IT Salary: 10 Ways To Get A Raise - InformationWeek

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6/30/2014
09:26 AM
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham
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IT Salary: 10 Ways To Get A Raise

Do you deserve a bigger IT paycheck? Here's how to negotiate with bosses, navigate counteroffers, and avoid mistakes.
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Asking your manager for a raise and negotiating a higher salary probably rank right up there with a trip to the dentist's office on your list of fun things to do. The good news: The number of IT professionals who received a salary increase in the last year is up -- and with a bit of preparation, you too can walk away with more money.

According to InformationWeek's 17th annual US IT Salary Survey, IT staffers and managers cite pay as their No. 1 (48%) and No. 2 (46%) workplace motivators. In the last year, 41% of professionals reported a raise of up to 5%; 15% said they received a raise of between 5% and 10%; and 1 in 10 of professionals reported a raise of more than 10%, according to our data.

"IT pros have stayed remarkably consistent in their satisfaction with pay and their jobs overall in recent years: Around two-thirds say they're satisfied or very satisfied, a bit less than one-fourth are neutral, and a bit more than 10% are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied," the report states.

But that's no reason to get complacent: Money is also the No. 1 reason that IT professionals look for a new job, according to 72% of IT staffers and 70% of managers. As the economy and overall satisfaction with the industry improve, more IT pros are considering their options.

Another data point: In our recent flash poll on IT salaries, more than half of respondents said they do not feel fairly compensated. See IT Salaries: Looking For Love.

This year, 42% of our salary survey respondents indicated that they are somewhat or actively looking for a new job, up from 39% in 2012. Higher compensation, more interesting work, and increased personal fulfillment top the list of reasons for both staffers and managers.

Mark Berger, senior technical recruiter at Steven Douglas Associates, says that while you may be tempted to jump ship if you're underpaid, you should consider asking for a raise first.

"Have a conversation with your manager before you make a change. Employees sometimes don't see the value in their own work and think the only way to get an increase in pay is to look elsewhere," he points out. While sometimes a move may be the right choice, it's not your only option.

When a new job is on your horizon, prepare yourself for the inevitable negotiation -- and counteroffer. "Counteroffers happen more and more these days as employers really do value the talent they have," Berger notes. "They don't want to lose a good employee for a few thousand dollars."

Obtaining the salary you deserve -- whether it's through a raise or negotiations at a new employer -- requires that you prepare and research accordingly, then follow smart tactics. These 10 tips from industry experts will help you succeed. What's your salary negotiation advice? Share with your peers in the comments section.

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:20:07 AM
One of the best things I did was
plead a case for a raise, in a written document, 15 years ago.  I knew I was due based on the more advanced work I was due compared to my colleagues.  I also knew if I simply asked my boss the request would have disappeared into the ether.  I wrote a document that made my case, with supporting data, and give it to him with the understanding he would have to forward it up the chain anyway.  The senior VPs were so impressed with that the raise came quickly.  Even though it was 15 years ago that kind of salary bump pays dividends like any investment, and raised what my perception of my worth was for years afterward.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 11:31:10 AM
Big Bump
It wasn't an IT position, but when I discovered a non-management colleague had been making more than me, I was really hurt, angry, and upset. I was management, with a ton of responsibilities, heading high-profile projects, and he was a reporter who made a sizable amount more than me. Instead of immediately seeking another position (which was, I have to admit, my first reaction), I spoke to my immediate manager -- who happens to have been a great boss -- about the disparity. I spoke calmly and laid out the comparative responsibilities; my years of experience; the tasks i had taken on without guidance or request, etc. (there was no LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc., back then). Ultimately, I got a very big raise that brought me up to par with others in the position I held, despite the ongoing freeze on raises at the time. Sure, I was still hurt and felt used for the years of under-payment, but that was not this particular manager's fault and they earned my undying loyalty. I guess my honesty with the manager could have backfired but since i was not prepared to stay at the company after learning how underpaid I was, I had nothing to lose.
globalpos
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globalpos,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 12:06:18 PM
Re: Big Bump
One of the tasks of Management is keep the employee happy.  Management do not want to work on hiring painful process, so, instead, is easier to keep an eye on employees doing great job and obviously, hard to replace.Want to spend dollars in rewards or spend dollars in hiring process, training process?The great employee is an asset the bring value and results to the bussiness, it is a very expensive resource, you have to take care of him/her.If you have to discover you are underpaid compared with results AND you have to go to Management to get a raise, you have a poor manager there.It is like your dog at home, you try to give the best care possible, best food, best house, fun time and lots of love.

 

That's why I used to say Human Resources Dept are the least human in the supply chain...

 

 

 

 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 12:56:40 PM
Re: One of the best things I did was
Progman, thanks for sharing your experience. Having those bullet points on paper can help when you enter the conversation with the boss as well. Depends on the person's management style.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 2:29:26 PM
Other advice?
Alison and Progman2000 shared two good examples of what can happen if you just ask. Who else has had that conversation with a manager? Why do you think you were successful -- or not? Would you have done anything differently in hindsight?
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 4:01:59 PM
Re: One of the best things I did was
I agree. It is good to have something written up to go by while having that uncomfortable conversation. The bullet points ensure you forget nothing because of nervousness.
H@mmy
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[email protected],
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 4:08:00 PM
Re: One of the best things I did was
Thank You Progman for sharing your experience.  Very effective way it is, I would say. Its always good to have things in black and white.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 8:51:00 PM
Re: Big Bump
T @globalpos, Thank you for your comment, As mentioned in the article, "where you stack up compared to others in your role, industry, and location. " This I think is where I currently fall, since when I look around my peers, I'm one of the youngest and at times perform junior roles, yet my compensation is adequate for my current position...or am I fooling myself?
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 8:53:29 PM
When to rock the boat?
To the community, isn't staying stable for a couple of years seen like a good thing? (Only asking since at my current assignment I'm seeing a lot of turnover, with many consultants leaving with less than a year.)
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 9:00:55 PM
Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
A trend I'm seeing is that while a sa!art raise at a given moment is not viable for the company, asking for more flexibity with the schedule is a good drwpaw back. Many have opted to work a certain amount of days remote, and meetings are scheduled considering this. Also the company itself has made investment in video conferencing technology to support this
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