5 things to do differently if you want to earn more money

usnewsEver wonder if you could be earning more money if you handled salary negotiations and raise discussions differently? You probably could, which may be good news (yay, more money!) or bad news (eeek, you have probably left money on the table in the past).

At U.S. News & World Report today, I talk about five things that you should consider doing differently if you want to earn more money. You can read it here.

{ 14 comments… read them below }

  1. Renegade

    So, let’s say you’re made an offer that is at the low end of the range the job was advertised at. You think this is totally reasonable for what you’re bringing to the table. Do you still try to negotiate for more just because? How could you rationalize it at that point?

    1. Kaytee

      I would attempt to negotiate, just because you never know if they’ll give it to you. When I got the job I have now, the pay was low, but I’d been unemployed for a while and was ready to take whatever. But I still tried to negotiate. I basically just said, “Is there any flexibility with the salary? I was hoping for $X [what they were offering me plus $5K].” They came back and said no, there was no flexibility, and I said, “Oh, okay. Thanks for checking!”

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Exactly — you don’t have to present a big case for it if there isn’t a case to be made; you can just say “are you able to go up to $X?”

    2. Trout 'Waver

      There’s no reason not to. Since raises are often handed out as % increases, any money you negotiate will get paid out yearly. So if you get $2k by negotiating and work at the company for 5 years, that could be the easiest $10k+ that you’ll ever make in your life.

      1. Anonymous Educator

        It might be more, actually. If it’s % increases, it would be compounded, so it wouldn’t be $10K. If you had 3% cost-of-living increases for five years, that would actually get you closer to $11K.

    3. TCO

      My current job offered me a $20k pay increase over my last job (switching fields, but this offer was still high for the field and role). I was thrilled with the offer but still asked if they’d consider a little higher. They said yes! It wasn’t a big deal to ask and it wouldn’t have been a big deal for them to say no.

      If you’re really happy with the pay you could also consider negotiating something else instead, like extra PTO, a flex schedule, or something along those lines.

  2. Christopher Tracy

    Since my company is no longer doing performance reviews and are instead doing bimonthly check-ins with our annual salary reviews in March, I’ve decided to just write a number on a small sheet of paper and pass it across the table to my supervisor at our next check-in in November stating, “Make this happen.” LOL, I figure the worst that will happen is she will laugh and say, “We absolutely cannot do that, but we’ll try for a bigger than average bump.” Of course this only works for people with good bosses – my supervisor is only a couple years older than me and we joke around, so she won’t be offended (plus, she’s been raving about my performance since I transferred to her team and told me people up the ladder are noticing, so I think that’s a good sign that my raise will be pretty nice).

  3. QA Lady

    As far as I can tell, my company adheres pretty strictly to their salary grid and are quite rigid about what qualifies someone for specific sub-levels within the classification system until you get to the General Manager/Regional Director level.

    I’ve spoken with some newer hires and they’ve always been told the offer is take-or-leave. That being said, as far as I can tell the salaries are around market average for our chunk of the overall industry–the big bucks are reserved for other areas of the industry.

    Although I wonder sometimes. My husband is employed by the same company and he got 1% this year while I got 5%. So I have to think some of it is merit-based, though our roles are also about as different as one can get.

  4. Beezus

    One of the best career conversations I ever had was with a departing manager I was on great terms with – she explained what my company’s norms around raises were, which made conversations with my next managers much easier. I know that the time to lobby for a bigger than normal bump in my annual increase is around September, and I also know that, in good years, there is a down-low budget for midyear increases that is awarded in August but the groundwork to get one has to be laid in March or April.

  5. Christina

    I was going to ask for a raise with the reason being I found a document that had the old range of what they would offer anyone for my current position with the exact same qualifications and job duties listed.

    When the job was posted again my year, the salary range had been lowered. I had to report on what the previous person did and so I have proof that I have done more during my time here.

    I was going to present it as “I am being paid less than you were considering giving anyone previously when I have accomplished more this year.”

    Is that a good strategy?

    1. One Musketeer

      So kind of I tried that strategy. I took over a job from someone who was making more and not doing all (any?) of the things they should have been doing. When I wasn’t gaining much ground, I asked about it. I’m still not making as much as the previous person. I don’t regret asking, and I don’t necessarily recommend it, but I had tried making my case and was doing good work and not getting anywhere. Looking back, I think the best way to get paid that money, or at least be WAY less frustrated, would be to start looking for opportunities to leave before it got to the point where I was asking to make up that difference.

  6. deetoo

    Weird. I have never been asked anything about money in an interview, and in my experience, there is no such thing as raise discussions. The manager decides, and that’s it.

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