What would a cool $5-$10K raise do for you?

By · Monday, July 21st, 2014 · No Comments »

Is fear, uncertainty or doubt keeping you from having a better life?  Do you know or think about how much you may be leaving on the table?  Your company keeps the money that you leave on the table because you fear asking or don’t know how to pick up the extra cash.

Do you realize that if you receive only $20 more per day that it equates to $5,000 more per year in extra pay?  And that $5,000 more per year is just $2.50 per hour in added pay. Multiply that by 40 hours in a week and that comes out to a mere $100 per week extra.  Not enough to cause any boss to blink.  Yet that can mean a significant change in your life.  How would $5,000 extra per year impact your life…year after year?

How much of a trip would that buy?  Is that a nice down payment on a car?  Now notch that up by just another $20 more per day for a total of $40 extra per day.  That equals $10,000 per year!  How would your life change then?  How many dinners out would that be?  Or how about paying down a loan?  Plus you get this new pay grade every year and not just once this year.

So can you get $10K extra this year?  If you produce measurable added value at work then I say “Yes.”  $5-$10K is chump change for most companies.  I’ve gotten raises for people that were 20, 30 & 40+ percent over what they were last making.  Those percentages often equated to much more than $10K in added income.  The secret is not if you ask, but how you ask that counts.  And being well prepared for the discussion with your boss is critical to your success.

If you can’t justify to your boss how you have earned the raise then your chances for a $5-$10K increase will be diminished.  I help my coaching clients, like you, by pulling the right data points from them so that they can make a compelling case for the raise that they deserve.

What to do when your boss won’t initiate a pay raise talk?

By · Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 · No Comments »

God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.” – Josiah Gilbert HollandGod gives every bird its food but he does not throw it into its nest

Janet is a successful Civil Engineering Manager who loves her job, her company and her boss.  She is somewhat introverted and avoids confrontation and discord whenever possible.  This is her tenth year at the firm.  Her pay raises range from cost of living raises of about 3% in some years, and up to 5% for exceptional work in other years.

Janet has a great work attitude and often stays late, and comes in on many Saturdays. She digs right into any last minute assignment that the VP of Engineering gives her.  Also, she solves frequent problems in her arena and often finds ways to cut expenses. Her salary is 10-15% lower than her contemporaries at similar firms.   Her boss won’t broach the subject and take care of her during the annual review process, which aggravates Janet to no end.

This is a common occurrence for many professionals. Just like the quote above suggests, our food, or wages to buy food are there for the taking.  But our boss is not going to just dole it out without the employee asking and making a case for it.  There are many items competing for the boss’s budget and the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

So Janet must take a position and make a cogent argument for securing more than 5%  If your boss can still keep you at the lower pay and use the money that would be for your raise on other wish list items, then he/she will do it.

The bottom line is don’t blame your boss for what is your responsibility and that is to speak up and defend your own position.  If you are afraid, intimidated, and don’t know how to get the raise that you deserve then you need expert coaching.  A great pay raise coach has a system and can support you and help practice with you on how to execute the conversation.

The raise you get will more than offset the cost of a great coach.  You’ll end up motivated, pumped up, filled with self-confidence and empowered.  You’ll get the money at the current company or one down the street that appreciates your added value.

Have you or someone you know dealt with a similar situation?  How did he work out?

Do you feel your boss should remember your big successes?

By · Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 · No Comments »

“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which is least known.” – Montaignenothing is so firmly believed as that which is least known

Mary is a hard working accountant with 8 years at her current firm.  She earned, on average, 2-3% pay increases each year.  Mary did not get serious financial recognition for all the hours of extra work and special projects that she delivered.  This frustrates her to no end because she feels unappreciated.  Mary, like most people, has a belief system that her boss will remember and appreciate her work contributions.   Also Mary, like most of us, was not trained at how to secure a great raise.  Instead, she gets help from friends and family, but not from an expert.

Mary did what her friends and co-workers did, which was doing what felt right and easy at the time.  She shot from the hip when asking for a raise. The result was that Mary went on for years complaining that she was underpaid and under-appreciated.  The formula for getting a large pay increase is not a secret, but it does take time, effort and skills to fine tune that formula.  By default, Mary decided the $14,000 she was being underpaid was not worth the effort to learn how to get a significant raise.

What would an added $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000 do for your budget and family?

Are you asking for a raise in the right way?

By · Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 · No Comments »

“If a thousand people do a foolish thing, it’s still a foolish thing.”   Jack CiesielskiIf a thousand people do something

Carol is an Operations Manager for a $50 million dollar manufacturing division of a Fortune 500 company. She received above cost of living raises of between 8 and 9 percent the last 3 years.

But, Carol felt that she deserved a more serious pay raise. She had confirmed savings of over $4 million dollars each year for the plant.  Yet she felt intimated, nervous, shy and even scared about the thought of asking her boss for a more significant raise.  Why did Carol feel this way?  After all she was asking for what she earned and deserved.  But, when Carol asked herself “Why am I so fearful of asking for what I deserve?” She self-analyzed that she was afraid she did not know how to ask, or how to answer, if she got push-back.

She lacked a viable plan. What if Carol’s boss, Julie, responded to her pay raise request by stating one or more of the following: “We don’t have the money.” Or “The economy is bad right now.” Or “That’s more than anyone else in the department is making?”

So going back to our quote above, the vast majority of people go about asking for a raise in the wrong way.  That wrong way means being ill-prepared.  So even though thousands of people ask for a raise in a similar unprepared fashion, it is still the wrong way.   Millions of people leave billions of dollars on the table because they don’t have a viable plan.  They lack a coach who can guide them through the entire process.  They feel their friends and family lending their support is enough.

Carol created huge savings for her firm each of the last 3 years. What would you say to your boss if you made huge measurable contributions, but were already getting above average raises?


Are you leaving money on the table during pay raise discussions?

By · Thursday, June 12th, 2014 · No Comments »


“I don’t know if it will work in theory but it’s been working in practice for four years.”  Robert McTeer

Dave is a Six Sigma/Lean Black Belt Engineer.  His savings are almost legendary at his firm.  His firm does $95 million in sales and last year Dave generated $7 million in total savings.

Dave was a textbook type of person.  He read a few articles on getting a raise and a book on negotiating, but he was missing one essential ingredient.  He had no one steering him during the negotiations.  No two negotiations are ever the same. They are not the same because people and situations are different.  The subtleties make all the difference in a negotiation.  Dave was unaware of these subtleties and so he lacked direction and perspective.

When it comes to seeking a raise many people don’t follow a winning formula.  Instead, they work in theories.  They do what Dave did.  He had a theory, or thought, that a certain pay raise dialogue made sense because it was comfortable for him, so he just went about using it.  The reality is that getting a pay raise is not about theory. It is about using a winning formula that has a high percentage chance of working in the real world.  Books are great.  Real world experience is something else. Plus, negotiation requires adjustment as the dialogue progresses.

