boss may not see you as a flight risk, so he’ll apportion
    larger increases to vocal employees. In addition, managers are often required
    to submit paperwork for annual salary increases early in the year, so initiate
    a discussion before it’s too late.
  • Stay
    calm and focused:
    Don’t sandwich your request
    between a host of other topics, set an appointment specifically to discuss your
    salary, so your boss knows you’re serious. To help you remain calm throughout the meeting, anticipate both his positive and negative
    responses.
  • Be
    specific:
    After the traditional "thank you
    for seeing me" segue, state your case clearly and succinctly. Mention that your
    performance warrants a larger raise and that your salary is no longer
    competitive, especially in light of your increased responsibilities. Given the
    facts, you’re requesting a $10,000 increase. Then stop talking while your
    boss responds. It’s important to listen intently and watch his body language,
    so you know where you stand.
  • Evaluate
    your options:
    It’s possible your boss may
    not be able to approve your request on the spot, so request a follow-up meeting. Don’t let him off the hook until you receive a firm answer. You may not
    get the $10,000 you originally requested, but you’ll receive a
    larger increase if you act now and make a specific demand.

— Leslie
Stevens-Huffman

Comments

2 Responses to “Is It time to Ask for a Raise?”

February 12, 2010 at 6:23 am, Ron said:

Easy for you to say, but the economy is NOT improving. It’s stagnet at best. Big projects on the board, but no one is pulling the trigger. Right now, all I can do is be grateful that I even have a job to go to…

Reply

February 15, 2010 at 10:05 am, Rcline said:

I keep hearing people say that we are sooo lucky to have a job to go to. While this may be true I wish we had some way to initiate collective bargaining in the Tech industry. I have noticed that wages have gone south in a big way in the IT world. I am forunate to be working but how long can we continue to allow employers to expect us to work for a salary that has been devastated by inflation. Maybe it is time for those of us in Information Technology to organize. I know how many feel about unions and I only wish such drastic steps were not necessary. But I am starting to think it may be our only option in the long run or we may end up like the TV repairmen — our forefathers of the tech realm. Think about it.

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