Author Topic: Asking for a "raise" during hard times  (Read 3470 times)

sloof70

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Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« on: September 23, 2014, 01:13:58 PM »
I'm coming up on one year since my last raise. My salary increased by about 12.5% last October (I make a pretty average, middle-class wage; don't get jelly). My company, a sales rep agency, is expecting a 15-20% reduction in revenues come next year. I am on the most-profitable, highest-earning team and am under-compensating when you account for the commissions I help bring in. I have also taken on more responsibilities over the course of the year. Though I could make more money and have a more interesting job elsewhere (travel, etc.), I love my coworkers and my casual, flexible work environment. I also have the best boss in the world; the kind that takes you drinking for a whole afternoon. I'm frequently told by others I have a very unique situation.

How would one go about increasing their take as an employee in such a time? I feel it's in bad taste to ask for a dollar raise, but maybe more vacation time or something else? Anyone else dealt with this kind of situation and came out satisfied?

skunkfunk

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Re: Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 01:19:28 PM »
I'm in that kind of boat. My department isn't exactly high earning but if I looked around people say I'd get more money. Haven't had a raise in 2 years.

Personally, I'm just sitting pat since I'd feel bad asking for a raise when they can't even keep me busy enough.

sloof70

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Re: Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 01:23:11 PM »
Personally, I'm just sitting pat since I'd feel bad asking for a raise when they can't even keep me busy enough.
I have a fair amount of downtime too. My job is far from stressful. However, when you are making the company a lot of money off relatively little work (my case, that is), that should be a point of pride, not guilt.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 01:31:58 PM »
When your boss is in a good mood, ask him if you can talk privately for a few minutes...you should approach it as a discussion "about your compensation", not a raise request per se.

Go over your accomplishments for the past year, what similar positions pay in the marketplace, and see what your boss (who sounds like a friend) has to say.  Theoretically (hah!), the fact that revenues are falling is irrelevant (employers do not want to lose valuable people to the competition).

Your boss's hands may be tied by the HR department or others.

sloof70

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Re: Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 01:58:18 PM »
Your boss's hands may be tied by the HR department or others.
I should add that when I ask for a raise, I ask the co-owners of the company. We're small enough for that. And yes, it's a bit intimidating to ask the person who's pocket you are taking from, rather than someone that's just looking to see what the budget can do.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 02:24:18 PM »
When your boss is in a good mood, ask him if you can talk privately for a few minutes...you should approach it as a discussion "about your compensation", not a raise request per se.

Go over your accomplishments for the past year, what similar positions pay in the marketplace, and see what your boss (who sounds like a friend) has to say.  Theoretically (hah!), the fact that revenues are falling is irrelevant (employers do not want to lose valuable people to the competition).

+1  Go with facts to start the conversation.

Beric01

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Re: Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 05:16:11 PM »
I feel it's in bad taste to ask for a dollar raise, but maybe more vacation time or something else?

Let's be honest here. For all intents and purposes you sound like a top-tier employee. The company is lucky to have you, period. Such an awesome employee like you could easily get a better-paying job somewhere else. So you're doing them a favor by asking them for a raise rather than just going elsewhere, particularly if the company is going downhill, and they need good employees like you the most.

Work is work, and while it's great that you enjoy your boss and co-workers, those are just side benefits. The reason one works is because they get paid. Have you done some research and found out what you can be paid elsewhere? You need to do your salary research and know what you're worth. Then you can make the decision for yourself on whether it's worth staying at the current job you have. And when you do talk with your boss, you can be armed with the information of what your market value is. Particularly if you might be out of a job soon, you need to understand the lay of the land, how easily you could get a comparable job, etc.

dividendman

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Re: Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 06:46:25 PM »
I feel it's in bad taste to ask for a dollar raise, but maybe more vacation time or something else?

Let's be honest here. For all intents and purposes you sound like a top-tier employee. The company is lucky to have you, period. Such an awesome employee like you could easily get a better-paying job somewhere else. So you're doing them a favor by asking them for a raise rather than just going elsewhere, particularly if the company is going downhill, and they need good employees like you the most.

Work is work, and while it's great that you enjoy your boss and co-workers, those are just side benefits. The reason one works is because they get paid. Have you done some research and found out what you can be paid elsewhere? You need to do your salary research and know what you're worth. Then you can make the decision for yourself on whether it's worth staying at the current job you have. And when you do talk with your boss, you can be armed with the information of what your market value is. Particularly if you might be out of a job soon, you need to understand the lay of the land, how easily you could get a comparable job, etc.

+1 I'm in a similar boat and will ask for a hefty raise soon. The way I see it is that it's never harmful to ask for a raise (if you're actually good). This is business.

retired?

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Re: Asking for a "raise" during hard times
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2014, 06:57:55 PM »
Your boss's hands may be tied by the HR department or others.
I should add that when I ask for a raise, I ask the co-owners of the company. We're small enough for that. And yes, it's a bit intimidating to ask the person who's pocket you are taking from, rather than someone that's just looking to see what the budget can do.

This is fair trade, right?  You are not taking from them.  You are adding to their bottom line.  If you were truly taking from them, i.e. a net cost, they would be happy to let you go.