Dave used his common sense.  But there are emotions in negotiations and emotions rule over common sense.  Dave got a great raise, but he also made some small and expensive mistakes. One mistake was he lacked clarity in describing his cost savings. Those mistakes cost him about $4,000 per year.  He had no idea.  What would you do with an extra $4,000?

What ideas have you or your friends used, but did not work well, in trying to get a pay raise?

Have you convinced yourself of a negative outcome when seeking a raise?

By · Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 · No Comments »

Most-of-my-lifes-worstMark was a Process Engineer at a large Pharmaceutical manufacturer.  He is excellent at what he does and often comes up with better processes that save time, money and human capital.  With 12 years at his firm, Mark figured he was at least $60,000 underpaid altogether.

Mark worried that if he approached his boss, Dan, the result would be catastrophic. He imagined that his boss would interpret Mark’s request in the worst way possible.  Dan might think “Mark is not happy here.  Maybe I should get rid of Mark.”  Or “Mark is not deserving of a raise.  He only does okay work.”  In other words, Mark had convinced himself of a negative outcome.

How many of you reading this felt similar ahead of asking for a raise?

Sure there is a risk in every activity. Let’s assume Mark deserved a raise and had a great system for asking.  In this case the worst that will happen is that Mark will get a “no” response or told what he needs to achieve to secure the raise.  The vast majority of time those are the worst responses. Of course there are exceptions.  There are ways to deal with every boss’s personality, many of which we’ll cover as we progress through these postings.

What experiences have you had that are like the above?  What was your outcome?

Great responses to 5 potential salary questions asked during interviews

By · Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 · 1 Comment »

I read an article this week on salary negotiation.  http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/negotiating-job-salary-deserve/    It listed 5 excellent questions that an interviewer could ask.  But, the article did not provide possible answers to those great questions.  Below is one potential answer for each of the 5 questions.  There are at least several possible responses for each question.  When and how the interviewer asks the question will determine the framing of your answer.  These are just two factors that impact your response.

Here are the 5 questions followed by my response.

“What’s your real bottom line?”  Answer:  My real bottom line will depend on many factors.  I don’t have enough information about your expectations of me to provide a bottom line figure.  One area I’d like to explore more is when you mentioned the interface I’d have with the principals of the firm.  (Then I’d ask pertinent questions about my dealings with the executives.)

“How much do you think you’re worth?” Answer:  That’s a great question.  But my answer depends on me determining what issues you are having and the time frame in which you need them resolved. Then I can determine the requirements to achieve your goals.   Once we do that then I can calculate my worth.

“What other offers do you have?”   Answer:  I have several other situations that are in different stages of the interview process.  None of them are at the offer stage, but two are close to it. (only state this if it is true) It is wise to not reveal any dollar amounts.  You should be able to argue your case based on the end results to the problems they want solved.  Always look for the added value that you bring to the table that your competition can’t or won’t deliver.

“What were you making in your previous job?”   Answer:  With all due respect, I am not comfortable sharing that information.  (If the interviewer presses you then you can say) The expectations on each job are different.  So judging one position against the other would not be a fair comparison.   It is what your position is worth to you that counts.  I’m sure you would agree.

“If I were to offer $xxx right now, are you prepared to say yes?”  Answer:  I will consider all offers, but would like to continue discussing your expectations for this opening.   I have some other questions the answers to which will help me decide on compensation.   This position is of strong interest to me and I know that I can help you.  Is this a good time to continue our discussion?

For more pay raise tips go to www.thepayraisecoach.com

Pay Raise Case Study (Gary)

By · Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 · No Comments »

QuoteGary is a Quality Engineer and feels that his boss will use the standby argument that the poor economy is why a larger raise is not in order.  Gary figures that after 15 years of being underpaid that he lost at least $25,000 over the years.

Many people think, as Gary did, that if he adopted the same strategy his friends used in asking for a raise that he’ll get a different result.  This is the definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing and expecting something different.  Instead, Gary should look for a winning solution, not just a familiar solution.

Unfortunately Gary chose not to invest in himself and try something new.  So guess what?  Gary got turned down again because of the economy.  But, I’ll let you in on a little inside secret.  Sheila, who works at the same firm as Gary, got a 9% raise.  I guess the economy improved during Sheila’s 30 minute pay review.

What has been your experience with getting a raise?  Did you ask in the same way that others at your firm asked or did you use an outside the box, methodical and proven approach?

Getting a Pay Raise at Work: Make a List of Accomplishments and Keep Them Quiet

By · Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 · No Comments »

Last time we talked I shared the idea of keeping a running private list of your accomplishments.  It should be private because no one else connected to your work, even friends at work, should know that you are preparing to secure a raise?  Why?  You don’t tell others of your plans, because you can count on it getting out and eventually getting to your boss.  Yes, you can count on it!

It is critical that you write out your accomplishments in a bullet format. These should be short, to the point, and most of them, if not all, should demonstrate a measurable result.  As an example:  If you performed accounting all day, then that tells the reader little and does not distinguish you from any other accountant. But, if you figured out how to get financing for an acquisition that ended making the firm $5MM in the 1st six-months, then that is really added value!

What?  You say that you don’t do anything extraordinary?  Well, what if you handle X more volume, reorganized the department so that workflow was streamlined and $60,000 was saved by not needing to hire another person as previously planned?  The reality is you have to think from a business person’s (boss) perspective.

Here are a few lackluster, non-measurable accomplishments, bullet points:

Ø    Created manufacturing instructions and routing systems for transition from      development to production

Ø    Implemented self-directed work teams in each department, which met performance     indicators

Ø    Significantly reduced number of scrap parts not meeting engineering dimensions

For contrast, here are some outstanding bullet points:

Ø    Saved $125,000 annually in utility costs from installation of energy monitoring equipment costing less than $5,000

Ø    Reduced 90-day and over past due accounts by 89% over a 4-month period

Ø    Designed new sales tracking forms that added 2% to the bottom line due to better efficiency and accountability

Ø    Redesigned pump impeller on a problem product, resulting in power reduction of 25%

Some of you may have problems converting what you do into measurable accomplishments.  Write me with specific questions and I’ll try to answer them.  If you’d like individual assistance, write to me and ask for more details.  Or if you have a few that you’d like me to review and offer comment on then send them to:   norman@thepayraisecoach.com

If you don’t believe you have added value to your company, then you may just have to create it. How can you make your Boss believe that you are worth more? The answer is in the next email.

Congrats on taking the next big step!


Now re-frame your strongest accomplishment into one that is metrically oriented & share it below:

Don’t feel like waiting for each insider secret? Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward? If you currently earn over $75,000, click here for your questionnaire. It will help you see, in my view, if you have a strong potential argument for securing a large raise from your boss.

