Do Have a Fear of Being Fired That Keeps You From Asking For a Raise?

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

Do You Have a Fear of Being Fired?

Asking for a raise rarely results in a firing.  You would have to really be insubordinate, rude, or threatening to lose your job for merely asking and negotiating a raise.  I teach how to present your value in a way that is empowering, with self-confidence, but with no arrogance or negative attitude.  You’ll negotiate with pride!

I understand that being fired is a rare occurrence from merely asking for a raise, and yet that fear can be almost paralyzing.  Think about it.  Most things that we fear either never came to pass, wasn’t the end of the world, or it was minor in comparison to what we had imagined.  I have a fear of heights, which includes fear of flying.  I have flown tons of times in spite of my fear.  It was always a safe flight.  Our imagination can take on a life of its own and trigger a fight or flight response in us.  But, I was prepared.  I brought recorded music and a headset with me.  The music was hand-picked and soothed my soul while pumping me up, all of which reduced my trepidation of flying.

The great thing about my methodology for negotiating a raise is that before the actual conversation occurs, you will be fully prepared to get the attention of competitor firms, if needed.   This strategy is powerful and empowering. Working in this way keeps your fear at bay.  Preparedness provides self-confidence and greatly reduces fear and apprehension.

Do you fear being fired if you pushed the raise issue?  Share your experiences with this fear here:



Topics: fears · Tags:

Asking For a Raise at Work: Fear of Rejection

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

Fear of Rejection—Will our boss minimize our request by saying such things as “I thought you were part of our team.” Or  “You know that we take care of our people when the time is right.” Or “Do you really think you deserve a raise now with all the changes going on around here?”  All of these, and others, are designed to intimidate you, make you defensive and get you to go back to your corner and be happy that you even have a job.  Of course, if the boss doesn’t have to give you much of a raise then he/she has more to give to someone else.

Bosses have many ways of rejecting and minimizing you.  Subtle ones are:  1) not paying attention to you when you’re speaking to the boss.   They could be shuffling papers, answering the phone, allowing or encouraging the Administrative Assistant to walk in and interrupt.  2) Looking at his/her watch.  3) Answering a text.  All of these and many more are forms of rudeness and purposeful intimidation.

But, you really hold the power because you know the depth of your contributions and you have the ultimate power of being able to leave.  Power is in the mind.  You have way more choices than you think.

Share a story of how you or someone you know experienced fear of rejection while seeking a raise. Share it here:

Do you Fear being fired if you ask for what you’ve earned?  Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward and making the money you deserve?

Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

Fears of Asking For a Raise: Your Self Worth

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

The 8 biggest obstacles to securing a substantial raise all involve fear.   There are in fact more than 8, but we are going to cover the most prominent.  Each of the next 8 tip postings will address a different pay raise fear.

Fear of asking often involves issues that go back to childhood.  We’re taught not to ask for things we want or we’re taught how to politely ask and if told “No” then we just say “Thank you” or “Okay.”    Or were you taught to negotiate in order to increase your odds of winning?  Some parents do teach that last scenario, but most don’t.

In either case, there are many situations that can make the fear almost overwhelming.  Fear of asking can involve the fear of being ridiculed for not deserving it, fear of being let go, fear of being told “No” in a condescending or embarrassing way, fear of the demeanor that your boss projects and wanting to avoid his gruff voice and beady stare, fear of being told that you have nerve asking when the company or economy are not doing well.  Naturally you don’t want to be scolded or chastised, so you avoid that potential pain by foregoing a conversation about your financial worth or value.

The problem is at its root an emotional one.  Your worth as a person is what you are protecting at all costs. Many of us have been put down in some way as a child.  Avoiding those feelings is such a strong emotion that you won’t risk having it come up.  Or if you do risk asking, you are so timid about it that you are assuring yourself of not getting something substantial.  I know there are always exceptions to the rule, but mostly this is what occurs.

You are avoiding bruising your self-worth.  I’ve seen hundreds of people back off from securing a meaningful salary so that their ego remains intact.  I work with these same people to help alleviate their negative feelings of self-worth. I help empower and hand-hold them through the agonizing salary negotiation process so that their egos remain intact, they feel empowered, emboldened and secure in asking for and receiving the raise that they earned and deserve.  It is a powerful process that works and is transformative to the person requesting the raise.

