How to Get Your Next Raise, with Josh Doody

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired at the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host, and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-host, Ben Forstag, our managing director, and Jenna Forstrom, our community manager. This week, we’re talking about how to get your next raise. Our show is brought to you by Hack the Hidden Job Market, the new online course for Mac’s List that starts November 1. As many as 8 out of 10 job openings never get advertised. Is your dream job one of them? Learn how to uncover hidden jobs, and get noticed by the hiring managers that fill them. Visit MacsList.org/Course.

What do you need to do to get the raise you want? That’s our topic this week on Find Your Dream Job. Many people think good work alone speaks for itself. Work hard, and do well for your employer. The reward you seek will follow. In most cases, that’s a strategy for disappointment, says Josh Doody, this week’s guest expert. There’s a better way to get more money, says Doody. Later in the show, he’ll tell you what to do when you want a raise. One of the best ways to prepare for a conversation about your salary is to know what other earn. Ben has found an easy to use website that lets you research salaries in your profession, and in your market. He’ll tell us about it in a moment.

In the meantime, what do you do when an employer doesn’t hire you, then offers to give you feedback over coffee, but doesn’t answer your follow up e-mail? That’s our question of the week, from listener Shannon Clearly. Jenna has the answer.

First, as always, let’s check in with the Mac’s List team. Now, I know you two, we’ve talked in a previous episode about your favorite strategies for asking for the best starting salary. How about when you want a raise? How do you prepare for those conversations, not only here at Mac’s List, but in previous jobs?

Ben Forstag:

I’ve always worked at relatively small organizations. I think the biggest organization I ever worked at only had, like 10 people on staff. There weren’t a whole lot of clear avenues for moving up the ladder, simply because the organization didn’t have the resources to have too many rungs on that ladder. My approach, for good or bad, was always, “Do the job that you want, and then go and ask for the official title.” When I worked for the YMCA, I really wanted to get into their international programming department. They didn’t really have a person who was, like, officially in charge of it, or they had a guy, but it was, like, one of many other things he did. I went to him and just said, “Hey, can I help you out with the international stuff?” Slowly, it all got shifted over to me, even though I didn’t have the title, International Program Director. After a year of doing it, I went and said, “Okay, now I’d like the title, because I’m essentially doing all of the work.”

The same thing in non-profits. I wanted to be in the communications wing, so I just assumed responsibility for all of the writing press releases, and doing our website, and other things. They didn’t have a communications person at the time, so the person who was nominally in charge of doing this was glad to hand it off to me. When I showed that I was competent and I knew what I was doing, then I was able to leverage that experience into an actual job title, and then subsequently a pay raise as well.

Mac Prichard:

As you talk, I’m reminded of the plot of a movie from the 1950s, All About Eve, where Bette Davis is the Broadway star, and she meets a fan who is devoted to her, learns everything about her, becomes her understudy, and eventually displaces her as the star.

Ben Forstag:

Are you saying that you’re my Bette Davis to my aspiring actress? I mean, I think you need to be careful that you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes, and I think fortunately, for me, the projects that I was the most interested in were projects that no one else really wanted, and I think part of the reasons I found them so interesting was because I saw there was a huge opportunity that wasn’t being realized there. It just needed some manpower and some thought to take them to the next level. I wouldn’t want to go in and try to take someone else’s job from them, and then try to take their job title. You’ve got to be diplomatic in this. Again, in my circumstances, it was because I was in very small organizations that didn’t have really well-set hierarchies for growth.

Mac Prichard:

I think that’s a very different strategy. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the comparison. How about you, Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

I guess I haven’t really negotiated for a pay raise within a job, really, because when I was at Standard, which was my first real job outside of college, it was like … For those who don’t know, Standard Insurance here in Oregon is like a 100 year old insurance company, with, like, over 3,000 employees. There’s a very set … You get this, you know, this rate, and then every year we do good, you get a bonus, and then if your boss says you do a good job, you get another bonus. It’s very regulated.

Then, since that, I’ve been freelancing until I landed at Mac’s List, so just every time a new freelance contract ended, I would just renew with the same company and ask for more money based on the fact that I had learned all these skills and knew their language and their program, so that worked out well for me.

Mac Prichard:

Good. Great stories. Thank you for sharing, and good strategies there. Let’s turn to you, Ben, and you’re out there every week looking for tools and resources our listeners can use. What have you found for us on the internet this week?