Topics: setting up your raise · Tags:

Don’t let fear of retribution prevent you from securing the raise that you deserve

By · Friday, October 4th, 2013 · No Comments »

Fear #7:  Fear of retribution.  This is another big one and works in conjunction with any, or all, of the other fears.  This fear raises the question in one’s mind “Will my boss take action against me for even daring to ask for a raise?”  What could your boss do?  Your boss could always get rid of you whether you request a raise or not.  Many bosses feel that they need to project an air of authority so as to make you afraid or nervous to approach for favors.  It works well since you already fear retribution.

But, what if you felt you could easily get a better job elsewhere?  Would you feel more secure?  What if your boss felt that you are too valuable to lose?  What if your boss knew that you earn the firm way more than your salary request?  Would you feel more secure then?  Would you feel more empowered?  Don’t assume your boss or employer has all the power.  You too have power!

Why do you have so much power?  Because hiring someone else is filled with unknowns.  Your boss does not know if a new person really wants the job, has an attitude problem, will fit into the organization, or might even cost more than you.  Plus, they may have to pay a stiff recruiter fee for the privilege of hiring your replacement.

Your power is in the understanding of your job, the smooth flow you demonstrate in delivering your work, your understanding of the inner workings of the firm, your knowledge and rapport with the clients, customers are comfortable with you and send notes praising you, the speed that you work is terrific, the problems that you solve are numerous and of consequence, management likes working with you, co-workers respect you, and so forth.

One more thing to emblazon in your heart and mind is that your loyalty is toward your career, not your job.  What?  Don’t get me wrong.  Your job is very important and you should treat it seriously and be respectful of your co-workers and management.  However, in your heart and mind your allegiance is toward what enhances your career.  If your current job is enhancing your career then continue giving it your all.  If it is no longer serving you well overall, then your loyalty is toward your career and yourself.   Make concerted plans to move up elsewhere.

Do you feel that your boss may do something in retribution for your asking for too much money?  If so, share here:

Topics: fears · Tags:

Let’s Get Started Building a Case For Your Big Pay Raise

By · Friday, October 4th, 2013 · 1 Comment »

The hard part of going for a raise is that if you do or say something, like most things in life, there is no guarantee of the outcome. Your odds of success go way up by working my system. But, nothing is foolproof.   Much depends on your delivery, self-confidence and how well you follow directions.  Your boss doesn’t always respond the way you thought and hoped.  My back-up plan is that if you don’t receive a great raise, you will be in a fantastic position to get it somewhere else.

Why?  You’ll be in a terrific position to get the raise elsewhere due to all the great preparation you did in advance of the discussions with your boss.  And now you can easily leverage that preparation work for use with another employer. That is real control.  That new employer will see you as an outstanding contributor who is deserving of a healthy increase.   I encourage each of you to respond to me with your comments and questions so everyone can learn.  The first 9 emails in our series will discuss 9 essential rules for setting the foundation of your pay raise conversation.  Ignoring any one of these rules could reduce your pay raise chances considerably, especially getting a significant one.

Let’s dive in with arguably the most significant tip.

Tip #1:

Maintain a confidential list of your money/time saving accomplishments and any work you performed over and above your basic job description.  This is a confidential list because you don’t want your boss or co-workers seeing it.  You’ll need this list later to help make your case.

If you don’t have things at which you excelled like saved money, reduced costs, improved efficiencies, then it will be tough to get a significant raise.  An exception is if your boss loves having you around for any number of reasons like a great attitude, good influence on others, always helpful, boss’s favorite, and other soft skills, that can have a positive impact on your salary.

But, make no mistake, if you are doing the basics of what you were hired to do, then you have not created added value unless you do it faster and better than anyone else.   The less you positively impact the firm’s bottom line, the less of a raise you’ll get.

It is crucial that the accomplishment list mentioned above is worded correctly.   So if you saved a million dollars for the firm by streamlining order processing and improving collections, but don’t state it in a proactive and metrically oriented manner, then you’ll be leaving serious money on the table.



Topics: Uncategorized · Tags:

How to Successfully Ask For (and get) The Pay Increase You Deserve

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Keep your emotions in check.  Keep your emotions out of the negotiating room; don’t go in with a cocky attitude that suggests “If I don’t get what I want then I’m out of here.”  You want to be professional, and you don’t want to burn bridges.  You will need this boss as a reference, perhaps for years to come.  You should be asking for a raise based on the work you’ve done and the monies it has made or saved the firm.  When you attach your request for a raise to specific accomplishments, rather than to foggier concepts such as “I deserve more, need more, want more, and have been here longer,” then your chances for success improve markedly.

Of course, it is possible to display a range of emotions, which can include disappointment, anger, or tears. This is a business negotiation.  Your best emotional response is to learn how to properly counter, without the drama, anything that the boss throws at you.  I cover those responses with my pay raise coaching clients on an individualized basis.  When your best negotiation skills don’t work, your best reaction is to see if the marketplace will value you.  So, discreetly and quietly seek another position.  You will soon see if you are realistic in your demands.

When negotiating for a higher salary, you must be brave (at least temporarily), armed with good in-depth research, and understand the variables involved in such a process. These variables include:

Your boss might play psychological games with you.  After all, the boss knows your personality, he probably has more experience than you and might think that they can delay and play you like a fiddle.  But, if you follow the tips I’ve outlined over the weeks plus have a pay raise coach on your team, then your boss will have no clue as to how smart you’ll be navigating the process toward a much higher raise or another better opportunity elsewhere.  If a serious raise is important to you, why risk it by going it alone?

What are your goals and plans for making more money at your job?  Share here:

If you currently earn over $75,000 then please email me for my questionnaire that, when you complete it, will help me determine if I can indeed assist you in getting a large raise.

Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward and making the money you deserve? I don’t blame you.



Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

How to Ask For a Pay Raise: The Psychology behind the negotiating strategy

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Let me explain some of the psychology behind the negotiating strategy I have described in this series of tips.  The reason you try to get your employer to make the first offer is to see where the firm stands and to determine how far off they are from your goal.  It gives you more control, and knowledge is power.  Sometimes a boss will give a very reasonable first offer and you can avoid the hassle of going back and forth.  (Nonetheless, it is always best to avoid immediately accepting an offer.  Ask to go home and think it over.  It is always tough to think through all your options while in the hot seat.)  In most cases, however, your boss’s first offer will not be reasonable, and you will need to start the negotiating process by asking for an unrealistically high amount.  By doing so, you give yourself breathing room to come down.

