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.
Working 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.
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.
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
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.
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.