Sadly, many folks who attempt this on their own do not succeed.  Instead of trying a different method they just find a job elsewhere or they stay put and underpaid with their egos crushed.

The good news is that we can in advance figure out together if, in fact, you deserve a big raise and what that pay raise should be.  Then my strategy is to build your confidence and self-worth along with providing the negotiation tools to get the raise you have earned.  Without the hand-holding and mentorship, sadly those feelings of poor self-worth generally continue to hold your success back.  Operating on your own has been costing you thousands of dollars, and for many of you the cost is tens of thousands of dollars.  Isn’t it time to try another strategy?

Please share if you, or someone you know, has experienced the fear of asking regarding a pay raise situation?  Share below:



Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

Pay Raise Success: Measure Your Work Against Your Boss’s Performance

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

Make sure you understand how to help your boss construct performance objectives against which to attach additional salary.  Most bosses do not use performance objectives when describing a position in a job posting.  They talk in general terms such as “must be familiar with a high volume Accounts Receivable desk, or 8-10 years’ experience doing cost accounting. “ Your boss may not be used to measuring what needs to be done, and so he or she may be less inclined to appreciate your measured accomplishments.

Your job is to help your boss see and appreciate the value you bring to the table.  If you discuss what he/she wants to achieve, in a metrically oriented way, then you can attach a value to that.   For example, if I collect all the 90-day outstanding accounts receivable and do that within 5 months, then that may be worth $30,000 per year extra.  Why?  Because the employer did not have to farm it out to a collection agency, which takes up to a 50% cut.

90-day+ receivables are currently at $25,000,000. That would represent a fee of $12.5 million if an agency collected it.  But, if you collect it then your firm is only out $30,000 extra per year to you instead of $12.5 million to a collection agency.  It would take a bunch of lifetimes to eat up $12.5 million at a $30K per year rate.  I’ve used strong contrasts in numbers here to make a point.  Actual numbers may not be as dramatic.

Your boss walks away as a big winner and so do you.  But, you need to have the discussion and tease out the particulars like I just did above.  The contrast is glaringly obvious.  (Keep in mind that your numbers may be somewhat tighter, but the same thinking applies)  Your boss got a real bargain.  If you truly want to make headway on your salary then it is your job to point out all the “bargains’ that your boss is getting because of your efforts. Get my 27 tips for pay raise success…



Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

The Pay Raise Expert: How to Determine Your Market Worth

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

Make sure you have done your research and know what the prevailing wages are for your level of contribution.  Where do you determine this?  There are many ways, but one good source is from your industry’s professional association. Many of them do an annual salary survey found in their monthly association magazine.  Call the association and ask them if they produce a salary survey.   Another way is to check with friends, who work at a firm where someone does what you do, and ask them to scout it out for you.

Market wages is only part of your value.  Other things need to be considered, like how much your boss really likes you, needs you, is dependent upon you, compatible with you, plus your knowledge of the job, industry and how other managers like you.   When those things are all taken together, it would be tough to replace you.  The soft skills that you bring to the table, such as ease of working with you and always being helpful, will add to your perceived value.

If you snoop around your industry professional association you will likely find someone familiar with salaries in your industry and the flexibility of firms in your industry to adjust wages upward for those who add value.

How do you determine your worth when you seek a raise?  Share here:

What should your boss measure your performance against?  Stay tuned.

Topics: adding value · Tags:

Negotiating a Pay Increase: Don’t Threaten to Quit!

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

Don’t threaten to quit!  I know you may have seen others do it and survive.  Some people win in a car wreck, but I don’t advise it.  Bosses don’t forget your lack of loyalty when you threaten to quit.   Often what happens is when you can easily be replaced, you are.  When layoffs come you may be one of the first to go.  When someone approaches the boss to interview for your position your boss may give more weight to them, since he lost his loyalty to you.  We all have been friendly toward those we don’t trust.  There is an old saying by Sun-Tzu that says “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

What’s the alternative?  The alternative is an implied threat.  The fact that you are approaching the boss for a sizeable increase and can justify it, will automatically leave your boss with the impression that you may leave. Nothing in your voice or body language should indicate that you are anything but on the same team as your boss.  You are merely asking for money that is in line with your contributions.  You, hopefully, are not the same person that was hired, say, 2 years ago.  We are assuming that you have grown and the company has benefited from that growth during that 2 year period.