If instead you were to immediately ask for the exact salary you wanted, your boss would, in all likelihood, chop you down from there as part of his negotiating strategy.  Ask for more than you think is reasonable in order to negotiate down to a more realistic level.  Of course, if you start off with an absolutely ridiculous number, you will lose credibility.  You reduce this risk by having your boss make the first offer.  As I mentioned earlier, you want to offer an uncomfortable high number.  There is an art to choosing the number. Picking an uncomfortably high number for both you and your boss is recommended.  But, that is different from a totally ridiculous number.  Now here is some more of the art part to negotiating.  If your added value is such that your salary should be 5 times what it is now then go for it, because you can justify it.  If we work together this is something that I help you determine.

All negotiations do not proceed like the example in these tips. There are endless numbers of variables, choices, and alternatives attached to each.  With each twist, turn and decision that arises, the process becomes more difficult and it becomes easier to make mistakes.  As I mentioned in a previous tip, there is an art and science to negotiating.   The reason that I know how to respond during negotiations is that I’ve been part of them hundreds of times.  Art and math co-mingle in negotiations. Negotiation is not all numbers, it is strategy too.

What I have learned from the hundreds of successful salary increases I have negotiated is that while each situation is unique, the principles and guidelines of negotiation remain pretty much the same.  For example, in a negotiation, both sides must be willing to compromise.  Is that always the case?  No. Sometimes one party is obstinate and won’t budge.  That tells you a lot about the other side.  Which means then you can navigate your career down a different path.

You can win under almost any circumstance.  Yes, you can win even if it appears that you lost.  If you don’t get a raise you may have learned something that you are not doing at work and decide to work on improving that.  Or, you learned to get the heck out and find a better job and boss.  Remember that you need to support your career and not be held back by anyone job.

When you give something up, make sure you get something in return.  And, if both parties are unwilling to compromise, a stalemate will develop.  In that case, you will have to decide whether to stay where you are, working for an inadequate salary, or look for a higher paying position outside your firm.  If you add value, solve problems, help others, then you’ll never starve.  Companies want people like that.  Wouldn’t you if you owned a company?

The heart of these processes is all the nuances that pop up along the way.  You are dealing with another human and therefore you can never know what you can expect.  Humans are not machines.  Each person can react differently to the same stimuli.  Therefore, you need to know how to adjust your presentation with what transpires in the negotiation meeting.  This again is a large reason why many of you will want to be coached by someone skilled in pay raise negotiations like myself.  I help you navigate all the nuances that come up in the actual negotiation process.

What are some of the zigs and zags of negotiation that you have experienced?  Share here:



Topics: how to ask · Tags:

Pay Raise Success: Think outside the box and be open to offers

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Finally, keep in mind that although you may not get exactly what you are asking for in terms of a salary increase, your boss may propose an alternative that is acceptable to you.  For example, he may suggest a bonus instead or offer an increase based upon the completion of a particular project.  Perhaps he will say that although he feels only a small raise is in order at this time, he wants you to know that you are being groomed for a move up the corporate ladder.   Whatever offer is made, you should be open, flexible, and always go home and think things through before committing yourself.   Think outside the box and be open to offers outside the box.

Now, I know that every promise of a move up the corporate ladder is not written in stone.  Many boss’s break promises or never meant them in the first place. No matter what your boss offers, you can always counteroffer with something more tangible and more meaningful to you.  Your boss doesn’t own you. You may think he does, in fact the boss may think that he does.  But no one owns you.  You have free will.  You always have choices.

You may be wondering, “Could any of this backfire and get me fired or disciplined in some way?”  Of course, anything is possible.  All steps to move forward in life have risks attached and asking for a raise is no different.  Your boss, or your company, may act outside normal parameters and overreact to your request or to your negotiations.

You must choose between letting your fear paralyze you, so that you do nothing, or take a calculated risk and go for the raise.  That is a personal decision.  However, if your fear is due to intimidation coming from the company and/or your boss, thus making the risk too great, you should consider secretly and quietly looking for an opportunity outside your current firm.  No one should have to fear retaliation for merely asking for or negotiating better pay.

I’ve alluded to fear of retaliation in this series of tips. It can happen. However, your strength is in the added value you bring to the table and the problems that you resolved and can resolve elsewhere.  You have credible strengths. The key is being able to describe them in metric terms using the Power of 3 Method.  Then you will have effectively built a great case for another employer to hire you if your boss doesn’t come through.

If you are not sure if your accomplishments are saleable enough then email me for my pay raise questionnaire.  I’ll help you decide if you have strong enough accomplishments or if they are well constructed in writing.  You are not alone.  Reach out and email me now.  norman@thepayraisecoach.com

Has your boss broken promises of increases to you?  What did you do? Please share an example or two here:

There is a psychology to everything I’ve shared with you throughout this series of pay raise tips.  In our next tip I want to address the reasons, or psychology, behind my suggestions.  This will be eye opening.

Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward and making the money you deserve? I don’t blame you.

Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

What To Do When Asking For a Pay Raise: Salary Negotiations

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

The Power of Saying Nothing. 

In a negotiating process, after you state your position or ask a question, whoever speaks next often loses.  Let’s take the scenario detailed a couple tips back on negotiating.  When you countered with $58,500, and later with $56,500, it was imperative that you waited for your boss’s reply before you spoke again.  Most people can’t stand the silence and will speak, awkwardly trying to defend their position or, worse, lowering their number.   Don’t make this mistake.  Don’t talk yourself out of your stated position.

If your boss is a deliberate person and takes his time to think things through, just sit and wait.  Two to three minutes could go by, but just let the silence work in your favor.  If you don’t know where to look or what to do while waiting, start observing things around the office, or re-read your accomplishment list, or make a grocery list.  Let him worry about what you are thinking.  You left the ball in his court when you named a figure or asked a question.  Don’t go onto his side of the court and grab the ball from him.  If you move to his side of the court prematurely, you could get penalized.  Let him make the next move. You’ll be mad at yourself if you don’t, and you’ll be pleased if you do.

Now, what should you do when your boss makes you an offer?  Right after the offer or counteroffer is made, pause and show that you are considering his offer before blurting out your response.  Do this even if you like his response.  Let the silence work in your favor and make him feel uneasy.  Since it is normal for most people to feel uncomfortable with silence, perhaps he will end up increasing his offer.  When you can’t think on your feet or, even if the offer is reasonable, always ask for a day or two to consider his response.  No one says this all has to be finished in 10 minutes, or even on the same day.  Be patient…this is your money.

Salary Negotiations aren’t always a cut and dried event.  There can be lots of shades of grey and blues and pinks and you get the idea.  Let’s discuss next what some of these grey areas look like.  Hang in there.   All of this can impact your life and your family’s life for years to come.   See you for the next tip.

How does silence make you feel? Have you experienced the awkwardness of silence when with your boss? Share details here:



Topics: how to ask · Tags:

Successful Negotiating For a Pay Increase: What About Perks Instead?

