Thursday, May 29, 2008

How to Get a Raise

Let me start off by saying (just to be perfectly clear!)--today's post is not only for the direct marketing industry.

With that said, I think all of you direct marketers can benefit from this sage advice I found today on Laura Rowley's Money and Finance site on Yahoo. The article provides Seven Ways to Get a Raise in a Soft Economy.

Essentially the article acknowledges the soft economy we're facing today, but urges people not to let the economy stop them from seeking a pay raise.
"Employers will shed 45,000 jobs a month on average in the current quarter, forecasters predict, and unemployment will rise to 5.5 percent from 5.1 percent by the fourth quarter.

At the same time, companies are expected to hand out raises of 4 percent this year, according to a survey by the Washington-based Economic Research Institute."
Here are her tips to help you get that 4% raise (or even a bigger one!):

Mistake No. 1: Assuming you can't ask for a raise. In a nutshell--if you don't ask, you won't get one!

Mistake No. 2: Justifying your request for a raise. Don't make the raise contingent on something going on in your life (just had a baby; wife lost job; etc). Instead communicate the benefits that you've brought to your company. Talk about your successes as a reason why you deserve that raise.

Mistake No. 3: Asking at the wrong time. Don't ask for a raise right when you're back from a nice vacation. Instead ask right after you've done something really great for your company.

Mistake No. 4: Tooting your own horn too loudly. Instead of talking about how good you are, demonstrate it.

Mistake No. 5: Promoting your unconventional style. Instead, try to emulate the corporate culture you're working in. This will get you much further--your company will be more apt to want to keep you, AND give you that raise.

Mistake No. 6: Listening to what the company says instead of watching what it does. Pay attention to the type of actions the company rewards, not what they state are their values.

Mistake No. 7: Quitting when you don't get the raise you want. Now, understanding that your company doesn't value you enough to give you that raise might be a good reason to start looking. But, quit after you've landed the new job, not before.

As a closing note, yes, this economy might be tough, but we believe that direct marketers absolutely have the tools to thrive and to get those raises. After all, our work is based on measurable results. Be prepared to show, in writing with graphs and figures, exactly how your marketing efforts equated to new customers acquired, new sales made or profitable customers retained.

We direct marketers are lucky that a key component of our job (the measurement piece), the very essence of what we do every day is also that very thing that we can also use to justify our raises.

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