A good corollary is this:  If you were in sales and were expected to produce $5 million per year and in return for which you were paid $100,000.  If instead you produced $12 million, and kept related costs in line, wouldn’t you be expected to earn more than $100,000?  Of course you would.  And your boss would, in all likelihood, be in agreement that you deserved more.

You shouldn’t approach your boss for a raise without having done your research. I can help with that…

Can you share a story of either you or someone you know that offered to quit if they did not get a raise?  How did it turn out?  Share below:



Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

Don’t Use Your Personal Issues to Secure a Pay Raise

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

Avoid using personal issues to induce an employer to pay you more.  I know you’re aware of someone who got a raise that way.  Sure it can work, but there is a cost.  No boss respects being approached on a personal basis for a raise.  Why? It is not your boss’s responsibility to help you with your personal issues.  Imagine if everyone did that.  The boss wants to pay you for your job performance, your problem solving and pitching in over and above what is expected.

The fact that you are pregnant, bought a new motorcycle, live 50 miles from work, gas prices went up, your kid can’t go to summer camp, you’re getting divorced, you need dental work, Joe who does less than you but gets paid more… and the list is endless.  All of them have, and should have, zero impact on you getting a raise.

Your raise should come because you can demonstrate that you’ve earned it.  Anything other than that is making an emotional issue and not a rational argument for getting a raise. You should get paid on the value you bring to the table.  If your boss can easily replace you with someone doing essentially the same thing, for about the same money as you receive, then you did not present a good case.

Can you get a token raise by crying the blues?  Perhaps yes.  But, your boss is doing you a favor instead of trading money for value added services.  Many bosses resent being put in that position.  Plus, that raise will be a token amount, and given because of guilt, or that they don’t want to hassle with replacing you at the present time.

We aren’t looking for token raises. We want 10-20-30-40% raises, and those come from demonstrating the problems you solve and the added value you bring to the table.  The benefits that you contribute need to be unassailable. They, in total, should be so powerful that the boss will internalize that he/she has to take care of you.  I’ll demonstrate more on this subject in the coming weeks.

Share a story of someone, perhaps yourself, that used a personal issue to secure a raise.  How large was the raise?  What are your views of that situation?  Share here!

What should you never threaten your boss with doing?  Stay tuned and find out in my next tip.

Topics: adding value · Tags:

Asking For a Pay Increase: What You Should Never Tell Other Employees

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

Never tell your work associates—or anyone connected with your job—that you are seeking a raise or thinking of interviewing elsewhere.  Why?  Because the co-worker who you have lunch with and commiserate with can turn on a dime and often they will tell someone else, even if they like you.  They usually tell in innocence and without wanting to do you harm.  I’ve seen this happen often when I ran an accounting department and heard these stories many times from job applicants.

I had some staff purposely and secretly tell me information about their co-workers.  Why?  They do it In order to gain favor with me.  I controlled the purse strings and could assign work, so I trumped their friends.  Notice: No one connected with your job should know what you are up to.  A potential exception to this is if you have a high level mentor who is advising you on how to navigate the political side of work.  In the meantime, just tell yourself “when I share, they will tell.”

Should you be paid more if you are pregnant or have a car in need of repair?  Don’t decide until you read my next tip.

When have you or a friend shared something at work and it got back to others, especially the boss? How did it turn out?  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: employees · Tags:

Negotiating a Pay Increase: Learn, Grow and Add Value For Yourself

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

Offer assistance to other employees, especially those from whom you can learn and grow.  Maybe your boss doesn’t have any projects that will stretch your growth curve. Well, fellow employees pose a great opportunity where you can learn, grow and add value, while gaining favor with co-workers.  Determine which fellow workers do something that would build value for you if you were to learn an aspect or two of their job.