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Consider getting some or all your salary increase in perks instead of cash.  Could you negotiate for a trip to Europe and all expenses paid?  Sure, why not?  Who says you couldn’t?

Salary increases are one way to get more money in your pocket, but there are numerous other ways too. Sometimes it is easier for a boss to “hide” your extra money from their boss, and from other employees, by negotiating with you on the following alternative examples:

The list of negotiable items is endless.  All of these have cash value and are like money in your account – that is why other benefits can be just as valuable as salary. What is important to you outside of salary? Note that alternative benefits may or may not have tax consequences.

Don’t feel trapped by your own mental limitations that say “I can’t ask for this stuff; it is exclusively for senior management.”  Who says so?  Just because it has always been done this way, doesn’t mean it can’t be changed…now.

Have you heard the expression about the power of saying nothing?  Well, our next tip addresses that power and how to use it, like many bosses do, to your advantage.  Talk with you soon.

What other perks besides money are you potentially interested in receiving?  Share below:

Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward and making the money you deserve?  I don’t blame you.



Topics: how to ask · Tags:

Asking the Boss For a Pay Raise: the Series of Counteroffers

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

In our last post we discussed that your boss is willing to talk about a raise.  Great!  Try to get your boss to make the first offer.  If, before making that offer, he wants to know what you are looking for, say the following:  “I know you will be fair with me and that you have a range in mind.  What do you feel my accomplishments and expertise are worth to your department?”

One of two things will occur.  Either he will suggest an offer, or he will insist that you go first.  If the latter should happen, since he is your boss, you will need to be polite and cooperative.  Here is how to handle the situation if your boss makes the first offer.

Let us assume you are making $50,000 and feel $55,000 is a fair and reasonable salary.  If your boss suggests, say, increasing your salary to $52,000, you need to appear surprised and disappointed.

At this point, you should say, “I appreciate your offer, however, my research of the marketplace shows me that – given my strong contributions above and beyond my job description, plus the savings I bring to the company – a raise of under $1.00 is less than the added value I bring to this firm.”

Do you see how your boss’s $2,000 offer can be minimized by presenting the number in a less desirable light? (Every $1.00 per hour raise equals $2,080 per year.)

At this point, your boss might ask what you have in mind.  This is where you must have nerves of steel.  You are still $3,000 away from your goal.  Much of negotiating, practically speaking, comes down to compromising and splitting differences.  Your boss gave a little, but is still talking about unreasonable numbers, so you must do the same.  By unreasonable, I do mean ludicrous.  Since you are $3,000 shy of your goal, you should ask for $3,000 above the salary you desire, plus a little “kicker.” A kicker is an odd number that implies that you have given your number very serious consideration, and, therefore, that your request isn’t very flexible.

In addition, you don’t want your boss figuring out that you are the exact same distance from your goal as he is.  Giving an even number would imply that you are shooting from the hip and your request can easily be negotiated, so ask for $58,500.

Your boss’s job is to act surprised and just about fall over.  He will probably do some math and say that he can go up to $53,750 – but nothing more.  In this case, he has offered another $1,750, so you should come down by that amount. However, to make sure he doesn’t know you are copying him, change the amount somewhat.  Counteroffer by asking for $56,500 (take the $58,500 you just asked for, subtract the $1,750 your boss just offered you, and add $250 to throw him off).  Explain to your boss that the difference between your offer and his is only $1.32 per hour.  (The difference between your boss’s last offer of $53,750 and yours of $56,500 is $2,750.  Divide that by the 2,080 hours you work each year, and you arrive at $1.32 per hour.)

Here your boss might say, “You are pushing my limits, but my final offer is $54,500.  Let me know.” You want your boss to save some face, and you are essentially close to your initial goal of $55,000, so you decide to accept.

However, do not immediately accept the offer.  Thank him and ask for a day or two to think it over.  Tell him that you want to run it past your spouse or close advisor.  In this way, your boss will feel that you are giving his offer serious consideration.  Otherwise, if you accept instantly, he may feel he was too easy with you and that he should have offered less.

This is human nature.  Make him feel good about the offer and that he, too, has won.  You should feel good that you received a 9% raise, which is well above what most employees get.  In addition, your next raise will be based upon an annual salary of $54,500 instead of $50,000.

In actuality, does a pay raise scenario go just like the above case?  Maybe, but when people are involved, rarely do things go exactly as planned.  It can spin off into many different variations.  It is near impossible to consider all those possibilities here.  And each person involved brings their emotions, personalities, egos and personal feelings into the situation.

That is why many people seek professional guidance throughout the process, in order to maximize a positive outcome.  And that is what I provide to those who want the security and knowledge that they are handling the situation in the best way possible.  When I work with professionals, I get a detailed understanding of how the company operates, the boss, or bosses operate and the style of your personality, and your goals. Then together we map out a game plan.  I quarterback that game plan.  No guess work, but a real plan that we work on together until completion and success.

The sample above is just for illustrative purposes.  I kept the numbers simple so it is easy to follow.   Often I’m going for a 25% or 35% raise.  Just use the same thinking about to navigate your pay raise negotiation.

If you want to know, in my judgment, if you qualify for a significant raise, then email me and request a salary raise questionnaire and I’ll get one right out to you. norman@thepayraisecoach.com

How is the above similar or different than your experiences with negotiating salaries?  Share here:

Do you realize that you can negotiate for more than just cash?  Find out how in this series of free and powerful tips….

Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward and making the money you deserve? I don’t blame you.



Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

Asking My Boss For More Money: What to really expect…

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Several outcomes can occur from your Power of 3 System presentation, which is comprised of your value added lists.

He/she agrees you have performed admirably, but still says that there is no money or that you are at the top of the salary range already, or any number of other push back points.

He/she agrees and discusses compensation with you.

He/she minimizes your accomplishments.

For now, we are going to deal with the 2nd bullet where your boss agrees with you and is open to discuss an improvement in your compensation.  If either of the other two scenarios comes up, you will have to decide whether you should maintain the status quo or begin looking for a better position.  In either case, don’t portray a negative attitude; continue to do the great job you have been doing.  First, your boss may have second thoughts and reconsider his position.  Second, he might worry that you will look for something else and leave, which would be disruptive to the firm.  Again, your boss may need a few days to think through the situation, including how his department would be impacted.

There are retorts to the other two bullet points.  I cover those with coaching clients because they involve a number of nuanced responses.  In the meantime, let’s proceed with how to actually negotiate.

So, your boss may suggest that he’ll get back to you soon, after he crunches the numbers.  If this is the case, ask to schedule the next meeting:  “Great, I look forward to hearing your offer.  Is Friday at 1:00 pm good for you to meet again, or do you have an alternate time in mind?”  That is right, you have to take charge and suggest a follow up date.  Why?  The tendency of many bosses is to have an out-of-sight and out-of-mind mentality.  It is normal for people to avoid the uncomfortable.  In fact, many bosses will try to put you off entirely for as long as possible. Your job is to demonstrate that you are serious about this matter, so you offer a follow-up date to show you are proactive.