Ben Forstag:

This week, I want to talk about a website called PayScale.com. Anyone who’s listened to our show before knows that I’m a big fan of the website GlassDoor.com. I think I’ve used resources from that website 4 or 5 times in the course of this podcast. PayScale is basically an alternative to GlassDoor. It’s a way to find out what your peers are making based on job title, location, company, and your background.

There’s a few things I like about PayScale. One is that it allows you to do some targeted salary research for different circumstances. For example, how your current salary compares with that of other people with the same job title, or there’s an option for comparing your job offer letter to see if you’re getting a fair salary there, what the offer is is fair, or to evaluate and estimate the pay that other people might get. We’ve talked in the past a lot of different reasons why you might want to find out what other people are getting paid. Most sites are not going to tell you a specific person. You’re not going to find out that Joe Schmo is making $80,000 a year, but someone with that general title is.

The thing I really like about PayScale, though, is while other sites base salary on generic job titles and company names, PayScale dives deeper into the many components that can affect your salary. Things like years of experience, education, location, and years in your current position. Not all product managers are made the same, right? You could be a product manager for a small company, and you’ve been there for one year, and you’re probably going to make less than the product manager for, like, a massive corporation in New York City that’s been there for 50 years. Basing it purely on job titles sometimes skews the picture. This is a much more nuanced picture of what people who look like you, in terms of your experience, are getting.

The other thing I like about PayScale is that it doesn’t limit the definition of compensation simply to your gross pay, which so often, that’s the be-all, end-all of what compensation is. PayScale includes information about other forms of compensation that many job seekers often overlook. Things like health benefits, retirement benefits, paid time off, flex scheduling and remote work opportunities, and even the office culture and general stress level at work. It takes all this information that you share with it, compiles it together, and says, again, people who are in your general circumstances, this is what they’re making across the board. It’s what I would call, like, a 360 review of compensation.

I took some time. I went and filled out their massive questionnaire with all the information I could provide, and I found out that I am in the 66th percentile relative to my peers with similar backgrounds who have the job title Managing Director. The lesson from this, Mac, is, you have some work to do.

Mac Prichard:

That’s good to know.

Ben Forstag:

Yes, and we’ll be talking about it later.

Mac Prichard:

I know you’ll get some tips from the interview that’s coming up with Josh.

Ben Forstag:

The downside for all this is, this is a tool for data gathering. The way they get all of this salary information is people like me, they go and put their information in, and we are now a data point that other people use. You need to remember that, and know that you are both the customer and the product of this website, and it’s just like any other social media tool like Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, where what they’re selling is also the content you’re putting in. I wouldn’t put in any personal information there. I wouldn’t share your name, or your phone number, or your e-mail address, or your social security number. If you’re looking for a good resource to get a real nuanced picture about what other folks are making in your circumstances, or maybe what other folks are making in another city relative to what you’re making, I would definitely check out PayScale.com, and, as always, we will include a link in the show notes.

Mac Prichard:

Thanks, Ben. If you’ve got a book, or website, or podcast that has been helpful in your job search, or in managing your career, please write him and let him know, and we may share your idea on the show. Ben’s address is Ben@MacsList.org. Now, let’s turn to you, our listeners, and Jenna Forstrom, our community manager is here, and she joins us to answer one of your questions.

Jenna Forstrom:

This week’s question comes from Shannon Clearly, who writes, “There is a philanthropic organization that I’ve applied to 2 jobs over the last 10 months. I’m about to apply for my third job. After my last application, I had a phone interview. When I got the rejection letter, I replied and asked for time to chat with the interviewer, or suggestions for things to work on for my next application. I never heard back from her, so my question is, should I reach out directly to her and ask for coffee again, or just send in my application as directed by the job post?”

My suggestions for Shannon are to definitely reach out. Send a note with your updated resume profile, connect with them on LinkedIn, talk to the hiring manager about the new position, why you think you’d be a great fit. Just send a quick note. Offer some helpful hints, so if you’re following her on social media, and he or she is looking for help with something, or, “Oh, I saw that you retweeted this article. I found this counter article really interesting.” Just show a little interest in what’s happening in their life.

Worst case, you never hear from them. Best case, you get to spend $4 taking them out to coffee. Mac and Ben, do you have any other suggestions?

