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May 15, 2007


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i wish these suggestions and tips would take into account the timing. would you still ask for a raise even though the company is in the midst of a big project in which both the boss and myself is involved? we are so busy right now and i feel that asking for a raise at this time sounds a little bit selfish. thoughts?

Jon --

Yes, timing certainly can make a difference. Here are some of my thoughts on the issue:

First of all, you have to be sure you deserve the raise -- that your current salary is below or near the market value for the position and you are a strong performer (and that strong performance can be documanted.)

If you meet the first criteria, now you have to consider the impact of timing. Here are the issues associated with it that I'd consider:

1. How long will the project last? If it's a month or so, I'd wait. If it's a two-year project, then I would not. You need to use your judgment.

2. How important is your role in the project and how important is the project to the company? If the answer to both of these is "very" and you think there's a good chance that the project will be a big financial benefit for the company, then I'd consider waiting (if the completion is not too far off.) You may be able to get a bigger raise by doing so -- coming on the tail of a very successful project.

3. Consider the boss's frame of mind. Is the project so overwhelming that one more issue will break the camel's back? If so, it will probably pay to wait.

In the end, you need to find a balance between your needs, the needs of the company, and the practical issues associated with timing. Every situation, person, company, etc. is different, so you'll need to use your best judgment before proceeding.

Good luck.

Nobody gets (meaningful) raises where I work. The pay range from top to bottom is 20 cents per hour.

My career is a pathetic "asset".

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