you're ready for more $ but is your organization?

This past weekend, my mom was visiting for a college reunion. I shop infrequently for clothes (hello, quality over quantity) but she is a good luck charm and I rarely pass up popping into a boutique or two with her. Sure enough, a pair of pants appeared that were made for me and as an added bonus, they had a lovely redlined price tag.

I asked the fine gentleman manning the store if there was any chance there was an additional sale going on. He replied, “maybe in two weeks;” we both smiled and moved on. He then rang up the pants and they were $40 more than the handwritten tag. Opportunity #2 presented itself and I asked politely about how the tag said something else. He took a peek at the tag, was confused by the discount shown but said he’d give them to me for the price I mentioned. Great success!

Many things in life are negotiable even if they appear otherwise. The lesson? It never hurts to ask and when done politely, it can be advantageous and even fun.

A couple of weeks back, I wrote about self-awareness in your career and knowing when to ask for a raise. We explored one side of the equation: yours.  If you mentally answered the questions posed and decided “heck yes,” then it is time to consider the other side of the equation: your organization and your boss. To do this well, here are some questions to get you started:

  • What is the financial mood of the organization? You can still figure this out even if your organization is privately held.
  • Who makes the decisions about raises, promotions, and bonuses and are they tied to a particular time of year?
  • What are your boss’s goals, pet peeves, or projects she is sentimental about?
  • Are there big changes occurring in the organization: restructuring, high turnover, or changes to the business climate?

A negotiation isn’t about you. It’s all about the other side, understanding what they want and need. The more you can absorb this truth, the more successful you will be.

around the web

There are many signals you can pay attention to and determine if timing is right to ask for a raise. This article from is worth the read for some other aspects to consider.