At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my 4 financial goals for 2010. I had selected the following:
#1 Pay off the loan from my parents (done!)
#2 Increase my online income by 50% (work in progress)
#3 Finish in the top 10 financial planners in Montreal (work in progress)
#4 Increase my base salary by 15% (this is where my challenge was).
When I reviewed my financial goals in June, I told you that I just got a huge raise of…drum roll…..1.67%! This was basically just enough to cover inflation (not really in fact since the 1.67% salary raise is taxed!). Therefore, I was pretty far away from my 15% raise this year.
Why Did I Think I Was Able To Get a 15% Raise During A Recession?
I’d say that no matter what the economy looks like, no matter if your employer is hiring or laying off people, there are key employees that will keep the company, the department or the team alive. In my branch, I am the key employee right now as I am enjoying my best years as a financial planner. I don’t mind working hard and I don’t mind spending hours making cold calls and delivering my sales pitch.
At the beginning of the year, I looked at where I wanted to be in 12 months. The objective this year was pretty simple; get a bigger portfolio in order to get a bigger pay check. When I looked at the bigger portfolios in the downtown area, I noticed that they were making about 15% more than me. Therefore, I thought that I could get a 15% raise within the next 12 months.
How to get a salary raise after a raise?
This one is not as simple as knocking on your boss’ door. In fact, if you are not the top producer in your department, I doubt that the following method would work out. It requires a lot of tact and can be quite risky if you abuse it.
#1 Make yourself interesting to other managers
During the past 18 months, I have spent a lot of time talking to other managers so they get to know me and so they remember my name and my face ;-). It was very important to build my network slowly but surely to make sure I can make a quick move if necessary.
#2 Bring in the numbers
Having a good network will get you far, but bringing in the numbers and becoming the key employee in your department will get you exactly where you want to be. So for the past 2 years, I have worked very hard to bring in solid numbers and demonstrate consistency. A good year means nothing in a lot of fields (just think about a hockey player who scores 30 goals in his rookie season… he might never do it again!). So most managers won’t agree to give you a high pay check right after a good year, they want to hire someone with a good work ethic and that is able to do consistent effort. Those are the true keys to bring the numbers.
#3 Apply for a bigger job
During this summer, there was an open position for a financial planner with a bigger book downtown. Due to my great network, I was able to know it before it was posted (I knew the guy that was leaving) and I due to my past results, I was called for an interview.
#4 Make sure you boss knows you applied
Right after I sent my resume for the job (not before because they will think that you’re bluffing), I went into my boss’ office and told him about it. I was straight forward and he wasn’t surprised by my decision.
#5 Open the door for negotiation
This is where the fun starts. When I told him that I applied and that I wanted to work in another branch, I opened the door for him to make a counter offer. I told him that I was super happy where I work (which is true) and that I would prefer to stay here. However, making more money was the real reason why I applied because my wife is at home and I have 2 kids (here again, a bit sentimental but always use the truth!).
#6 Set a time frame
I also told him that if he was able to match my salary, I would not go to my interview which was scheduled in 2 days. Therefore, he had 48 hours to think about it knowing that if I had to go to the interview, chances are that I would switch branches.
You got the raise? Then 2 more things you need to do:
Once I got my raise, there are 2 important things I will do:
#1 shut my mouth (just telling people that you had a nice agreement and that you are happy is sufficient, you don’t want to open Pandora’s box)
#2 shut my mouth (during the upcoming years, I won’t have much room to negotiation for a higher salary. This is why I will have to shut my mouth and know the limit of generosity from my manager 😉 ).
So I’m done with 2 of my 4 objectives for the year! I still have 4 months to complete my goals for this year :-D.
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