Ben Forstag:

I think you hit the nail on the head there. You definitely reach out again, and we always work on the rule of 3 here, which is you reach out to someone 3 times, and if they don’t respond after the third time, for whatever reason, they don’t want to talk with you, and that’s fine. People are busy, and sometimes that e-mail of, “Would you be willing to meet me out for a coffee?” I get those a lot, and sometimes I really want to respond to them, but I’m doing something else, and they just get buried in my inbox and lost. I’m not trying to ignore the person. The e-mail just kind of disappears. Reaching out to people multiple times is definitely worth it.

I think the other thing, reading through this situation that I just pointed out, is if you are applying for the third time to an organization, I think it’s really … The onus is on you to show how your application is new and different this time around, right? Maybe you’ve got a different set of skills. Maybe you want to highlight something else that you’ve done. Maybe you took a course and you want to put that in there. For better or worse, you didn’t succeed the first 2 times through the application process, and so I really think it really serves you to look at your resume, refine it, and try to figure out how you can improve it to better resonate with that audience. That’s the one take away I would offer up.

Mac Prichard:

I agree with you both about the importance of persistence, and multiple attempts. 3 attempts, as we talked about before, I think is the ideal number. One thing you can do in addition to trying more than once in your follow up is look for ways to make it easy for the person to say yes, and be specific about what you want. Adding time limits to their request. If somebody says we sit down for 20 or 30 minutes, that sounds a lot more manageable than, “Can I pick your brain?” Or, “Can we have coffee?” That sounds like an open-ended invitation. The other thing you could do to make it easy for people to say yes, is say, “I’d be happy to come to your office and bring you a cup of coffee.” That can save them time on meeting you somewhere else.

Then, if there’s something specific other than general feedback, if you say, “I’d particularly like to get your input on what I think might have been some challenges with my application,” and lay those out. That might be just 2 or 3 bullets. Somebody who gets an e-mail like that I think is much more likely to get back to you sooner rather than later, because you’re being clear about what you hope to get from the meeting.

Ben Forstag:

I’ve never had anyone bring me a cup of coffee for a meeting. That would stick in my mind, I think. I would remember that person.

Jenna Forstrom:

No one’s taken you out for coffee, ever?

Ben Forstag:

No. I’ve met people for coffee, but no one’s brought coffee as part of a, “Let’s meet in my office,” kind of thing. That’s different. I like that idea.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. I think I’ve had … Somebody offered to do that once, and something else that doesn’t happen very often, and we’re moving on to a different topic, which is informational interviews. Just closing your informational interview with a question, “How can I help you?” I’ve had people do that a number of times, but they stand out. It doesn’t happen that often. Thank you Jenna, and thank you, Ben. That’s great advice from you both, and thank you, Shannon for sending in the question. Please stay in touch and let us know how it goes. If you’ve got a question for Jenna, please e-mail her. You can use her e-mail address, Jenna@MacsList.org, or even better, call her, and our number is 716-JOB-TALK.

These segments with Jenna and Ben are sponsored by Hack the Hidden Job Market. That’s the new online course from Mac’s List. As many as 80% of all jobs never get posted. Instead, employers fill these openings by word of mouth. Our new course shows you how this hidden job market works. We’ll teach you how to find plum gigs that never appear on a job board, how to stand out online in a crowd of applicants, and how to connect with insiders who can help your career. In each of the course’s 12 modules, you get the tools and tips you need to get the work you want. Meaningful work. Work that makes a difference. Work that you can love. Hack the Hidden Job Market launches November 1. Don’t wait. Get updates and lock in the early bird price now. Go to MacsList.org/Course.

Now, let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Josh Doody. Josh Doody is an author, consultant, MBA, and an engineer. He writes about salary negotiation, career management, business, job interviews, and self-publishing. He’s the author of Fearless Salary Negotiation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Paid What You’re Worth. Josh, thanks for being on the show today.

Josh Doody:

Hi, Mac. Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.

Mac Prichard:

It’s a pleasure to have you on the program. Now, Josh, I think when many people think about raises, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Gosh. Shouldn’t my good work alone be enough to get me the raise I deserve?” Why isn’t that the case?

