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Career Corner
Negotiate a Raise

Jane Lake -- Asking for a raise is a lot like looking for love. No one really values anything that comes too cheaply. But while dating can be fun, confronting authority can be intimidating.

We asked John Towler, of Creative Organizational Design, a management consulting firm to outline how to talk money with your boss.

Know the market value of your job.

Check with professional associations or personnel agencies for up-to-date surveys of salary levels in your field. Within your own company, swap information with colleagues, or ask your firm's personnel department for the salary range in your job category.

Know your own worth.

Compile facts and figures on your skills, talents, experience and recent accomplishments. Use performance appraisals as proof of your proficiency. Think of ways to increase your value to the firm, such as training others or taking on special assignments.

Choose the right time to negotiate.

If your company schedules regular salary reviews, be well prepared for your turn. If it doesn't, take the initiative and request a review. Ask for an early Monday appointment, when your boss's desk is clear.

Convince your boss you're a winner by speaking clearly, listening carefully and responding calmly.

Rehearse your main points with a friend, and run through responses to what you guess might be objections to a raise.

If a raise is denied, ask why.

If the boss believes that you haven't performed well enough, ask what you must do to merit a raise, then set shared goals and a time frame for renegotiation. If the company is under financial restraint, ask for bonuses your boss may give more readily, such as expanded benefits or extra vacation time.

Jane Lake is a successful freelance writer and editor of http://www.allfreecrafts.com and http://www.allfreeprintables.com, which offer free crafts and free printables. Her latest Web site at http://www.creative-home.net focuses on creative homemaking, family relationships and gardening.

© 2006 Jane Lake

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