Thinking about your salary objectively may be hard, but it’s worth it, writes Karen Cates of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She offers tips on how to approach your decision.
× Don’t be uncompromising about a high number. The problem doesn’t lie in what you think you’re worth as much as how inflexible you seem to a hiring manager or boss. Plus, many entry-level packages have a set starting salary.
× Don’t go for it just because it’s your hire anniversary. Look at time usage rather than time itself. What did you do for the company in a year? Does it justify your desire for a pay raise?
× Don’t use yourto pop the question. A better idea is to schedule a follow-up meeting after your review to talk.
× Don’t bank on securing a commitment from your boss after the meeting. Your boss probably isn’t the only person with a say about bumping your pay. He might have to defer until he gets approval from the proper channels. Prepare a one-sheet memo about your numbers and a short narrative about your performance to help your boss plead your case.
× Don’t mention your co-worker’s salary when you ask. Maybe you have the same job title, but who’s to say your co-worker isn’t doing different tasks, extra work or simply better work?
Resorting to throwing out a co-worker’s salary in an attempt to raise your own means you missed something.
— Adapted from “Why You Might Not Deserve the Raise You Think You Do,” Karen Cates, Bloomberg Businessweek.