June 9, 2009, 5:37 am

Negotiating a Raise during a Recession Part2

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career
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I am writing this post in the middle of my own raise negotiation. I actually received my first offer (if you can call it an offer) about 2 weeks ago. It has been a few years that our employer doesn’t talk about a raise as they prefer to use the word “positioning”. The good thing where I work is that the salary scale is transparent and you can see it on our intranet. Therefore, it is easy for each employee to know where they are in the salary scale for each level.

The income bracket is well divided into 5 stages for each level. It goes from “in training” to “superior”. In the middle stages, you have “full contribution” with level A, B, C. so it looks like this:

In training – Level A – Level B – Level C – Superior

Most employees will be in the level A to C as they follow a normal career path with a steady progression. I won’t talk about my specific case (especially since it is not settled yet) but I will explain the process I am using in order to get what I think is fair ;-).

When I received my raise, I actually turn it down explaining how much I was expecting and telling that I was offered even more from a competitor a month ago (competition is pretty tough to get financial planner these days). I told my manager why I didn’t accept it (especially because I love the people I work with, I love my manager and I was positive in getting a decent raise).

The very first step was to determine where I am right now in the income bracket and then, determine where I should be considering what I did.

I sent a detailed email with all the points why I am asking a raise. The important is to always rely on facts that we can verify. I chose to not take the “the other guy is making more than me, I want to make as much as him”. Since the beginning of the negotiation, I use the word “us” and “finding an agreement for everybody”. I still want to work for my employer and I still think that it is a great place to be. However, if I’m being underpaid, then it becomes a whole new game.

It doesn’t mean that because we are living through a recession that you don’t deserve a raise. If you are a key employee and you are helping the organization going through these rough times, you should get rewarded as well. Most companies survive recession because of strong leadership, smart management and results from their key employees.

So this is where I stand for now. Hoping that the next post I write will be positive and that I announce that I am a happy planner ;-D

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Just curious why you turned down the other offer without first confirming your raise amount with your current employer? It’s true, you might not want to tip them off that you’re looking, but it seems to me that this would have been a tremendous bargaining tool for you at the time.

Letting your current employer know you turned down another job because you’re happy where you are sends a strong message and I’m sure indicates your loyalty. But if you truly turned down the job and are now hoping they’ll increase your salary out of kindness, you may have missed an opportunity.

I agree that your approach of negotiating for a raise based on your contributions and merit is the right approach. Good luck!


by: The Financial Blogger | June 11th, 2009 (5:39 am)

Hey Stephen,

Asking other people around before would have been another great negotiating point. I actually asked around the next morning to see how it went. I appeared that I was not the only one that wasn’t happy about the raise. But I preferred to push on my achievements instead of “the other got this or is not happy as me”.

When I told them about the other job, I said that I didn’t go for 2 reasons:
#1 I was happy where I work
#2 I was confident to get a good raise this year

The fact that I am doing my MBA is putting extra pressure on them as I already have 3 managers from other institutions that are very interested in my “situation” 😉

Still negotiating, I will hopefully have an answer by next Monday ;-0

Good luck and keep us posted!