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Help me help you – show me the money

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Question: I'm a seasoned EA who joined a small firm a year ago. Because of my experience and background, I've stood out to the firm's management. Yesterday, I was told by the CEO that I will now be supporting him, and his current assistant (who is lacking) will be reassigned. To me, this is a promotion but no additional salary was brought up. Our raise reviews are next month and he said that my review will be handled by my current boss (senior partner). Should I bring up salary with the CEO or should I wait until next month? I probably make more than the other assistant but my salary is in line with salaries in my city.  -- Anonymous


You should wait until your review since it is next month, then I would definitely bring up the promotion and that it was because of your outstanding background that you were considered. In the meantime, do a bang up job for the CEO, really showing yourself this month and you'll have his support for the raise!

Remember the answer is always NO if you don't ask... you have nothing to lose by asking... although I would wait until review time.

Good Luck!

Don't forget to do your homework. Look up comparisons for your salary. You can get them from various sites, current want ads, the DOL . . .. It helps to show them that you indeed are worth this. Congratulations and good luck!

If you haven't yet done so, I recommend that you speak to your current boss immediately and advise him of the CEO's plan. You can then engage your boss in a conversation about this change and about your review and salary increase. Hopefully, he already knows all about this shift in your responsibilities, and between him and the CEO, they have already worked out your salary increase. This happened to me once in a very large corporation and I was told at review time that my promo was "reward enough" and there would be no increase in pay. I took it to HR and my new manager, who then gave me the raise. Good luck and congratulations!

If you don't ask you will not receive. Two years ago, I transferred departments and the new manager did not want to increase my salary. This was a promotion and I had to negotiate a raise. I ended up with a 15% increase in salary after he read my proposal. Negotiation must start now or you will lose your leverage. If you need some assistance, email me and I will send you a template letter to get you started.

S Cobbins

Ladies, thanks for your help!

S Cobbins,

I would like to receive your template letter. It would be greatly appreciated!


S Cobbins,
I would also like to receive your template letter. The usual reply from our HR dept is that "there's no money in the budget for an increase" so I look forward to finding out how you were successful in obtaining a raise.

S Cobbins,

It sounds like a great letter! Would you mind sending me a copy, as well?


S Cobbins -- I, too, would like to have a copy of your template. I have worked in system with specific guidelines and requirements for quite some time and am now in a position where I may have to negotiate a salary increase. Any additional insight is always appreciated.

S Cobbins -- I would also like a copy of your template. I have a difficult time negotiating for pay increases.

This would be a helpful tool and I would much appreciate a copy as well. It is never easy to ask for an increase, even when your work merits one. Thank you!

S Cobbins - I would love a copy of your template. Thank you!

S. Cobbins - Could I get a copy of the letter also? I'm the "Anonymous" person that originally asked the question. Thanks much! :-)

It appears your template is in high demand - would you mind forwarding one more. Thanks!

Well S. Cobbin...I don't want to be lefted out. If you don't mind, please send me a copy also.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 8:59 PM
Subject: salary negotiation follow up

In February some people requested information about salary negotiation. I could not send a response regarding the follow up later template I created because I had to leave town because of two deaths in family. I just returned home a few days ago and now trying to play catch up. Here is the info that may be helpful to some. Some of the information was shared from me a while back. Please tell the readers that you have to do your research, know your worth and never sell yourself short. If you don't ask you will not receive. Employers hardly every say let's pay this person what they are worth. Instead most say, what is the least amount we can offer and get away with.

Negotiation is always an option if you do research and prepare for it. Also, every administrative professional should create a ME FILE. This is a file that you use to prepare for your performance review and to create your professional portfolio. You should include in it all your trainings, special projects, committee commitments, recognition awards and any programs or work activities you coordinate or assist with.

Subject: Re: Admin Pro: Your Problems Solved Issue 34 - Winning A Raise

Asking for a review of your current job and salary makes most uncomfortable. Because the reality of it is that most employers don't really have a full grip of the required duties and responsibilities of their employees. Organizational change and restructuring continue to increase in the workplace and this leads to more employees receiving added responsibilities.

As an administrative professional you have to review your current job description and do a comparison of all new duties assigned and warrant to see if an increase is in order. I just recently applied for a position where they combined three positions together. They offered me the position but did not want to increase my current salary. I am currently an administrative assistant and this position had more management responsibility. My choice was to take the position as is or try to sell myself. Selling yourself is showing all your experience and attributes that they need to get the job done.

My example -

Thank you for providing me the opportunity to review the newly revised job description for the administrative assistant position in the ----Department. The position seems to be an excellent match for my skills and interest. However, I believe the current job classification is not comparable to the responsibilities and duties of the position. After speaking with you and Mr. ----, I reflected on some of the skills and qualities you indicated are most important in this position: analytical acuity, project management, flexibility and strong interpersonal skills. Based on these qualities and the fact that your department needs an experienced administrative support individual to assist in overseeing the daily operations of the department. My recommendation is the position needs to be reclassified as an Administrative Manager based on the following:

Supervision of the Fellowship Program

The administrative manager will assist in managing the daily operational activities of the department.

The administrative manager will oversee all administrative and secretarial activities for the department.

Assisting the Division/Section Director with budgetary issues, to include revenue reports, processing purchase orders, payroll and accounts payable. Tracking designated expenditures as requested.

The administrative manager identifies process improvement opportunities, investigates cause and effects presents, and/or implements solutions. Utilizing information provided via patient complaints, observation, director feedback and physicians complaints.

Prepares statistics in preparation for budget reports, gathers data, reports information to complete projects relating to service lines.

As your administrative manager for the ---- Department I will promote and support the departmental goals through providing quality administrative office support. In addition to my enthusiasm, I will bring to the position strong organizational skills, assertiveness and the ability to encourage others to work cooperatively with the department.

Again thank you for the opportunity to review the job description and submit my comments and suggestions. Look forward to hearing from you in the near future.


Sherry Cobbins

Letter sent regarding salary (new position but they did not want to change the salary)

Thank you for the follow up meeting this morning. After our conversation I feel this position is a good match for my skill set. However, I do have reservations about the salary. If the position description and grade is to be evaluated, this should include the salary as well. I am excited about exploring the possibility to work in your department but I must express my current concern.

I appreciate that there will be a review and a reassessment of the position in six months. However, in the future there maybe organizational changes and budget constraints that will not allow an upgrade. Hopefully you will be able to address my concern. Thanks in advance for your consideration and I look forward to your feedback.

Respectfully submitted,

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