Rachel, what sort of raise should I ask for?
The writer is going in to talk about salary and needs some insight
July 27, 2012
I was pleased to read your recent column in which you reported that the mood of media departments has improved with the improving media economy. It was timely because I am about to go into a performance review, and I am going to be looking to get a raise, which I have not seen for several years. It probably won't be much. I gather what raises are being given out are in the low to mid single digits, percentage-wise. My question: How do I come up with what I should ask for? – Wondering in California
It's good to know the range of raises being handed out, but certainly don't let that be your guide.
Some people are fearful of asking for a big raise for fear they will come off as presumptuous and that it will hurt their standing with the agency.
Don't be one of those people.
My advice is always that when it comes to money it's your every right to be upfront about what you want and to bargain hard to get it. The negotiating table is a level field, and one on which your goal is to win the best deal you can.
When it comes to what to ask for, you best guide is what your agency would have to pay to replace you.
If you are making $50,000 and a person with your skills would demand and get $60,000, then you should be asking for a $10,000 raise.
That may seem a big boost, but you say you have not seen a raise for several years, so it's not really that big. It's quite modest, in fact.
You may not get it, but if you start there, you stand the best chance of getting a raise somewhere in that range.
And your argument for that raise is both very simple and very rationale, and you can be very upfront about it. Simply say, this is what my value is on the open job market. This is what it would cost this agency to replace me.
Trust me, you won't be telling them anything they didn't know already. Agencies are out in the market every day, so they know the price of talent.
How do you find out what your market value is? Talk to head hunters. Just make sure they know your market.
I should add, finding your value on the open market serves another purpose. It could tell you it's time to move on.
Say they agency comes back with a $2,000 raise, well short of the $10,000. In doing so, they'll have established your true value in their eyes.
It tells you you will be underpaid until the next time you go in for a raise, and it also tells you that when that time comes you'll likely get another skimpy raise, which will put you further in the hole paywise.
The big message might well be that it's time to look for a new job.
College football boosts Fox to first on Friday
NBC’s late night shows hit season highs
Programming blog: What’s canceled and renewed
CW’s DC Comics crossover finishes strong
Imagining local advertising, 10 years down the road
So cool: Petting cheetahs at the Canberra airport
And now, iHeartRadio hops into on-demand music
Rachel, all they do here is fight and fight
Introducing Media Life’s Out of Home Premium
Weekend TV: College Football Playoffs take shape
Starting Sunday, a new place to watch the NFL
Liga MX playoffs score on Spanish-language TV
The best sports cities: Rankings for big and small
- Tammy Einav and Mat Goff rise to CEOs at adam&eveDDB
- Nicole Lupke becomes client services director at Grey Toronto
- Fox VP of casting Seth Yanklewitz exits
- Tracy Brandys rises to SVP and market manager at CBS Radio
- K.C. Collins joins FX's 'The Strain'
- Kara Royster joins Freeform's 'The Fosters'
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top-rated movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s digital traffic data: August 2016
This month’s new media traffic data
Media supervisor opening in New York
Media buyer/planner position in Madison, WI
Digital buyer/planner opening in Madison, WI
Cincinnati agency needs a senior media strategist (online)
Senior media buyer position in San Diego