Josh Doody:

You know, I think you’re right that most people think that way. I know I used to think exactly like that. I think the reason that it isn’t quite enough is, the truth is that managers are busy people. They have a lot going on. They’re focused on running the business, making a profit, just keeping everything moving, and so they may not notice the hard work that you’re putting in, the overtime hours that you’re doing, and a lot of times, the better the employee you are, the less likely you are to get noticed, because the less likely you are to ask for help or to make mistakes that people notice and things like that. It’s actually pretty easy to kind of work against yourself with that philosophy, because you could sort of accidentally fly under the radar, because you’re so low-maintenance and you do such great work that nobody really needs to pay attention to you. They may never notice enough to offer you that raise that you might be waiting for.

Mac Prichard:

The first rule of a salary negotiation is you have to ask. Is that right?

Josh Doody:

I think it is. I think, you know, every rule can be broken, but in general, I think the way to make sure that you give yourself the best chance to get a raise or to maximize your salary is to ask for that raise, rather than hanging back and waiting for it to come to you.

Mac Prichard:

Let’s talk about that process, Josh. How does it begin? What should they do first, when they’re ready to ask their boss for a raise?

Josh Doody:

I think the first thing that you should do is quite a bit of homework, to sort of figure out what your goal is, and to start making your case, because, for the reasons that I just mentioned a minute ago, you want to make sure that you make this process as easy as possible on your manager. In fact, everything that I’m going to talk about today with you, I developed when I was a manager, and this is actually a process as a manager that I taught my direct reports, so that I could do the best possible for them that I could do.

Before you ask for a raise, you want to have a target salary in mind, which should be based on a few things, but the first thing is your market value. You can estimate your market value by using publicly available data that’s online at sites like GlassDoor.com, and PayScale.com. You start with that number, your market value, and you want to turn that into what you estimate your target salary is. “What is my value for my skillset and experience at the company that I’m working at?” With the target value, or target salary in mind, then you want to start putting a case together before you go talk to your manager to demonstrate that you’ve earned the raise that you’re asking for before you ask for it. Those are the 2 big things, and those are really kind of big, is estimate your market value, set your target salary as the first thing, and then the second thing is put a case together, so when you go to your manager, you’ve got everything that your manager needs to work with to hopefully work for you to get the raise that you’re asking for.

Mac Prichard:

Let’s talk about that case. How do you recommend people prepare and put that case together?

Josh Doody:

There are 3 major components to the case. We’ve talked loosely about 2 of them. The first one is your target salary. I do think it helps to ask for a specific amount, just because if you sort of swing yourself around the desk and think from a manager’s perspective, if someone just comes to you and says, “I would like a raise,” that implies work for you as a manager. Again, managers are busy. It really helps to have a specific number, because then you’re moving the conversation ahead without having that kind of friction of the manager trying to figure out, “What does Josh mean when he says he wants a raise? Does he want me to double the salary? Does he want a 5% raise?” That’s the first component, is your target salary.

The second component is what I call accomplishments. In the case of a raise, those are best described as quantitative accomplishments. In other words, what are the valuable things that you’ve done to help the business since the last time that your salary was set? At the 30,000 foot level, when you’re asking for a raise, really what you’re asking for is that your salary be adjusted to reflect additional value that you’re adding above and beyond the value that you were expected to add when your salary was initially set, or the last time it was set. Quantitative is best there. I like to structure those accomplishments as activity and result, so, “I did something, and it resulted in this business value.” That helps me get very clear that your specific activities are driving the business forward.

The third component is what I call accolades, or what’s sometimes called social proof, which is, “Have other people noticed the work that I’m doing?” Going back to the beginning, we talked about how managers may not notice the hard work that you’re doing, sometimes because you’re working so hard and so efficiently they don’t need to pay attention to you, because they’re putting out fires elsewhere in the business. Those accolades can give your manager some sense that although they may have not noticed what you’re doing, other people have noticed. Maybe your clients have sent a nice e-mail that said what a great job you did for their project, and how you helped their company save so much money over the project, or a colleague, or a dotted line manager that you’re working with. That shows that, yes, I’m adding this value that I can reflect in accomplishments, and I have accolades or social proof from other people who have noticed my hard work as well.

Those are the 3 main components to the case that you want to put together.

Mac Prichard:

Focus on the results, focus on the testimonials you get from other people, and have a clear idea of what the market’s paying.

Josh Doody:

Exactly. That’s exactly right. Much more concise than I put it, but dead on.

Mac Prichard:

What I didn’t hear, often people, I understand, come into these conversations talking about need, or about effort. “Well, I work so hard, and I need a raise for this reason.” Why aren’t those arguments going to be as persuasive as the ones that you laid out, Josh?

