Sunday, December 21, 2014

Asking for a raise

Dear Dave,

What's your advice on asking for a raise at work when you have more responsibility than a co-worker but the same title on paper? After being with my company four years, I feel like I should make more money and I have the right to complain about this.

-Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,

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  • Sorry, no. You don't have a right to complain. You agreed on your pay, and you are doing your job the way your character and integrity tell you to do the job. If someone else is a slacker in the same position, that doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of your personal compensation.

    I've got several people at my company who hold similar positions and make similar money. Some of them have been here for years, while others are relatively new. I don't pay people for how long they've been in the building, and I don't want anyone on my team who doesn't give 100 percent. Now, that may be a different issue than pay, but at the same time I don't want someone who gives 50 percent and I pay them 50 percent. I want everyone at 100 percent, but that kind of thing isn't your problem. It's the company's problem, because she works for them and not you.

    If you honestly feel like you deserve a raise because of your effort and performance, that's fine. Sit down with your leader and make a logical and reasonable argument for why you deserve more money. But don't bring up your co-worker and what he or she makes in the discussion. That's just not relevant. What is relevant is your worth and the value you bring to the organization.

    But a comparative analysis with someone else on staff just isn't a good idea. I'd stay away from that, Vanessa.

    -Dave

    Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business. He's authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. His newest book, written with his daughter Rachel Cruze, is titled Smart Money Smart Kids and is out now. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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