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5 Salary Secrets Your Company Won't Tell You

5 Salary Secrets Your Company Won't Tell You

Are you earning what you deserve?

August 18, 2010

3. Most managers have a short memory when it comes time for your annual pay raise
On average, pay raises are given annually, and so it’s important to keep track of all your achievements within the past year – don’t expect your boss to remember your big project from eight months ago. Using a spreadsheet or a special email folder, keep track of your accomplishments as they happen, so when the time comes, you have a strong case for a higher annual pay raise.

Accomplishments that show you’ve either saved the company money or earned the company money are the best ones to highlight, especially if you can specify an exact figure. If that’s not possible (which is the case for most employees), take note of any extraordinary praise you received from managers or fellow co-workers, any special thanks from clients, and any other ways that demonstrated you went above and beyond your normal job duties.

4. Your manager probably has little influence over your annual pay raise
Decisions about an employee’s annual pay raise are often made at a high level of company management. So, even if you follow all the pay raise tips above, your manager may have minimal control over your annual pay raise. Case in point: Mazin recently worked with a non-profit organization whose board decided to give every employee the exact same pay raise.

There’s not a lot you can do in this situation, but if it leaves you feeling dissatisfied or taken for granted, it may be time to look for a new job.

5. Threatening to quit can result in a big pay raise (but it’s risky)
If you’re hoping for a big annual pay raise, or were disappointed by a recent pay raise, you may want to start job searching. For most people, the biggest salary jumps they have in their careers occur when they get a new job or threaten to quit because of a tantalizing job offer.

Sometimes, telling your current employer about your new gig can be a potent bargaining chip – they may be willing to match the new offer just to keep you. But not always, as Mazin points out, so don’t let your plan backfire. Make sure you really want that new job – and are ready to quit your current one – before threatening to quit.

“If you do decide to do it, do it for the right reasons,” Mazin says.

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