Josh Doody:

The truth is that they’re not persuasive because the purpose of the business that’s giving you the raise, and that you work for, their purpose is most likely to make money. Reason like, “I want a raise,” or, “I need a raise because I bought a bigger house and I need to pay my mortgage,” those things, those activities that you did, do not have a positive business result. If I bought a bigger house and need to pay my mortgage, I can’t describe that result, that business result that benefits from that. It’s important to focus on how you’re improving the company, because that aligns with what the company’s goal is, which is to make more money, or to grow, or whatever their current goal is.

Mac Prichard:

You mentioned PayScale and Glass Ceiling … I’m sorry. Is it GlassDoor?

Josh Doody:

GlassDoor. Yup. GlassDoor.com.

Mac Prichard:

Thank you. I know those are 2 resources we’ve mentioned on previous episodes. Are there other online sites you recommend people visit as they do this research, particularly to understand what the market’s paying.

Josh Doody:

There’s one third site, which is Salary.comPayScale.comGlassDoor.com, and Salary.com, those are the 3 kind of go-to sites and the reason is that they cover the broadest swath of potential careers. There may be sites where you can go get more targeted data for your industry, but I recommend starting with those 3, because there’s a really good chance they’re going to give you some kind of data for your job and your industry, and even in your geographic location, that will give you a pretty broad sense of what your market value is. I usually recommend starting there, and if you’re in an industry, you might ask around to see if other people happen to know if there’s a similar site that focuses on salaries more targeted to your specific industry.

Mac Prichard:

We happen to be based on Portland, Oregon, and I know the Portland Advertising Federation here, for example, does an annual salary survey that is available to members and managers. I think many cities have similar resources that I imagine would be very valuable.

Josh Doody:

Absolutely. You could reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce and ask. My guess is that the Chamber would know if there’s that kind of survey data available in your city, or in your region, they could point you to who’s collecting that data and aggregating it so you can get a look at it.

Mac Prichard:

You’ve laid out a process here, Josh, and what about the amount of time involved? I think many people wait until an annual review, for example, before asking for a raise. Why might that not be a good idea?

Josh Doody:

Excellent question, and the answer is that it may not be a good idea, depending on how your company budgets the available money. If you want to wait for your annual performance review and merit increase or raise, that may work if you are not getting that kind of standard raise and performance review at the same time as everyone else in the company. There are 2 kind of broad ways that companies do those evaluations annually. Some companies aren’t even doing it annually anymore. They’re just doing it ad hoc. Most companies still do it once a year, and it’s either everybody goes at the same time, that’s called a focal process, or an anniversary-based process, which means on the anniversary date of when you started with the company, so if it’s September 1 is the date that I started with the company, then every year on September 1, I’ll have a review with my manager and we’ll talk about my pay. Then, you’re using a separate budget for that.

For focal, everyone goes at the same time. Everybody’s probably pulling from the same budgeted money that’s split up among departments and teams, so it can be really challenging to get an unusually large raise at that time, because it’s a zero sum game. If you get a really big raise, that means some number of people is going to have to get a reduced raise to accommodate that. That can make it sort of politically challenging. Managers are less inclined to do that when they have to kind of rob Peter to pay Paul. You’re better off in the focal process, for waiting until what I call an off-cycle opportunity, which would be essentially 6 months out. Right between those 2 focal reviews would be a great time, because there’s usually not a set budget for raises and promotions in between company-wide annual reviews. You can usually get sort of a unique perspective from your manager and a unique opportunity to get your own sort of budget set.

If you have an anniversary process or cycle at your company, where you’re reviewed just based on when you started, you may be able to set that up. I would recommend kind of starting a few months out. Maybe 90 days out, you start talking to your manager and giving them a heads up that you’d like to talk about a salary increase. Then, you can of course be building your case and everything to make it a clear and articulate your case when you have that anniversary based review.

Mac Prichard:

I’m glad you brought up the amount of time involved. I think many people might wait until a few days before an annual review or the opportunity to ask for a raise, whatever the cycle their company may be on. In your experience, though, how much time should people expect to invest in both the research and other preparation for asking for an increase?

