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Admin Pro Forum

What’s your best opening line for the conversation about your raise?

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Question: “Ugh! It looks like if I’m ever going to get more pay, I need to be the one to bring up the issue. I think what I need when I sit down with my manager to start the dialogue is one effective, attention-getting line that will start things on the right foot. What should it be?”  – Faye, Legal Assistant

See comments below, and send your own question to Admin-Pro@nibm.net.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

JP August 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Good Day:

I have been with my current employer for about 2 years next March. I work for a private bank and well the starting salary at the moment was $29,000 a year. In Miami, this is very low pay considering that it does not align to the cost of living and inflation in South Florida. I have been responsible ever since I have set foot in the door and have always been opened not just with my current role and responsibilities but also wanting to grow within the institution. My boss gave me an increase of $31,000 given the fact that someone else in similar roles resigned due to education purposes. I assume all of her responsibility and the volume of work has increased tremendously where I have to consolidate 1 weeks worth of work into 1 day. I am not being ungrateful for this increase but I feel that I am underpaid for the reason that the role in the job market calls 0-5 years $35,000 and i am into my second year with my employer. I am also considering improving my circumstance through education and wanting to develop towards a career path with my employer. My coworkers have praised my work and I haven’t had any complaints what so ever thus far. Please if you can help on how to break the ice when sitting down with the boss and how to approach to the situation in a professional/respectable manner. Your help would be appreciated.


Violet December 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I would maybe try, “I think the time has come to look at my own bottom line.” That phrase, ‘bottom line’, is very easily understood by managers and it reminds them that really and honestly, the reason we’re all here is to get paid.


Karen December 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I’m just going to give you an opening line; everyone else has given you some good discussion points. “Could we discuss my value to the organization?”


Melodie Turk December 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Great sentence. Thanks for providing it , Karen.


JoAnn Paules December 13, 2013 at 6:41 am

Although it may be a bit late to do this for the upcoming conversation, start keeping track of your accomplishments and performance notes. Things like the time you were contacted by another dept to assist them. Even if it was just to help fix an Excel formula or how to set up a file to be printed in a booklet layout. Everyone in my dept is supposed to document value creation projects. I’m the only admin so my projects don’t add up to 6 or 7-figure numbers, however I had over $46,000 in cost avoidance this past year. A small portion of that was energy costs for eliminating 3 printers that no longer worked but were still plugged and using electricity. The rest was time savings and time DOES equal money.


Eliza December 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

This is no time to be passive. You need to let your supervisor know the accomplishments you’ve made, the work you have done and the knowledge that you have garnered in your position and what you feel would be fair compensation given these facts (have that amount in mind). This conversation can easily be broached at your next one-on-one with your supervisor. Your first sentence to your supervisor could be: I’m glad to meet with you today because I’ve had something on my mind for a while that I feel needs to be addressed. Rest assurred, you will have their attention at that point. The rest is as mentioned above: I’ve accomplished this, I’ve overseen this, I’ve stepped in to help with that. All of these accomplishments have enhanced our business and I feel that my work was instrumental to that success. As I think about these accomplishments, I believe it is time for my compensation to be increased as my knowledge and responsibilities have. I was thinking ___(dollar amount) would be fair. What are your thoughts? I think if you go at this confidently, the supervisor would have a hard time refuting your request.


Melodie Turk December 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm

This is always an uncomfortable conversation on both ends. And your best bet is to just be honest about that and actually state it. I would highly recommend coming with a dollar amount or percentage in mind and have back-up to support the why. And don’t compare yourself to anyone else, just use past performance reviews and current value on the job market in your area.


Lisa December 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm

It depends how long you’ve been at your company. If you’ve been at your company for less than a year, then you should wait until your anniversary date to approach your boss or HR about a review if they haven’t come to you first. If you’ve been at your company for more than a year and haven’t gotten a review, then approach your boss or HR and ask for a one. Only during your review should the raise subject come up. And, if you’re a terrible employee, you should be glad that they don’t fire you!


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