It’s the almost the end of the year, and for many of us, that means performance reviews, and hopefully, raises. But Keld Jensen at Forbes has some controversial advice about negotiating your end-of-the-year raise: as in, don’t.
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“The problem with asking for a raise is that your perspective is too small if that’s all you’ve considered negotiating,” writes Jensen. “You’ll come to the table asking for one particular amount and your manager may not be willing to budge. Money that goes to you is taken away from the company in a typical zero-sum situation. Why should they make a concession? If there’s no compromise, you’ll reach a deadlock and one party is going to leave unhappy. Considering that your boss is in the power position, that person is most likely going to be you.”
What should you do instead? Put more on the table. Come to the negotiation with a figure in mind, of course, but also with a list of perks. Ask yourself:
1. What would a raise give you, which you could get in some other way?
Some perks like free gym memberships or company-paid phone plans are just as good as having cash in hand — because they’re what you’d spend cash on, anyway.
2. What would make you happier?
Maybe it’s more time to see your family (a flexible schedule or more time off). Maybe you’d like to travel more for work — or less. Think about the pressures in your life and see if there’s a perk that would alleviate them.
3. What would make you better at your job?
If your computer is slow and your software packages out-of-date, an upgrade would be good for your mental health and the company’s bottom line. Many organizations will also pay for classes, which will make you better at what you’re currently doing and put you in a better spot when it’s time to move on.
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