If you don’t pursue this next meeting, an indeterminable amount of time may pass before you meet again.  You don’t want your request swept under the rug.  If he won’t commit to a time, then catch him a week later and ask for a meeting.  After two requests for a meeting, if you are still chasing your boss, then start looking for another job.  Staying in the same position for another year will not improve your negotiating posture, although you may receive a token raise.  You are in charge of your life and career.  Most bosses aren’t going to be proactive on your behalf.   Being proactive will set the tone for negotiations, make you feel more empowered and is just the attitude you need to move forward.  I have seen years go by for people who are not proactive in advancing their salary and career.  Don’t be one of them.

Caveat here is if you don’t add much value and you basically do your job and go home, then that too is a choice.  Just go with the flow and have your career and salary at the total mercy of your boss.  There is nothing wrong with that, if that is what you want.  But, if you are complaining that you are not recognized, then you must do something different.

Again, if your boss won’t agree to a follow-up meeting, then start looking.  Don’t give him 3 months to get back with you.  That is 3 months out of your life.  Forget it! If you have worked hard, added value to your position, and achieved measureable accomplishments, another employer will probably appreciate you more.  Often, when you go for a new job, you can negotiate at least a 10% increase.  Sometimes the increase can be 20-30%+. This is not unheard of, especially if you are perceived to be an “A” player, were under compensated previously, and the supply of people like you is thin.

By looking elsewhere, you will quickly see what your skills and accomplishments are worth.  Remember:  if you decide to look for another job, make sure no one associated with your company knows of your intentions.  Even your best friend at work could spill the beans, and that could be a costly mistake.  I’ve seen it happen even by accident – your friend tells another friend who tells…Don’t risk it!

How do you think your boss will react to your request for more money?  Will they put off having a meeting to address the matter?  Share here:



Topics: how to ask · Tags:

Pay Raise Success: How do you go about negotiating more money for yourself?

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

How do you go about negotiating more money for yourself?  First begin by asking for a meeting to discuss your career track and compensation.  Once a meeting is secured, start by leading off the discussion with something like this:  “I came in to discuss my worth and career track to this department and company.  I feel it is time to adjust my salary upwards since I have been adding value to my position.”

Your boss may say anything to potentially weaken your resolve by offering such excuses as:

The list of negative comments your boss might give is almost endless, but, to you, it should not matter. Your raise is not going to bankrupt the firm.  If it would, then your firm is too financially shaky to begin with, and you should be looking for a position with a more stable company.  In addition, company policies are often broken when the matter is deemed important enough.

However, you do not need to address any of this with your boss.  Doing so would only put you on the defensive.  Do not voluntarily address your boss’s explanations about why you shouldn’t or can’t receive a raise.  But, do politely say, “I understand.  I also came in to share with you my accomplishments over the past _____ months.  They include….” And start listing your extra achievements and accomplishments, in an outline format, including as many measurable benefits as possible. Hand him your Power of 3 lists once you begin discussions of your added value.

You are not responsible for his or her reactions, only yours.   If you are holding a Royal Flush or 4 Aces in Poker you shouldn’t worry what another player is saying or doing.   You are secure in the hand that you hold.  The same goes in your meeting with your boss.  If you actually have added lots of value, then you are in a strong position to be taken care of at your current job or elsewhere.



Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

Asking For a Raise at Work: How to Be Prepared

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

You are the one in-charge of your raise.  No one else is responsible.  If your boss doesn’t deliver then there is little reason for you to tolerate it.  If you don’t get a great raise it is either because you don’t deserve one, you didn’t present your case in a compelling way or your boss is a fool.  There are a lot of foolish bosses around, so there is a distinct possibility that you have one.  If you have a strong case for a serious raise and are denied, then it is your responsibility to seek a well-paying position elsewhere.  Using the methods within my tips you should be able to find another position at higher pay.  If not, you should contact me to discuss what you may not be doing as well as you think you are.

Now let’s discuss what you need to do before the actual negotiation takes place.  Imagine that you are in the hot seat directly across from your boss.  Are you nervous and sweaty?  Well, if you are properly prepared you won’t be.

Being prepared includes:

Be warned that to get the desired raise, you and your work history have to be worth it, or your boss will think you are merely demanding money without merit.  In that case, you either won’t get the raise, or you could push the envelope and actually get replaced shortly down the road.  So you need to know in advance the value that you bring to the table.  That value is not an absolute number, but an approximation based on many factors.

Some of those factors include what others make doing what you do, and the supply and demand curve for people like you.  If there is an abundance of people who are available to step in and do your job, then you have less negotiating power.  If there are few to none available to hire, then you have a stronger position for negotiating.  Even if there are plenty of people available in the marketplace, but few folks would ever work at your firm, for any number of reasons, then that positions you more strongly.  If your boss is the type that would rather lose you and suffer the consequences, then your negotiating position is weakened.

As you can tell there are a ton of reasons why you are in, or not in, a good position to negotiate.  You have to consider them all.  For some folks they reason that the only way to win is to just get a job elsewhere, because the dynamics at their firm preclude getting a raise.  On the other hand, people can misread their own circumstances.  I’ve helped people get great raises where they thought it was near impossible to do so.  So each situation is unique.  There is no cookie cutter approach in this business.

Also, you must know and believe you have power.  The ultimate power you have is the knowledge that you can go elsewhere.  If you are not aware of your worth in the marketplace, then you lack power.

How do you assess your organization and boss regarding their being open and able to giving you a raise?  Share below in the comments:

Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward and making the money you deserve? I don’t blame you.



Topics: setting up your raise · Tags:

Asking My Boss For More Money: The Power Of 3

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

As I mentioned earlier, the Power of 3 Pay Raise System is one major component of my 8 step pay raise process.

I’m very proud of coming up with this pay raise program.  It is a simple system, yet powerful!  The effect of using the Power of 3 System is that it adds fire power to your pay raise meeting with your boss, while setting the basis for the discussion with a home run.

This concept is very powerful and is meant to overwhelm your boss in a positive sense.  It is intended to demonstrate how valuable you are to the department and firm.

Here is how it works.  You’ll neatly print 3 lists on separate sheets of paper.

— The first list is called “[your name] Accomplishments over the past 12 months.”  This is a bullet list of your metrically oriented achievements that added value and solved problems.

— The second list is called “[your name] Current Projects Being Resolved. “   This is a bullet list of problems and the processes being used to solve them.  These are projects in which you are currently actively engaged.  You should word them to reflect the issues, problems and challenges that you are currently up against and making headway on. Paint the picture in such a way that if you weren’t involved, there would be a large gap and cost to the department/firm.

