Sunday, September 13, 2009

Earn That Raise Without Asking For It!

You're busting your butt, working hard, and trying to get ahead on a salary you KNOW is just too low. Day after day you get take on more responsibility without getting a promotion or recognition. It feels like you're not appreciated, and your landlord just raised your rent 20%. Eventually you start thinking it's time to ask for a raise. Don't.

Instead of requesting they add a couple of zeros to the end your your paycheck (that'd be sweet if it happened!), be the person the company can't do without. If the company is doing well and they can't live without you, that raise will come for sure (or your boss is a cheapskate and/or moron). Asking for the raise will only put a target on your back and make you look either ungrateful or overly ambitious.

A good friend of mine works at a fancy schmancy Internet company here in San Francisco as a software engineer. He's really good with a certain programming language critical to this company's product line. When I talked to him a couple of months ago, he was frustrated about being really good and underpaid. When he started asking me about trying to get a raise, I told him a better strategy was to become irreplaceable. I'm going to wrap up this article with a direct quote, minus the company name, this friend sent me via email a few days ago...

I'm pretty giddy to report that things are finally really soaring for me now at COMPANY NAME. I just got an unbelievable raise, and I'm being preened for a leadership role in my team. My performance review was just yesterday and the current team lead said "I'm having a really hard time thinking of any constructive criticism for you - your progress in this company has just been astounding to watch." So that's pretty encouraging, and it's nice to know that I'm succeeding with the plan we talked about that night. As you said - "be the guy they can't afford to lose." -MICHAEL POPE'S REALLY SMART FRIEND

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