Solve Anything with Dr. Mark: How to raise the issue of more money
Q: How do I get my boss to give me a raise at the part-time job I’ve been working at for two years?
A: Bosses usually ask themselves seven questions before they are likely to give you a raise. Put yourselves in your boss’ shoes, answer these seven questions, and you’re much more likely to get a raise when you ask for it.
1. What have you been able to GET DONE for me? Bosses don’t care who you are or what you know, until they know what you are able to get done for them. Achieve great results and do it with a minimum of training or hand-holding and your boss will quickly recognize the value of your work.
2. Why is that IMPORTANT to me? Your boss is looking for something that is important to him rather than to you. Do something that makes your boss look good to their boss or that helps their career and they’ll be more likely to reward you. Find out what they want and need most, then do that and get them to somehow notice it without too obviously calling attention to it.
3. Is that MORE than I’m getting now? Whether people own up to it or not, everybody wants more. Getting more from you than they expected gives your boss the feeling that they are smart for having you work for them.
4. Is that BETTER than I’m getting now? Even bosses who desire quantity seek out quality in your work product. Being able to help produce high quality results that exceed the expectations of not only your boss, but their boss as well, will do wonders for your perceived worth to your boss.
5. Is that SOONER than I’m getting it now? Time is money. That’s just a fact. Your boss may bark at you to speed things up, but his superiors are breathing down their necks to do the same. If you can deliver results sooner than your boss expects, it distinguishes you from all the other employees who have trouble meeting deadlines.
6. Does it COST LESS than I am spending now? Cost is an issue in your boss’ mind. They have a budget that’s seems too skimpy to they, but they have to make do with it. If your results far exceed your cost, you’re a diamond in the rough. Just even considering the cost factor in what you do sets you apart from others.
7. Is that LESS RISKY than what I am doing now? As much as some bosses like the excitement of a pedal-to-the-medal, throw-caution-to-the-wind new project, the potential slips and slides scare them more. Be someone that helps your boss to safely take on bigger and better projects.
If you don’t make the effort to consider what your boss wants from you, why should they pay you more and help you to advance in your career? How successful can you hope to be if you’re offering something that: doesn’t do anything for them, isn’t important to them, is less than what they’re getting now, is of lower quality to what they have now, takes longer than it’s taking now, costs more than they’re spending now, and requires more risk than they’re taking now?
Your bosses are not fools. If you don’t take your boss’ expectations into consideration, you’re only fooling yourself.
Q: I am very ambitious and want to succeed in my career, what are your suggestions for getting ahead? I don’t want to do anything dishonest, but I am not against it being a bit on the calculating side.
A: This will offend the pure of heart, but what the heck, you asked for the down and dirty truth of getting ahead.
First and foremost realize that to succeed in your career, it’s less important what you know or even who you know than who knows you and how they know you.
Early in your career find out who the most powerful, respected, successful and most emotionally guarded people are in the industry or field you are most passionate about. Find a way to develop a relationship by saying to them: “I want to learn everything you know. What’s the best way to do that?”
Then do whatever they ask or tell you, learn everything they know and learn how to be trusted and indispensable to them. Then when they can’t be king any more and if they haven’t cultivated close confidants, they will turn over the keys to the kingdom to you.
If and when they do, be respectful, loyal and generous and pay them back with the best retirement, involvement, or whatever they want.
You don’t have to look very far to find examples of people who have done just that.
Mark Goulston, M.D. is a senior career expert at peoplejam.com and author of “Get Out of Your Own Way at Work.” Visit him at: http://markgoulston.com and contact him at: email@example.com