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Sherry Turner, Chicago, wanted to apply for a newly created position in her organization that combined three jobs and offered more management duties than her existing admin job did. The problem: The new job paid the same as her existing job.
So, Turner decided to sell herself as the perfect candidate for the job and press her employer to raise the compensation for it.
After meeting with the department manager, she sent a letter that said, in part:
"The position seems to be an excellent match for my skills and interest. However, I believe the current job classification is not consistent with 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 operation, I recommend reclassifying the position as an administrative manager."
Turner then outlined the parts of the job description—such as over-seeing all the department's administrative activities and assisting with
budget responsibilities—that supported her argument:
"As your administrative manager," she wrote, "I will promote and support the departmental goals through providing quality administrative of-fice support. In addition to my enthusiasm, I will bring to the position strong organiz[ing] skills, assertiveness and the ability to encourage others to work cooperatively with the department."
After a follow-up meeting and further negotiation, Turner not only won the job, but she nabbed more than twice the raise she expected.
"I think my approach, professionalism and follow-up manner impressed my new boss and his administrator," she says. "It was a lengthy process to go through, but if you know what you're capable of and your worth, it's a risk you have to take sometimes."

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