Blanchard & Walker Weekly

Topic of the Week  Getting a Raise Before You Start

  • More pay.
  • Flexible schedule
  • More vacation time.
  • Telecommuting.

 Don't Ask, Don't Get More Money: Getting A Raise Before You Start a New Job

The stats are clear, 45% of employers expect to negotiate with a job candidate for a larger salary when making an initial job offer. However almost half of workers fail to negotiate and merely accept the first offer given to them. Spoiler alert: the recession is over, but it appears to still be stuck in many of our heads. Which reminds me of a Florida Judge named John Hurley who was sentencing Felicia Underwood for drug trafficking. He'd already reduced her bail from from $76,000 to $10,000. Underwood asked the judge, "You can't make it a little lower, hon?" The judge was taken aback and asked, "Did she just refer to the court as 'honey'?" Needless to say her bail remained $10,000.

Who knows if Underwood stood any chance of seeing her bail go any lower, but you can't fault her for trying. We'll also never know if she intended the "hon" to be short for honorable, the traditional title used when addressing a judge. Minus the "hon," we all should follow her lead and always ask. I've outlined below four items you should definitely toss on the table during your next salary negotiation, along with the odds that the company will be receptive. It's based on a recent CareerBuilder.com survey of hiring managers.

More pay. Remember almost half of employers not only expect you to negotiate over the salary, they've already figured out how much more they'd pay you. Sure some employers will be put off by your request but, according to the survey results, more expect it. Most employers don't want doormats for employees, so ask for that raise.

Flexible schedule. One-third of employers are willing to offer you a flexible schedule. Again, they probably won't just toss it on the table, but if you bring it up they'll consider it. If you want to avoid commuting in heavy traffic or could just use some flexibility to deal with personal issues, there is a good chance that a more flexible schedule could be closer than you realize.

More vacation time. Just under 20% of employers are willing to consider giving you more time off. I know this for a fact because a few years back I negotiated for the maximum vacation time that the employer provided to start on my very first day. Instead of the normal two weeks, I started the gig with five. Just because I asked for it.

Telecommuting. 15% are willing to consider telecommuting at least once a week. Not only can this save you the time, money and hassle of avoiding your commute, it can give you the chance to work in a quiet and relatively uninterrupted space, your living room.

38% of employers say that they can't provide more cash or any benefits so this isn't a guarantee, but if you don't ask, you'll never know. Just leave off the "hon," your potential new employer probably won't respond any different from Judge Hurley.


Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

Thought of the Week

"For I can raise no money by vile means."

–William Shakespeare

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from Careerbuiler.com

     I'll Raise You: Who Negotiates for a Raise

    • 55% of workers 35 or older negotiate the first offer
    • Only 45% of those between 18 and 35 do
    • More men, 54%, negotiate than women, 49%

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