It’s the hardest conversation you’ll ever have with your current or potential employer about deserving more – or is it?

Know your role, Jabroni

We meant know your worth, in your role. But we’ll first have to start by predicating this whole thing on the one most important assumption: you’ve worked really hard. So hard you’re almost, if not the lynchpin of the company. Or perhaps you might also have the X-factor that’s making everyone else on the team look like they’re getting the ‘axed’ factor.

Either way, arming yourself with qualitative and quantitative results of what you’ve reaped for the bossman should be the baseline blackmail material prerequisite before you even think about pitching for a higher paycheck.  

These results, plus other considerations like your seniority or relationship with stakeholders, give you a good gauge of your worth. On the other hand, these feel good results can also inflate your ego along with your self-worth. Management has a budget, mind you.

So you take into account the economy’s inflation rate (so you know what’s the minimum raise to ask) instead. Follow up with some Glassdoor-ing on your industry’s salary range (so you know what’s the maximum raise to ask). Extra plus if you’re able to pull off an internal espionage and learn the maximum budget for your role.

Now that you’ve mathematicked your way into a real-er valuation, there is but one thing left to do: signal your intention to quit.

A lynchpin means people should come to you… right?

A white lie on your resume… does it really not hurt?

Let’s continue the narrative. Maybe your semi-resignation worked out better than you thought and you got what you wanted. Or maybe there is nothing semi about it and you do want to leave for greener pastures. For each job switch, although an X% raise based on your industry average is expected, know that it is not guaranteed.

That’s where a white lie starts to hurt. While dusting off the resume, some guys start pushing their luck by artificially inflating their last drawn wage and bonus. It’s a classic riff on shooting for the moon so you land among the stars if it doesn’t work out. And if you still have your wits about you, don’t be that guy who ends up under ‘latest news’ for being convicted of manipulating educational and professional qualifications. That has got to be one stupidly out-of-context way to use the proverb because you’d only land on your sorry arse, in the unemployable pits of Earth, when HR conducts a routine background check.

Everyone lies on his resume to some extent. But if you can’t help feeling the need to best the League of Resume Padding Extraordinaire, your attempt to bump up your salary should at least be rooted in realistic malleability.

That’s what side gigs are good for (err, maybe not the Grab driver kind, dude). Instead of doctoring exposable pieces of information, or over-milking an exaggerated bullet list of accomplishments, save some of the bullets for moonlights that demonstrate breadth of abilities, a commitment to your craft, and at the same time, provide wiggle room for you to ham up your worth without hard documentation (wink).

What’s more influential than thinking about what you’re going to say? Think about what you’re going to wear.

To maximise your chances of a raise, scientific studies have suggested that you pop the question during the morning, avoid Mondays, or wait till your boss is intoxicated. In the same vein, we’re going to be the scientific study on the best wardrobe selections for the day of reckoning, simply because it could rig the outcome.

We wrote a colour combination guide once. But under this context, let us run down the significance of accents guys tend to sport at work:

Blue: It’s commercially recognised as the embodiment of Monday mood, sullenness, melancholy and depression – you’d be wearing your heart on your sleeve for being underpaid.

Black: A blend of funereal, mysterious and ‘I’m-Not-Messing-Around’ vibes to shift the balance of power away from your employer.

White: You’re ready to start on a clean slate. Elsewhere.

Red: You should be inclined to save it for your dates, but it might work in your favour if you’ve got a lady boss on top of you.

Pink: A longstanding favourite of our incumbent PM. You’re not afraid to show vulnerability in exchange for others’ trust.

Green: It’s the colour of wealth. You’re looking for wealth. Go figure.

Grey: A timeless albeit practical shade for a practical practice of asking for more money.

However, as much as you want management to glean the meaning attached to your clothing during negotiations, it wouldn’t be sartorially accurate if it doesn’t reflect who you really are as the employee, or as a person.

If you’re the do-no-wrong lynchpin…

Don’t be afraid to go dark. Whether it’s black on black on black, black on grey or the dated mandate of not pairing black with navy, do it like your favourite on-screen mob boss. The whole shifting the power dynamic shit, remember?

If you’re the people pleaser (read: sycophant)…

Deck yourself out in the company’s official branding colours. Strap on a brandless, malfunctioning watch for your choice of accessory. It communicates two things:

  1. I really do love this company. But time is running out, boss.
  2. You’re not paying me enough to get a new watch.

If you’re the low-key, self-serving schemer…

This requires weeks of planning in advance. When you’ve identified a date to ask for your raise, start picking out one or two days every week to dress better than you usually would, much like your first interview with the company.

Tailored shirt and trousers, a blazer over your essentials, a hairstyle makeover, an acceptably bad attitude – whatever it takes to sow the idea that you’re taking meetings in secrecy and are about to be poached.   

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