Money Help From Ramit Sethi; How to Get a Raise

By in Make Money, Tips, Wealth

Money Tip-Simple Strategy to Get a Raise

Although I met Sethi at a Financial Blogger’s Conference several years ago, read his book I Will Teach You to be Rich, and subscribed to his newsletter, I had some difficulty understanding his tremendous popularity. Yes, he’s smart, charismatic, and creative, but what was the allure? I opened a news blast, read the entire copy, clicked the link, and read that entire copy. Sethi offered a five minute life changing tip.

  • The first email blast title: The haunting reasons we feel out of control
  • I clicked through to : New Data, what you told me about control over your life

Maybe he has something here. Are you curious? I certainly was.

How Does Your Salary Match Up?

His readers wrote back in droves about feeling lack of motivation and control in their lives. They had too much debt and not enough income. Some complained that their jobs were too inflexible and others shared that a $5,000 unexpected expense would put them over the edge. Their financial and job stress was palpable.

The solution, according to Sethi was to find an extra $5,000 to improve your life. Although simplistic on the surface, for most readers, an extra $5,000 income per year could be lifestyle changing.

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And here’s Ramit Sethi‘s starting point to find this extra cash. The solution to feelings of loss of control was elegant:

He implored his readers to compare their current salaries to the averages of their colleagues in similar jobs and then report back.

“Go to my 3 favorite salary sites — salary.com, glassdoor.com, and payscale.com — and look up the average salaries for your position and experience. Note that we’re using 3 different sites to diversify the data.” Ramit Sethi private list

ramit sethi - how to get a raise

How to Get a Raise?

The next recommendation: find out how your salary compares with others doing comparable work in your field. This knowledge alone tells you whether there is room for a raise. If the average annual salary for your job title and level of experience is $50,000 and you’re making $42,000,  you’ve got a starting point to negotiate a higher salary.

I loved this idea. Take this simple exercise and use it as a starting point. If you are paid less than the average, you have concrete data that there’s room for a raise.

I’m a master negotiator and attempt to improve my financial well being through negotiation at any opportunity. Following are basic negotiating strategies to take to your superior when you ask for a raise.

Advance Preparation for the Salary Negotiation Meeting

1. Write down every contribution you make to your organization. What have you done to make money for your firm? How have your efforts propelled the organization forward? Look over any positive reviews, or comments from customers and superiors. What ideas did you put forward that made the institution better? Do not overlook or minimize anything.

2. Schedule a meeting at a convenient time with the decision maker. It’s better to choose a time that’s earlier in the day. Avoid stressful times. After successfully completing a project is a great time to schedule a meeting. Avoid early Monday mornings and late Friday afternoons. Everyone is distracted at those times.

3. Remember, this is a negotiation. Decide in advance how much to request by incorporating your research and then add a bit to the total to allow room for some back and forth.

4. Have a Plan B. Be prepared if your first request is denied, have other alternatives at hand; more vacation time, a smaller raise-8% instead of 10%, one day per week to telecommute, or some other perk.

At the Salary Negotiation Meeting

1. Have a plan. Keep at hand all of your research including comparable salary data and your personal accomplishments.

2. Begin by discussing all of your contributions to the firm.

3. Next talk about the comparable salary statistics.

4. Ask for your top figure (remember, the higher number leaves room for some negotiation).

5. Listen to your boss’s response carefully. Pause. Respond positively to any criticisms. For example, your boss states you’ve been late a few times. You respond by saying, I’ve rectified that former issue and arrive early or on time. Pause.

6. After a negative response, don’t quit. Repeat; do not give up with a “No” response. Come back with an alternative (check out #4 above)

7. Last ditch effort. If you have no success, let your boss know that you would like to revisit the issue in several months. And then make sure to follow the same steps in 3 to 4 months.

What are your tips for getting a raise?

A version of this article was previously published (comments remain intact)