Ask them:  “What’s the most challenging part of your job and why?  What part of your job is most critical to the company?  What part is toughest to learn?  What are you overloaded with now?  Can we help each other?  Caution: Don’t ask all these questions in one sitting.  The other worker might feel threatened that you are up to something that could hurt them.  Use discretion and tact.

Here’s what I’ve got in mind. I want to grow here and I’m interested in learning aspects of your job that will help you and allow me to add value to the department at the same time.  Would you be willing to teach me in exchange for me taking some of the work off your desk for the time being?”  And by the way, if you wish to learn some aspect of my position, I’d gladly assist you too.”

This adds value to the department.  If that person is absent you can jump in because you’ve been crossed trained.  In either case, you know more and can solve more problems and therefore are worth more.

To see how we leverage this added value further,  stay tuned.  This material will improve your career, improve the image the boss has of you and will improve your life.  Even your personal relationships will improve due to your added self-confidence and self-esteem that you’ll exude. Plus a major increase in your paycheck will be coming soon simply because you are worth more.

What should you NEVER tell your work associates, or anyone connected with your job?  Stay tuned because you may not believe it.

The keys to getting the pay raise you deserve are as simple as gaining more knowledge and building self-confidence and projecting that confidence. I’d be happy to hand you those keys. Just ask me….

Have you helped a fellow employee and learned something challenging at the same time?  Share your experiences below:



Topics: adding value · Tags:

Asking For a Raise at Work: Increasing Your Value

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

If you don’t have added value, then create it. Ask your boss if you can be of additional assistance by perhaps taking one of the projects off his/her desk. Here is the key on this one.  Make sure it is a project with some challenge and not just another project similar to all the others you do.  Make it one where you can solve a problem or where you can be creative, while learning and growing at the same time.

Stretching yourself into new areas and solving problems create added value.  Added value equates to you being worth more money.  These projects that are over and above your normal job gets put down on your accomplishment list.  Stretch your paycheck by stretching yourself.

Do you know what questions you can ask your co-workers that will be of help to you in expanding your value? They might not be what you think…

I’ve spent decades figuring this methodology out so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. Begin your march toward your next pay raise begin by writing and telling me about your pay raise situation.


Are you anxious to get started moving your life forward? I don’t blame you.




Topics: Uncategorized · Tags:

How to Negotiate A Raise: Presenting Your Accomplishments

By · Sunday, September 29th, 2013 · No Comments »

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.

We will cover this topic in more depth in our next email. This one is critical to your career advancement and you can’t afford to miss it!

Any one of these insider techniques can raise your chances of getting a considerable raise, but why go it alone? You often only have one shot to make the best case for a pay raise.

Let’s take that step together…

Topics: setting up your raise · Tags:

How to Ask For a Raise at Work: Pre-Negotiation

By · Thursday, September 26th, 2013 · No Comments »

You are finally 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.

Also, you must know and believe you have power. The ultimate power you have – the key – is knowing you can go elsewhere. If you are not aware of your worth in the marketplace, then you lack power. How do you go about negotiating more money for yourself?

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, 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 you are in too financially shaky a firm to begin with and 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 ranting 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.

Find out the important next step you’ll need to take…



Topics: Negotiations · Tags:

Why I Can Help You Get The Raise You Deserve

By · Friday, July 2nd, 2010 · No Comments »

What got me interested in the pay raise topic?

I have interviewed thousands of people over my 30+ years as a successful Executive Recruiter in my own business. One commonality that I’ve seen is that a majority of those people felt underpaid and under-appreciated. It quickly became apparent to me why they were underpaid. It usually was because of one or more of the following:

  1. they did not perform at a level that was above their normal job description
  2. they did not present and package their achievements in a way that would grab the boss’s attention
  3. they weren’t someone that management and co-workers appreciated having around
  4. they had no organized approach for asking and securing a significant raise
  5. they magically expected their boss to initiate the process


It was obvious to me that I could help them, but by the time I met them they usually had already decided to leave. And that is when they came to me, a recruiter.

 I love the recruiting business because I help lots of people just like you improve their lives with a better job at higher pay, while at the same time help a client company fill a position that was difficult for them to fill.

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