Josh Doody:

I think the research … It’s funny that you asked that, because I am just starting to roll out a coaching offering in a class that essentially answers your question with 30 days. I think 30 days is a good amount of time for one person to kind of take some time, intentionally, over the course of about 4 weeks, figure out what their market value is, start collecting their accomplishments and accolades, maybe mention something to their manager and kind of assemble that case. I think you could do it in one day, but it would be kind of an intense day, and I think it’s a little bit easier to carve out an hour a week for a few weeks. I would say give yourself about 30 days to really put that case together. That’s a reasonable amount of time that doesn’t feel like kind of an overwhelming task that you might be inclined to procrastinate on, but it’s not so much time that it feels like it’s going to be forever before you get a result.

I think it takes about 30 days to build the case, and I would recommend giving your manager a heads up somewhere between, you know, 60 days out, and when your review happens. Let’s say you start building your case at the 90 day out mark. After 30 days you’ve got your case built, so now you’re 60 days out. That might be a good time to mention to your manager, “Hey, by the way, my anniversary review is coming up. I just want to give you a heads up that I’d like to talk about my compensation while we have that review,” so that they can start kind of working behind the scenes, because there’s often a lot of red tape that’s involved with giving people more money, especially if it’s more than the typical amount the company gives. You want to allow your manager to kind of start putting out feelers behind the scenes, even if it’s not for a specific amount, just to see what’s available and to kind of get things moving before you formally ask so that they can have a better idea what they can do for you, and how they can help you.

Mac Prichard:

Let’s talk about expectations, Josh. Should people expect to get more than, say, a 3% to 5% increase, which is often customary at many employers?

Josh Doody:

The generic answer is no, especially if you’re not asking for that raise. Then, the answer if you are asking is a maybe. The nice thing about sort of the process that we’ve outlined is, the best result is that you’ll do all this work, you’ll set your target salary, you’ll start digging up accomplishments and looking for great things that you’ve done to add value to the company. You’ll find a huge basket of them, and you’ll have to just choose the biggest, juiciest ones. You’ll find a whole bunch of social proof and accolades, and then you’ll be pretty confident that, “Man, I’ve got a really good case here for more than that 3% to 5%,” or even lower these days, as long as the company can accommodate, in terms of they have money available.

The alternative outcome is that you may find, as you build that case, that you’re struggling. Maybe you find that, “Gosh, my market value and my current pay are pretty much in line.” What does that mean? Or you’ll find that you have a good target, but you’re having a really hard time justifying your goal that you set, in terms of finding specific things that you’re doing that were unanticipated when your salary was set, that you’re doing to add value to the company. I consider that to be a good result, though, because what that’s telling you is you’re basically not ready to ask for that raise yet. However, you’ve identified areas where you might be a little bit short. You might be a little deficient in adding that value, and now you can start thinking less about, “How do I get more money?” And more about, “How do I find opportunities to add more value so that I can ask for more money with a solid case behind me in the future?”

Mac Prichard:

We’ve been talking about money, and an increase in salary. What else should people consider when they go into those annual review discussions or make a request for a salary increase? What else should be on the table?

Josh Doody:

It’s also possible that you could pursue a promotion. When I wrote my book, I focused on them as separate topics. The process looks really similar. The process for asking for a promotion at, you know, like the 10,000 foot view, to kind of abuse that analogy, is very similar to asking to a raise. The difference is that you’re asking for a new job title that comes with responsibilities, and you’re looking at more qualitative differences. You may do the same process for a promotion. If you feel like it’s time for you to make that next move up to the next level, or if you’re in a job where you’re kind of capped out in terms of pay.

Maybe you’ve been in the same job for a few years, and been getting steady raises over time, and your right move may actually be to pursue a promotion to get to that next level of jobs at your company with more responsibility that you can use, then, to leverage more pay. That’s a conversation that you can also have with your manager, so being aware of both of those options, if you go to your manager and your manager says, “You’re already pretty much capped out in terms of what you can make in your current job,” then you can come right behind that and say, “Yeah. You know, I noticed that too. What about this next job in my career path? I’ve been working really hard to achieve that. Here’s my list of accomplishments that demonstrate that I’m ready for that job. What’s the timeline look like for me to get a promotion to that job?” Which would then, of course, in the future, open up more raise possibilities as well.

Mac Prichard:

Great. Well, Josh, it’s been a great conversation. Tell us what’s next for you.

