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Do you really deserve a raise?

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in Salary Negotiating,Workplace Communication

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 your performance review to 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.

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