General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Help with a salary increase letter?

Asked by tinyfaery (42908points) December 21st, 2014 from iPhone

1. Do I mention my down falls that the partners will definitely think about when considering my request?

2. Should I mention my current rate of pay or just state the increased rate I am asking for?

3. Should I compare my work load and pay to that of others? Not denigrating my coworkers, but comparing my work to theirs and their pay with mine.

4. Any ideas on how to address moving from a wage position to a salaried position?

(A little FYI, I work at a boutique law firm. The partners are youngish and very cool. We all dress casual, make jokes with each other and the environment is very lax. The partners aren’t very worried about perceived professionalism. They laugh at attorneys who are so serious.)

General question.

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13 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Forget all considerations other than the revenue you believe you can generate for the firm. If you can persuade those responsible for your paycheck that a salaried position would provide you the incentive to further enrich themselves, there will be no disputing the logic of THAT argument.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It’s all about the money. The money you make for their firm. You might not be billing hours but you need to show how your initiatives and things you have done (that fall outside the normal work you should do) are making them a more profitable and more efficient enterprise. You have to sell them on the idea that they can’t live without you and you deserve more money.

I certainly wouldn’t be mentioning where you’ve gone wrong or the other staffs’ pay rates. First, that reminds them of your stuff-ups (and you’re telling them you’re fabulous!) and second, whinging about ‘he gets more than me’ is not likely to go down well.

Perhaps rather than specifying the pay you want, you can request a meeting to discuss an appropriate rise? This will give you scope to then present evidence to support the figure you have in mind. For instance, what people in similar positions are paid in other firms. It will also allow you to present as a professional and to show them evidence of your achievements in a more detailed but interactive way.

You could suggest why you think a salaried position might be more suitable for your role. Careful there though, are you paid by the hour at the moment? Do you get overtime? Will you be better off financially by making that move?

gailcalled's avatar

What exactly is your job description? How long have you been with the firm? Your experience and educational degrees?

Don’t law firms traditionally have an annual evaluation for each person?

What’s the difference between a wage and a salary?

DWW25921's avatar

You are wrong about nothing, you have no flaws nor do you make mistakes. You must speak of your greatness with power and authority! Remind them of your cornucopia of wisdom, your unwavering loyalty and your unmatched dedication. Mention that although you’re clearly worth a lot more than what you’re asking for, you have the companies best interest in mind and that was factored in with your proposal. You must make them aware that giving you what you want is the best thing that they’ve ever done!

tinyfaery's avatar

Wage is paid by hours worked. A salary is a yearly amount doled out two weeks at a time.

I work for a small law firm. Yearly evals are what this place would never do. I’m not required to do overtime. They would never make the admin people do that. They are generous with the bonuses and provide a premium work environment. We have a full
espresso machine and smoothie maker, along with all kitchen accoutrements. They provide well. They are ok with whatever schedule we want. They’re just really lax.

Fact is I’ve been with the firm more than 2 years without a raise and the job I do is not the job I was hired for. Technically, I’m a Legal Assistant, but I basically bring in all the money and keep everything organized. I coordinate all settlements and dismissals as well as organize and track client records. I work much harder than anyone at my firm. I work hours I don’t include on my time sheet. They owe me and they know it.

jca's avatar

@tinyfaery: Don’t include phrases like “I think.” “I think I do,” “I think I deserve,” “I think I am,” etc. Phrase it as “I do,” “I am,” and “I deserve.”

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Be specific. The debt collection process I instigated shortly after starting with the company has reduced the debtors list from $2349273497 to $3.40. In addition, I have reduced our outlays on stationary by implementing more environmentally friendly processes that have slashed $23423 from the stationary bill. My streamlining of the xxx.

Show them in concrete terms what you’ve done and how it affects them and their bottom line. Perhaps go through your email account and other records you keep that document the work you do so you don’t forget to mention important changes you’ve made.

Good luck.

tinyfaery's avatar

Debt collection? I work in a law firm. Attorneys negotiate settlements and I do all the paperwork. I do not collect debts and I do not order supplies.

Ya’ll are thinking this is serious business. The partners skateboard in the office and wear flip flops to work. They bring in the money, I just make sure we get the check.

Thanks anyway.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@tinyfaery, I don’t know what you do in your job! For fucks sake, I’m trying to demonstrate how you need to address the changes you’ve made, whatever they might be. If you make sure you get the check, that’s debt collection! Someone must owe the money for you to be paid.

Haleth's avatar

@jca‘s answer is SO on-point, especially for women in the professional world. Women tend to soften their statements and opinions with those phrases. The American workplace values confidence and directness.

1) This is a time to focus on your strengths. I wouldn’t bring it up at all, unless you can do it this way- briefly mention some shortcoming, and then immediately follow it with a much more compelling rebuttal. But they might not even be thinking about that, so why bring it up?

2) This is more of a grey area. Mentioning both likely probably wouldn’t hurt anything, but talking only about your target salary would be stronger and more to the point.

3) Comparing yourself to your co-workers could come off as jealous or petty- not the tone you want to strike in this letter. Instead, compare your abilities and responsibilities now to your original job description when you were hired. Talk about how much you have learned and how you have expanded your responsibilities. It sounds like your current job duties have outgrown your title.

4) Maybe there’s a new, higher job title that is a more accurate representation of the responsibilities you have now. Like, maybe you were hired as an administrative assistant, and what you’re doing now is more like a legal secretary or an office manager. Find out the average salary range for those jobs in your city- and it will probably be a salary. Don’t frame it as wanting to move from hourly to salary. Explain it as, the job you do now merits X amount of salary.

Good luck! I really hope you get the raise.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thanks all.

jca's avatar

@tinyfaery: Please let us know how it goes.

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, I did not get a salaried position, but I did get a $3.00 an hour raise and access to benefits which I did not have before.

They also said that they will revisit the matter at the end of the year.

Yay, me!

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