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Show Me The Money

What if you could keep doing the same exact thing at work, but get paid more?

You do not need to leave your current job to get a pay increase, but as with most things in life the devil is in the details.

We are going to streamline the process to help you negotiate these nuanced conversations that will ultimately accelerate your career.

Initial Assumptions

Before we begin you should understand that not everyone will be able to ask for more money. You should make sure these criteria exist before asking for more.

· You perform in the top 25% of your peers

· You have not gotten more than 10% increases over the last few years

· Your company is actively hiring

· You have a goal to make more money

💡 Pro Tip: Increases of 3% to 5% are not enough to accelerate your income. The more money you make today the more you will have in the future by virtue of how interest on money compounds. (See Time Value of Money)

What Are My Chances?

The time to ask for more money is when you are performing well, other people know you are performing well, other people cannot do what you do, and there is a need in the marketplace for your skill set.

Ask yourself these questions.

· Am I working on projects or deliverables that are beyond the scope of my original job posting?

· Are you managing other’s work even though you were hired to be an individual contributor?

· Have you been mentioned as a contributor to the company’s success?

· Are you working on critical projects or tasks that only you know how to perform?

· Have you recently completed a large challenging task?

· Can your manager do your job if they needed to?

· Have other people recently left your immediate team?

· Is your industry in need of more talent overall?

· Are you ready to take on more responsibility?

If you can answer yes to most of these questions AND you have not received significant percentage increases in your total take-home package in the last year, then it is time to ask for more money if the timing is right.

When To Ask

You want to time your request when you know there are no corporate restrictions on giving pay increases. Make sure you understand if HR has specific policies in place preventing off-cycle pay increases.

However, if you are in a dominant position based on the questions above, then HR restrictions may be irrelevant. The key here is to understand the landscape and proceed with an understanding of the rules.

💡 Pro Tip: Make networking contacts with your internal HR team allowing insight into how compensation conversations work at your company before you ask for more money.

What To Ask For

You need to know your worth in the market.

That is why we say you should always be interviewing. By actively interviewing you know how much the market is willing to pay you specifically for what you know how to do.

You can also use resources like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or Indeed to get a sense of the ranges; although we have less trust in those numbers.

💡 Pro Tip: Come into the conversation with a prepared, preferably in presentation form, explanation of what you have directly accomplished to help the team and the company.

How To Ask

You need to be able to explain how an increase in your pay will benefit the team, your manager, and the company. If you can make the argument that you are worthy of the pay increase, you will make it much easier for them to help you.

When you go into these conversations you can go hard, or you can go softly. We prefer the soft approach. No need to threaten to walk out or quit if they do not meet your demands.

Start by mentioning to your manager you want to discuss your compensation. Then explain why you think you warrant increase in pay citing your performance and industry norms for compensation.

They will almost never say ‘yes’ on the spot. They will either say I will consider it, or they will tell you they need to ask their manager and/or consult with HR.

Then you wait.

What If They Say No

You need to have a plan in place if you are told no by your manager or by HR.

First, reflect on your goals and understand that hearing ‘no’ does not mean you have failed.

Second, seek to understand who and why they said ‘no.’ Was it based on your performance or was it based on some other factor?

Third, based on the rationale ask yourself what you can do differently during next time you ask for more money.

💡 Pro Tip: You may be able to negotiate another form of compensation like half days on Fridays or additional vacation time.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the answer you get you have gotten something.

If they said yes, then congratulations! You know the company values you and you are making more money.

If they say no, then you know there are actions you need to take to get you to where you want to be.

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