—The last list is called “[your name] Projects expected over the next 3-6 months.” Again, list these in bullet fashion in order to clearly show the problem(s) and how you expect to engage and resolve those issues that will be coming up over the next 3-6 months.

When initiating discussing your pay raise, hand your boss the 3 lists (on paper) and state that these lists articulate and demonstrate why you deserve a great raise. After perusing the 3 lists your boss may not say it, but he/she is likely to feel overwhelmed (which is what we want) and reminded of how dependent he/she is upon you.

Your boss will be quickly and neatly reminded of the added value that you provide.  S/he will then be less inclined to lose you and will therefore lean toward rewarding you with more compensation.  Doing otherwise the pain would be too great. It is all implied, however it is implied in an indirect way that is powerful.  The Power of 3 lists will do most of the heavy lifting for you. Just think of the combined power that your 3 lists have on your boss’s psyche!  Your boss should be overwhelmed, in a positive way, with the condensed reminder of all the added value that you bring to the department and firm.

If your boss is not positively impressed, then s/he is either playing coy for negotiation sake, unappreciative, needs to think things through, your accomplishment descriptors were not truly impressive or, more likely, they were not expressed well.  Those who work with me get my expert input and guidance on how to best construct those accomplishment lists.

Your pay raise argument is well documented and articulated on paper for you.  All that is left is negotiating the amount.  Will it be a token raise, moderate raise or a great one?  Much of that decision has to do with the quality of your 3 lists and how you negotiate.

You won’t need to say much.  Your boss will appreciate at a glance that you have accomplished a lot, are integrally involved in current projects and are ramped up for future projects.  Your list reminds the boss that these bullet points all represent problems, or pressure, that your boss felt, feels now and or will be feeling soon.  It also appears that you have everything under control.  That is one less thing your boss has to worry about.

Also, your boss sees that over and over again, you release that pressure valve for him by resolving the problems that he wants and needs resolved.   That should always be your goal, but now you are just reminding him of that relationship and how successful you are at taking care of your end of the relationship.

Additionally, the 3 lists become excellent focused talking points during your pay raise meeting, which basically creates a career track dialogue at the same time.  You can bring up any of the projects on your lists to discuss with your boss. Typically a boss is not up to speed on all the details of your projects.  It is your job to remind the boss that these bullet points are involved, important and influential to other areas of the department or firm.

The Power of 3 is incredible at helping you make your argument to your boss as to why you have more than earned a great raise.  The power of 3 is like hitting a double in baseball at your first time up to bat.  You are halfway home right from the start.

There are many nuances in today’s tip.  Many people use my coaching services to help create the 3 lists just mentioned.  Some people have a hard time converting what they’ve done to a bullet that address the original problem, the process used to solve the problem and the measured results.

The reason it is hard for many people to come up with their lists include 1) they don’t recall all that they did   2)  they are too close to the subject to make the reader feel the pain of the problem from their boss’s  perspective  3) they have a hard time attaching a metric to their results.

I am adept at helping pay raise seekers secure and pull that information out of their head.

One of the purposes for the 3 lists is for the boss to visually see and feel that he’ll be up to his neck in projects and may not be able to easily replace you with someone who could continue making valued contributions the way you have been doing.  You should never mention that you may leave and you don’t need to mention it.  Why?   Because the 3 lists imply that if you left, then your boss will be in a bind.  It is obvious.

How do you see my Power of 3 System helping you during a pay raise discussion?  Share here:



Topics: how to ask · Tags:

Negotiating a Salary Increase: The Fear of Not Knowing How To Ask

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Fear of not knowing how to ask or how to negotiate. 

This may sound similar to a fear of asking, but it is quite different.   This one is not about being afraid to actually ask because you may be undeserving, worried about being let go or even chastised.  No, this one is not about your ego and just going in and pretty much blindly asking for a raise. Instead, it is about having a system or program for how to negotiate. How do I ask for a raise and then what do I do or say?  It is about the details and the framing of the language that you’ll use.  This is about feeling secure that you can navigate the conversation with one’s boss, no matter what direction and obstacles the boss takes or puts out.

I have developed a simple 8 step process for securing the raise that you earned and deserve.  No matter what your boss throws back at you, there is a reasonable counter to it and that can be and should be delivered in a self-confidant, but respectful, manner.   This is not a pitched battle of gladiators, but a discussion between equals.  My 8 step process reduces, if not completely eliminates, the fear of not knowing how to ask and how to negotiate.

We just addressed the major fears around seeking a significant raise.   Our next tip will address the backbone of my system for securing a fantastic raise.  The way I coach my clients is to empower them.  One of the major components of the 8 step pay raise process is to help my clients construct the Power of 3 Pay Raise System.  It is simple, yet powerful.

Again, stay tuned because I’ll share it here in our next session together.  You DO NOT want to miss this…

How much has fear of not knowing the mechanics on how to effectively negotiate impacted your taking a shot at going for a raise?  Share your story below:

Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward and making the money you deserve? I don’t blame you.

We’ve covered the predominant fears surrounding asking for a pay raise.  Now we’ll continue with my pay raise tips.

Topics: fears · Tags:

Asking For a Pay Increase: Fear of Retribution is Real….

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

This is another big one and works in conjunction with any, or all, of the other fears.  This fear raises the question in one’s mind “Will my boss take action against me for even daring to ask for a raise?”  What could your boss do? Your boss could always get rid of you whether you request a raise or not.  Many bosses feel that they need to project an air of authority so as to make you afraid or nervous to approach for favors.  It works well since you already fear retribution.

But, what if you felt you could easily get a better job elsewhere?  Would you feel more secure?  What if your boss felt that you are too valuable to lose?  What if your boss knew that you earn the firm way more than your salary request?  Would you feel more secure then?  Would you feel more empowered?  Don’t assume your boss or employer has all the power.  You too have power!

Why do you have so much power?  Because hiring someone else is filled with unknowns.  Your boss does not know if a new person really wants the job, has an attitude problem, will fit into the organization, or might even cost more than you.  Plus, they may have to pay a stiff recruiter fee for the privilege of hiring your replacement.

Your power is in the understanding of your job, the smooth flow you demonstrate in delivering your work, your understanding of the inner workings of the firm, your knowledge and rapport with the clients, customers are comfortable with you and send notes praising you, the speed that you work is terrific, the problems that you solve are numerous and of consequence, management likes working with you, co-workers respect you, and so forth.

One more thing to emblazon in your heart and mind is that your loyalty is toward your career, not your job.  What?  Don’t get me wrong.  Your job is very important and you should treat it seriously and be respectful of your co-workers and management.  However, in your heart and mind your allegiance is toward what enhances your career.  If your current job is enhancing your career then continue giving it your all.  If it is no longer serving you well overall, then your loyalty is toward your career and yourself.   Make concerted plans to move up elsewhere.

