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Podcast #138 – How to Get a Raise . . . and How NOT to Get a Raise

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Podcast #138 - How to Get a Raise . . . and How NOT to Get a Raise

Yvette: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter and search consultant Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary organizations  recruit and hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about how to get a raise and also how not to get a raise. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello,Yvette. As always, I’m glad to be here with you today and have been looking forward to talking about this topic.

Yvette: Stacy, I imagine you’ve talked with job seekers and candidates on numerous occasions about this topic, is that correct?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. Compensation is always a popular topic in the employment marketplace, and that includes within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. People usually want to know how they can get a raise and how they can get a promotion. The problem is that many professionals go about trying to get a raise the wrong way, and then sometimes they don’t get the outcome they were expecting.

Yvette: Stacy, tell me more about this.

Stacy: Well, for one thing, they don’t get the raise. For another, their boss and employer sometimes become disenchanted with them, and that disenchantment stems from the way they handled themselves regarding the raise issue.

Yvette: Stacy, where would you like to start?

Stacy: Let’s start with the ways in which you should NOT try to get a raise at your current employer. The first way is through the use of threats.

Yvette: Threats? What kind of threats?

Stacy: Basically, the person demands a raise from their boss. Either they say or they imply that if they don’t get a raise, then they’re going to start looking for work elsewhere. A threat like that does not work in any relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal relationship or a professional one. It’s an ultimatum, really. No one likes to be on the receiving end of an ultimatum, and that includes your boss.

Yvette: So a manager or supervisor would not react well to that kind of approach?

Stacy:  No. Not at all. It doesn’t typically work. Not only will they not give the person a raise, but they’ll probably also re-evaluate the value and worth of the employee in question.

Another approach that doesn’t work is the “do nothing approach,” and it’s called the “do nothing approach” for a couple of reasons. In this situation, a professional believes that they deserve a raise or they believe they deserve a bigger raise than the cost-of-living raise they just received. But they do not go to their boss or supervisor to demand a raise by using an ultimatum, which is a good thing. Quite the contrary, they don’t say a word.

That’s the first part of the “do nothing approach.” Here’s the second part. Because the person believes that they’re not being adequately compensated and they deserve more, they decide to do the absolute minimum amount of work. They don’t stay late. They don’t work harder. They don’t go the extra mile.

Yvette: It almost sounds as if they’re trying to be vindictive.

Stacy: That’s exactly what they’re doing, as if they’re punishing their employer because they didn’t get what they wanted. This approach also has an overwhelmingly high probability of ending badly.

Another approach involves spreading rumors and gossip.

Yvette: How does that approach work?

Stacy: Once again, the person does not say anything directly to their boss or the management. Instead, they complain to other people within the organization about the fact they haven’t received a raise or that the raise they did receive wasn’t big enough.

Basically, they’re trying to drum up support for their negative point of view in the hopes that word will somehow get back to their boss. And then their boss, thinking that a bunch of people within the organization are unhappy, will try to make things right by passing out bigger raises, including to the person who started the whole thing.

Yvette: But this approach doesn’t work well, either, does it?

Stacy: It does not. It’s actually a form of manipulation, where a person is attempting to manipulate their coworkers and create a perceived situation to benefit themselves. As bad as that one is, it’s still not as bad as the last approach on our list.

Yvette: Which approach is that?

Stacy: There’s actually two different versions of this last approach. In the first version, the person has explored other employment opportunities. They’ve even gone on some interviews, and lo and behold, another organization makes an offer to them. Instead of making a decision about that offer, though, they go directly to their boss to tell them about it. They tell their boss that they have another job offer with more compensation and benefits, and they effectively try to pry more money out of their boss because of it.

Yvette: So the person is actually fishing for a counter-offer from their current employer?

Stacy: That’s correct. This is wrong on a number of levels. First of all, whether or not you accept an offer of employment should not be contingent upon a counter-offer from your current employer. Second, the person is basically forcing their employer’s hand. Is that really the way you want to receive a raise, by backing your boss into a corner? The person might think that they’re being strategic and negotiating a better situation for themselves, but in reality, their boss is not going to appreciate this kind of approach. Because of that, there is a good chance it will backfire.

Yvette: What’s the second version of this approach?

Stacy: The second version involves the person doing exactly the same thing, only this time, there is no other job offer.

Yvette: Really? So the person is pretty much bluffing?

Stacy: That’s right. They’re bluffing. It’s a huge gamble, because their employer could simply say, “Congratulations on your new job and thank you for choosing to work here for the time that you did.” Not only did the person not receive the raise they were seeking, but they’re also out of a job altogether.

Yvette: I can see why these are the wrong approaches to getting a raise. What’s the correct approach?

Stacy: The first thing to remember is that value drives everything in the employment marketplace. The amount of value and the type of value that a professional provides to their employer ultimately dictates first, whether or not they receive a raise, and second, how big the raise is if they do receive one.

The person who recognizes your value more than anyone else is your boss, and the reality of the situation is that you will not receive a raise if your boss does not believe you’re providing the value necessary to receive the raise.

Yvette: So how should a person go about doing that?

Stacy: The key is to meet with your boss or immediate supervisor and have a frank discussion about your performance and the value you provide. While doing that, be sure to focus on your boss’s priorities, which also happen to be the organization’s priorities, which are:

  1. To help your employer make more money
  2. To help your employer save money in some way
  3. To help the organization in some other way


Ideally, the value that you provide will accomplish both of these things. Ask your boss for objective feedback about your performance and the value that you provide to the department and the organization. Set goals for improving that performance and increasing your value. Create a plan for meeting on a consistent basis to review how you’re doing, and once you begin to show that you’re providing ever-increasing amounts of value . . Guess what?

Yvette: Then you can bring up the subject of money!

Stacy: Exactly! However, you can not “put the cart before the horse,” as the saying goes. You first have to prove that you’re providing the type of value that warrants a raise before you ask for the raise. And you certainly can not engage in any of the other questionable behavior that we’ve discussed here today. It will not get you what you want.

Yvette: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information. And for those people who are considering a job change, there are plenty of employment opportunities on The VET Recruiter website. I encourage you to visit The VET Recruiter website today and often to look for new job opportunities being posted on a regular basis.

Stacy: Yes, there are some great animal health and veterinary job opportunities on our website. For those listeners who want to change their current job situation and are interested in exploring Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs, I invite them to visit our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com.

Yvette: Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: It has been my pleasure Yvette. I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider.

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