May 21, 2018

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Want a Raise? Donít Commit Salary Suicide

ďThereís no way I could ask my boss for a raise Ė Iíd blow it for sure, and then where would I be?Ē Sound familiar? Maybe you feel you deserve a raise, so you race right in and demand it. Either way, youíll most likely end up without adding any extra dollars to your paycheck. Getting a raise is not as simple as it may appear. A recent USA Today survey reported that 59% of the women who asked for a raise got a "no" and 41% of men failed, too. Learning the success formula before you talk to your boss can greatly improve your chances of achieving your goal.

What are the fatal mistakes you must avoid when talking to employers about a raise? Here are the major ones:

  1. assuming longevity entitles you to a raise

  2. needing a raise because you bought a new house or car, or just had a baby

  3. threatening to quit or refusing to do a project unless you are better compensated

  4. making the statement that some other employee got a raise so you want one too

Not one of these approaches shows the boss or company management HOW you have benefited the organization, which is THE way to landing a salary increase. Some steps to improve your success include:

FACT: The biggest raises come from salary negotiations when choosing to move on to a NEW employer. Internal raises rarely exceed 5-8% but major increases - 20%, 40%, even 50%, - come from selling yourself more effectively to a new company. New employers are offering top dollar just to insure youíll join their team, but ONLY if you know the secrets of salary negotiations. So if your employer isnít paying the true value of what you provide working for them, now is a good time to explore landing a new job with a much higher salary. But avoid committing salary negotiations suicide Ė do not break this rule: Never reveal your previous salary. Do learn how to effectively sell yourself and know your worth. (Click here to use a salary survey on The effort to learn how to negotiate is worth it -- in the last year Iíve seen employers offer higher salaries and more lucrative benefits packages, simply because the prospective employee knew how to ask for them.

-Robin Ryan

© Copyright 2006 Robin Ryan. All rights reserved.

America's most popular career counselor, Robin Ryan, is the author of four bestselling books: 60 Seconds & You're Hired!, Winning Resume & Winning Cover Letters, and What to Do with the Rest of Your Life. She's appeared on over a thousand TV & radio shows including Oprah, Dr. Phil, and has been published in most major newspapers and magazines including USA Today & the Wall Street journal. Contact her at 425.226.0414; email:

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