Salary Spin

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at
Thu Aug 16 16:29:46 MDT 2007

On 8/16/07, Andrew Jorgensen <andrew.jorgensen at> wrote:
> Assuming one is qualified for one's position, how can a potential
> raise be a better thing than being paid that much in the first place?
> I get that it feels good to get a big raise, but mathematically it
> doesn't make sense.  Is there some subtle truth here I'm not seeing?

Through my career I've found the following things to be true:

1) Salary caps for a given job are a figment of one's imagination.

If you have mad skills and you are genuinely valuable to an
organization, you can always negotiate a higher salary.  Your employer
may have to promote you from "Sr. Software Engineer" to "Uber Software
Engineer" so you fit into a bigger salary bracket -- but whatever.  If
your employer is unwilling to pay you a rate you feel is fair, then
simply find a new employer.  You're only "topped out" in your salary
if you're unwilling to consider other employers.

2) You get paid as much as you demand.

If you make $37k and feel that you deserve say $50k, then push your
employer to pay you that amount.  Now I'm not advocating the whole,
"You better give me a raise or I'm out of here!" thing.  I'm
suggesting that one should talk with their management and tell them
point blank, "I want to make $50k per year.  How can we work together
to get me at that level?"  Don't just throw out an ultimatum.  Give
your employer forewarning that you expect a BIG raise this year.  In
that same conversation you'll likely find out how realistic it is to
get that raise based on their reaction.  You may also find out what
they expect you to change/improve for them to feel they're getting a
better you in exchange for the cash.

This is a *very* uncomfortable conversation, so most persons avoid it.
 However, I would highly recommend it...  Just be prepared to find
another job within that year if your employer's reaction is


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