Philadelphia, Pa.: Should I mention personal reasons for needing a higher salary (being primary breadwinner in my family for example) or should it only be based on my arguments as to why I’m a valuable employee who merits a higher salary?
Ron Krannich: Always avoid personal reasons when discussing salary. Focus on what the employer is looking for -- how you will add value to the company/organization. Once you personalize this issue, you no longer focus on your value to the employer -- only your needs. Employers are not looking for needy, which also may mean greedy, employees. Avoid being self-centered throughout the job interview and salary negotiations. Focus on the needs of the employer, i.e., be other-centered.
Working on a visa: Hello, I require visa sponsorship from the employer in order to be hired into a job. How do I factor my need for this visa with salary negotiations? Depending on the employer, the visa paperwork costs them $0-$1500, depending on whether they or I pay for the costs. Please keep in mind that many employers are reluctant to sponsor visas, so I am afraid that if I try to negotiate a higher salary I may lose out on the job altogether.
Ron Krannich: I would simply raise the question -- “Do you ever provide assistance with visas?” Find out what the employer normally does or is willing to do without complicating the overall job offer/salary negotiations.
Arlington, Va.: I am coming up on my annual review but don’t know how to ask for a raise. I’ve been told my position doesn’t usually get raises, that it’s more of a step in the door to be promoted after a year; however, there are no promotions available now with job cuts. I also know that I am being paid the minimum on the pay scale for my position and others doing the same job as me are being paid more and I believe I am a better worker. How should I bring this up and what do I say or should I not mention it and be thankful I have a secure job?
Ron Krannich: It’s very important that you document your performance and know what others are making in comparable positions. You may, for example, find that your job has expanded beyond its initial description, thus justifying this discussion. Make an appointment to see your boss to discuss this issue. I go into great detail on how to handle such a meeting as well as the specific discussion in my book “Get a Raise in 7 Days.”
Fairfax, Va.: I am an executive director of a small business and I am interested in negotiating a bonus structure into my salary based on performance of the company. What are your recommendations for the structure of a bonus program? Is one pitch better than another?
Ron Krannich: I would raise the question about a bonus structure or incentivized pay. Find out how the company normally handles this issue and then negotiate accordingly. In other words, like salary issues in general, get the company to talk about this issue first and then work your way through it in a professional manner focused on their bottom line.