Jon Hermiz Blog

The guide to programming and analyzing SQL, .NET, and SAP

Asking For A Raise

Its that time of year when many people have a big decision to make:

  • Go with the flow and take whatever your corporation gives you.
  • Ask for a raise
  • Forget about it..change careers cause you just aren't going anywhere or getting anything

It really is a tough decision to make when it involves more money.  We started a post over at sqlteam about this over here:  Some very interesting comments so first check those out before you read on.

Dont Blow It

One thing you need to remember is this is probably your one and only chance for the year to get a raise so dont blow it.  Here are some do nots to follow:

  • Do not ask for a raise without being prepared.  So many people just want more money but have no documentation or support as to why they deserve the pay raise.
  • Do not mention that you've purchased a new vehicle and your bills have increased, your car has nothing to do with the company.
  • Do not tell them you have a new baby on the way / have existing kids at home and that you need the pay to help with costs around the house.
  • Don't even bother telling them about any bills including mortgage bills that you need to pay off...again no one in the company cares about your problems
  • Do not argue, if they make you mad be professional and ask questions.  Find out why they cant, find how how to improve your current skill set to be reconsidered...always ASK ASK ASK.
  • Do not force them or tell them that you will look else where.  Even if you do look else where keep it to yourself.  Dont bother threatning them or it could back fire.
  • Don't cry and definately do not YELL.  Yelling is verbal abuse and you will be repremanded for this.  Be careful...

Do Your Homework

This is your chance to finally get a raise, so what's the best way to do it?  Well first of all just like anything you have to be well prepared, organized, and review the work you've done in the past, present, and the future.  Do not walk into this meeting (when you have your review) with no paper and no pen.  Print out emails, bring your portfolio of work you've done or supported.  No one that I know is just going to hand you over some extra money just for being you.

Here are some Do's in getting a raise:

  • Prepare yourself by printing e-mails from end users, or customers who enjoy your work or your personality (business only nothing outside of work).
  • Have a list of questions ready in case they close the meeting with "Do you have any questions".
  • Don't just take No for a final answer.  Ask questions why, or what you could do better next time.
  • Be professional, use eye contact, sit up straight.  I know review time can get a little boring but its worth the sacrifice if it means an extra 5-10 thousand (not a bad raise).
  • Listen to your manager's opinions and understand where he / she is coming from.
  • If you don't agree on something, do NOT get mad simply ask questions and understand that this should be something that you care about.
  • Be on time (I know people who have not even shown up on their review day).
  • Show off but DO NOT BE COCKY.  Don't try to be arrogant in your approach but definately show them the great things you've done for the company.
  • Get advice from people who have been in the industry longer than you.
  • Check out the job market, find out what people are paying for skills which you have.
  • List out your accomplishments and talk about your future with the company.
  • Be positive, and sincere, show them that you truly care
  • Always always ask for a time frame or a date when you think your manager can get back to you if he / she does contemplate a raise.  If you don't get a date it probably means you won't get a raise or at least you won't get one any time soon.
  • Leave your managers office with a good impression.  You want your manager to think "Wow...I really need this guy / gal in our functional group"

One thing I got from my previous boss that I'll share with you is something to think about:

"Basically there are 3 roles, support, part of the product, and the product.  In the support role your work is not very scaleable, whereas if your work was the product it would be very scaleable.  The salary you can command is always going to be proportional to the scaleability of your work.  You need to take this into consideration when you compare salaries.So doing the same work is worth more as it becomes more scaleable. You have to decide the role you want your work to  be in."

If you have additional tips or pointers definately share them.