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

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013

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:



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