Josh Doody:

What’s next for me is, I just mentioned, that coaching offering. I’m doing a lot of one on one coaching right now to help people negotiate starting salary when they change jobs, and also prepare for their interview so they stand out. I’m coaching people one on one for getting a raise through the process that we kind of skimmed through today, and I’m also starting a class for helping software developers, as a group, go through a learn that same curriculum together so they can kind of talk through any issues that they run into. That’s where I’m focused right now, is trying to reach out and help people more directly, and trying to make myself available to them as a resource.

Mac Prichard:

Terrific. Well, our listeners can find you on Twitter. Your handle is @JoshDoody, and we’ll be sure to include that in the show notes, as well as a link to your website, and the other resources you mentioned in our interview. Thanks again for joining us, and it’s been a pleasure having you on the show, Josh.

Josh Doody:

It’s been great being here. Thanks for having me on, Mac.

Mac Prichard:

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Ben and Jenna. Tell me, you two, what are some key take aways for you from our conversation with Josh?

Jenna Forstrom:

My biggest take away was that I need to be better at keeping track of my successes at work, so that when me and Ben have my annual review, I can be like, “Here are the 10 things that I’ve done to make Mac’s List better in the past year.” Ben, what were your take aways?

Mac Prichard:

Are you ready, Ben?

Ben Forstag:

I guess the first take away is that you’re going to come at me with 10 things …

Jenna Forstrom:

At least 10 things.

Ben Forstag:

At least 10 things. I like the general theme of Josh’s presentation, which is, I think, if I was going to sum it up, it would be when it comes to salary negotiations, it’s, you have to take it out of opinion and put it into facts and evidence base, right? His point about, like, talking about what you deserve, or what you need, or, “I just bought a house and so I need more money,” that doesn’t resonate with employers, but if you ground it in facts, that, “I brought in X amount of money this year,” or, “I saved us Y amount of money,” I think that really, you can’t argue those facts at the end of the day. That’s always going to serve you better in the long run.

Mac Prichard:

I liked his point about having a process in place. You don’t want to start thinking about your ask and your strategy for a raise the day before your annual review. It’s something that you need to map out weeks, even months in advance, not only to get clear about what you want to ask for and how to justify it, but do that document collecting, and documentation that is going to be persuasive to your boss.

Ben Forstag:

Preparing your boss as well, so, you know, going up to him or her and saying, “I’m thinking about asking for a raise. I’m not doing it right now, but I’m thinking about it in the future.” It seems like such an unnatural thing to say, but it lays the groundwork there and it gets your boss thinking, and it gives you this … I think Josh said, it gives you … If that’s not going to happen, your boss will tell you pretty quickly, “That’s not going to happen,” which diffuses the situation but lets you know what’s going on, but also it gives him or her some awareness of, “This is coming down the pipeline. Get ready.”

Mac Prichard:

Well, thank you both, and thank you all for listening to today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job. If you like what you hear, please sign up for our free weekly newsletter. In each issue, we give you the key points of that week’s show. We also include links to all the resources mentioned, and you get a transcript of the full episode. If you subscribe to the newsletter now, we’ll send you our Job Seeker Checklist. In one easy to use file, we show you all the steps you need to take to find a great job. Get your free newsletter and checklist today. Go to MacsList.org/Podcast.

Join us next Wednesday, when our special guest will be Dan Rust. He’ll explain why you should always toot your own horn at work. Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job.

Just about everyone wants an increase in salary. But few of us ever ask our managers for a pay bump or even know how to ask for a raise.

Instead we keep our heads down and hope that our hard work gets noticed and rewarded.

Sometimes that works. Often it doesn’t.

You can’t rely on your manager to notice your accomplishments and remember them at evaluation time. Even the best managers are often overwhelmed, managing people and other projects.

That’s why it’s important for you to take the lead on asking for a raise. This week’s guest, Josh Doody, explains exactly what you need to do.

To build the best case when asking for a raise, Josh suggests:

  1. Having a target salary in mind which is based on your market value.
  2. Putting a case together with proof you deserve what you are asking for.
  3. Showing how you are improving the company and how your results align with the goals of the business.

This Week’s Guest

Josh Doody is an author, consultant, MBA, and engineer who writes about salary negotiation, career management, business, job interviews, and self-publishing.  He is the author of Fearless Salary Negotiation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Paid What You’re Worth. His current focus is in reaching people directly through one-on-one coaching programs and his Free 7-day course on how to get promoted quickly.

Resources from this Episode