Do you feel that your boss may do something in retribution for your asking for too much money?  If so, share below:



Topics: fears · Tags:

How to Ask For a Raise: How Do You Know You’re Not Just Bragging?

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Have a fear of bragging about why you deserve a raise?  Do you play mind games with yourself regarding the potential negatives of getting a raise?  Do you think “If I get a $20K increase then how will that affect my co-workers’ and friends’ perception of me?  I won’t be one of them.  They will not want to share and complain with me.  I’ll be on the outs.  They’ll think I’m stuck up.  So how can I hide my raise?  What if I buy a new car?  What will others think then?”

This fear is powerful and has kept many of us in line and down forever.  Do you think “I’ll be on the outside looking in and the higher ups will see me as an interloper and not deserving?”  These mind games can play havoc with your feelings of self-worth.  Answer:  Separate work from your friends and social life.  Work is about your career and advancement. Your social life should be a separate arena.  Don’t mix the two. The more you blur work and your social friends, the more issues like this come up.  Do you really need a social life revolving around work?  They call it work and co-workers for a reason.  Work is not called social time and friends.  Know the difference and succeed/prosper.

It is too much to address in a short tip.  However, not hanging out with your co-workers is a huge topic. It is not a black and white issue.  Being friendly at work is different than having close friends at work.  Are there exceptions to this? Yes, every rule has exceptions.  But, you wouldn’t be worried about fear number 6 if it wasn’t for friendships that are too meaningful and close to you.  Just keep this in mind:  Your friends don’t feed you and pay your rent, your boss does.  Reminding yourself of this distinction will keep your priorities and relationships in perspective.

What self-talk do you do in your head when wanting to brag to your boss about your accomplishments? Share your feelings about bragging or touting your achievements. Please share below:

Have you ever worried that if you do something, then someone else will want to get even with you?  If yes, then you’ll enjoy the next fear in our series.

Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward and making the money you deserve? I don’t blame you.

Topics: fears · Tags:

Negotiating a Pay Increase at Your Job: How Do You Respond to a Low-Ball Offer?

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Many of you feel and fear that your boss will, at best, offer a token or substandard raise.  The fear comes in not knowing how to handle that situation and not knowing the art of negotiating it higher…..especially much higher.

Like so many things in life, we aren’t experienced enough to feel comfortable with the finesse required in negotiating.  Instead we allow either fear or brashness to take control.  Plus there is the perception that your boss holds all the cards, since he employs you and writes the checks.  That negative thinking is how you got into a low paying situation to begin with.

You have power!  You have lots of power, if you are a value added employee like we addressed in earlier posts.  Great workers and contributors are hard to find.  Your boss may not act as if they are hard to find, but they are.  So if you are part of the top 20% at what you do, then you are locked and loaded with power to negotiate.

That feeling of insecurity or fear is normal.  Naturally you don’t want your ego bruised or be forced to get a new job.  What you really lack is a coach or mentor who can handhold you through the process.   Let’s be clear, it is not a cookie cutter process that you can simply memorize.  The approach is dynamic and changes as the verbal exchange proceeds between you and your boss.   It changes with each boss, each company style and one’s own personality.

Believe me; your boss is used to getting his/her own way with salaries.  However, when you go in for a raise and actually know how to respond proactively then your boss’s position is weakened.  Plus, your boss does not have a coach, but now you do.  He/she only has the implied power of his/her position, which is as a job provider.  That job provider status is matched by your accomplishments as a problem solver.  You solve problems and your boss pays for your positive results.  That is a fair exchange.  Money for problems solved.  There is almost always someone else who will pay well for the problems that you solve.  So your boss does not have all the power that you may have previously given him or her.

When handled well by you, your boss will not feel superior to you.  In fact, a talented employee actually has at least as much power as the boss….and often more.  Yes more. Again, it depends on the perceived need in the mind of the employer for the employee’s services.   Your job is to increase the perceived need in the mind and heart of your boss.

Caveat, everyone has a point of no return, but we aren’t even dealing with that in our discussions. Part of our process together is to raise the level of your perceived worth in the eyes of your boss.  This is not hard to do.  We’ll address how to do that when you’re ready to go.

What do you say or do when your boss offers an embarrassing low raise? Share your story below:

No one likes a bragger or do they?

Topics: fears · Tags:

How To Ask For a Raise at Work: Do You Feel You’re Not Worthy?

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013 · No Comments »

Fear of not being worthy enough.   Some bosses help make us feel less than worthy, while sadly, many of us convince ourselves that we are not worthy.  So our feelings of unworthiness may come from our boss, sometimes from family or “friends” and even our own self-talk.  Many of these feelings stem from home and school.   But we aren’t in school or living with our parents.  This is our time and turn to ask for what we’ve earned.

When I was young I suffered from low self-esteem.  It stemmed from having ADHD (undiagnosed at the time), strong environmental allergies that kept me feeling lethargic, and having been taught sight reading instead of phonics, all while my mom had severe depression.  So I acted out, in large part, for attention and not feeling adequate like the other kids.  I took risks to get attention, which often led to getting me into trouble.  Those risks were not healthy ones.

Those feelings of unworthiness stayed with me for a long time; yet I learned to take calculated risks and ask for raises and better assignments.  I was largely successful, but certainly not every time.  Needless to say, I never got fired for broaching the subject of a raise or a better assignment, and I had some tough bosses.   The experience of hiring others who asked me for raises helped form my viewpoints.  Plus, placing hundreds of professionals, while as a successful Executive Recruiter, exposed me to negotiating excellent salaries for all those that I placed.  Those placements were with firms from $10 Million in size to Fortune 100 companies.

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I negotiated with every level of boss and personality imaginable.  All that salary negotiation prepared me for what I do now.    All of that exposure allowed me to develop a system that I now teach to other professionals.  But, I don’t teach successful pay raise negotiations and run.  No, instead I instruct and then guide my clients through each meeting with their boss, as if I am right there by their side.  Together we make significant pay raises happen.  Part of the fear is going it alone.  That no longer needs to happen.

Believe me there is almost always another firm that will appreciate your value and contribution.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to imply that everyone is deserving of a raise.  They are not.  Some folks are even over-paid. But, the first thing I do with potential clients is determine if a healthy raise is even in order.  I do that in a brief questionnaire and complimentary telephone discovery session which you can request by simply emailing me at norman@thepayraisecoach.com

I am sensitive to feelings of unworthiness in others because of my own life experiences.  That is all the more reason that I am uniquely qualified to help you feel better about yourself, while helping you secure the significant pay raise that you deserve.

Are you caught between feeling you are underpaid and not being worthy of much more?  Share your story here:



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