How to get that raise you want

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in Centerpiece,Salary Negotiating,Workplace Communication

“Is anyone receiving raises?”

That’s what one admin asked recently on the Admin Pro Forum: “I’ve been told performance reviews will be coming up soon. I want to be prepared. How do you bring it up? How do you know how much to ask for? I’d like to stay in this position, but I’m only making ends meet.”

Fellow admins replied with some hard truths and a handful of helpful tactics.

Some shared that, in many workplaces, raises are simply not realistic. Some people haven’t seen a raise since 2007.

Marcia says, “Because I work for city government, we have not had a raise in the past three or four years, with the economy being what it is. We also have not rehired for certain positions, so many of us are doing more than one job.”

Despite a tough economy, others say that they have continued to get raises. Here’s how:

1.  Keep an open mind. One admin in the private education sector says she’s had annual raises that nudged slightly above the cost of living average—roughly 4%.  But it’s also possible to negotiate other rewards.

“If your company cannot provide increases in salary,” she says, “see if you can work with your administrator on comp time, more flexible hours, etc. That is where the negotiations should lie in this economy.”

2.  Quantify wins in your performance review. That way, it becomes part of your records, and it may be easier to make a case for a raise.

Write down what you’ve accomplished, chimed in another admin, and state how it relates to an area of improvement.

For example, on her self-­evaluation, she lists four areas of professional development: learning something new, using current strengths for development, improving on a de­­velopment need and transferring knowledge.

Then she links specific accomplishments back to those areas. For example, by handling negotiations with supply companies, she learned something new and improved on a development need.

3.  Maintain a brag file, regardless. Another admin urges others to always ask for the raise, but to “hang in there” when raises aren’t possible.

For several years, she says, her nonprofit couldn’t afford raises. When the firm finally revived the practice, managers let each employee make the case for a merit-based raise within a certain range.

She advises laying the groundwork for a raise by keeping track of hard work and accomplishments.

“There still may be years that my hard work may not yield a raise,” she says, “but it’s better to prepare and keep your supervisors informed of your contributions.”

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