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Want to earn more? Here’s what you need to do

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

You had been waiting for a year and got only a 5% raise due to inflation, while your colleagues negotiated an increase of 20-30%. We figured out why you should no longer be embarrassed of wanting to earn money and how to achieve it. And we were prompted to address this topic not only by our own ambitions, but also by the insight from the Founders Club startup studio discussion groups.

Good salary = calm employee

While greedy managers are trying to convince you that big money kills motivation, we refer to research. It turns out that in Russia people are ready to work better if their salaries are raised 1.5—2 times. 70% of those surveyed in a PayScale research change jobs if their bosses cannot explain why their salary will not be raised.

And the cherry on top is that in Russia people are most stressed about money. Of course, financial literacy and the ability to save money would improve statistics, but with a good salary, your safety cushion grows faster.

So what we’re getting at here is that it’s ok to ask for a raise. Especially if your position has a high income bracket and you’ve mastered your skills well enough for your manager to review your salary. This will reduce stress levels and boost self-confidence. It will also help you understand why you are still answering a client on the weekend or putting together another presentation on Friday night.

Take care of your promotion already in the interview

It's okay to negotiate a salary that is acceptable to you at the interview, but ask about the prospects straight away. When can you earn more? By what means? What do you need to do? A diligent employee becomes more professional every year and meets the needs of the company better. If you are getting better every day, it is logical to expect that this will be celebrated.

It is great if the company that invites you for an interview:

  1. Has an open reward system —  overtime bonuses and KPIs.

  2. Has a working grading program, so you get more money for new skills.

  3. Holds regular feedback meetings with the manager, where you openly discuss expectations and results.

There are jobs for which a yearly salary revision is normal. In this case, you can ask the HR what increase you can expect and how often. IT specialists know this practice pretty well. There was a heated discussion on titled: «If an IT specialist earns less than 4 000$ they are either improfessional or an underdog.

When is it time to ask for a pay raise?

According to HR Business Partner at eLama irina Chumakova, it is ethical to ask for a pay raise at least once a year. Before meeting with your manager, write down your achievements in the last 6-12 months. It is better to make an appointment in advance and in the afternoon as people are kinder when they are full.

HR Director of OneTwoTrip Marina Malashenko agrees with the timing of the revision. She emphasizes that large companies such as Skype have intermediate reviews after six months and a year. This is your chance to discuss the results of work and ask for a salary increase. You cannot influence your income outside of this interview.

Marina emphasizes that it is possible to ask for a pay raise if it does not contradict previous agreements. Let's say you discussed with the manager that after a trial period of three months you will earn $ 1,000, taking into account the payment for your English course. Three months later you changed your mind and came to ask for $ 1,300 threatening to quit. This is unfair and unprofessional in relation to the company whose budget has already been planned and that has already invested in your training.

Here are the arguments that will make your pay rise negotiation more likely to succeed:

I have more tasks

Go to your boss with the numbers and explain your position point by point. Think back to what you negotiated in the interview and see what you do beyond what was planned. For example, you used to just manage Instagram and launch target ads, but now you also have to write texts for a blog.

Here’s a bad option:

I do the work of half of my colleagues, but it’s them who get the bonuses.

Try this one instead:

Last month I wrote 20 posts, helped launch a product, and bought plane tickets for our client. Although initially we agreed that I would only launch target ads and manage Instagram. Let's discuss a repayment supplement?

I constantly work long hours

Almost everyone in digital has faced problems that bosses don't take seriously. What if you sit in the office in the evenings because the only thing you do during the day is drink coffee and scroll through your Facebook feed?

Here’s a bad option

I don’t clock off until 8 pm and do not have time to complete project tasks, I need financial motivation.

Try this one instead:

I often stay at work after six because my PM likes to give a task 5 minutes before the end of the working day. Let's discuss the ethical time to set tasks, or increase my salary due to overwork.

Another company offered me a higher salary

Be careful here —  of course, it is easier for a company to raise a salary than to train a new employee, but there is a limit. The boss will take into account how long you have been working, how many projects you manage, and what the situation is in the job market.

Thus, according to, in Minsk, companies are not ready to pay more than $ 3,500 to a PHP developer. If you tell your manager about a hunter offering you $ 4,000, most likely they will hesitate and your offer will be perceived as manipulation.

I earn less than a colleague in the same position

Does a colleague with the same responsibilities get more than you? This injustice will keep you awake at night more often than a small salary. You should address this issue with the leader, but be prepared for pitfalls as it was you who agreed to such a salary. Prepare for the conversation. Write down what you learned to do, what metrics you improved and what you can do better in the future.

A bad example:

You don't appreciate me, but I spend all my time at work. My colleague in the same position does less and gets more.

Try saying this instead:

I have never missed a deadline, I increased project productivity by 20% and did not receive any comments from the manager. The situation has changed since the interview. Now the average salary in the market for my position starts at $ 700, and colleagues with the same position earn almost $ 800. Let's review my salary, shall we?

It happens that you are not yet more professional, but you need money now. For example, you need to add $ 10,000 in the down payment on a mortgage  due to family problems or pay for a restaurant for a wedding. Good companies value honesty. And if you say that you are ready to wait for a promotion, but you need a bonus for the project now, chances are you will get support.

What can I do to earn more

Being open about your willingness to work harder to raise your paycheck and grow. Your boss will be pleased to see you want to take on more responsibility.

It will not be difficult to ask for more responsibilities, for example, in a digital agency, where managers are overwhelmed with routine. For example, a PR manager almost always interacts directly with the client and is present on all calls. This means that they can offer their help as an account manager. So the manager saves on an additional employee, and the PR manager gets practice managing clients. The portfolio will include a new skill and you will get an opportunity to grow in another profession.

Headhunter Alena Vladimirskaya mentions the case of a girl who returned from New York and could not find a job with the same pay in Russia. She resigned herself and began to show what she was capable of in the new company. Her results stood out strongly against the background of her colleagues, and after three months the girl was promoted to the position of creative director. As a result, her salary was increased by 20% compared to what she received in the United States.

How to understand you can’t earn more

We’ve already mentioned that it is ok to ask for a pay raise. But it's also okay not to get that promotion. Agree that the leader themselves has the right to decide how to evaluate your work, and even the most just bosses might simply not be able to afford it.

However, sometimes this is a reason to think. If, coupled with rejection, you notice that your boss is a manipulator:

  1. They offer you to work extra hours without bonuses;

  2. They always take the client's side and do not try to hear your position;

  3. Your good results are not celebrated, and your boss seems to appropriate your achievements…

...maybe it’s about time you started asking for a raise in a different company. Or you might even not need to ask as they’ll offer it themselves. 


Are you happy with how much you earn? Maybe it’s about time to launch your own business: come to Founders Club with your ideas, develop them among like-minded people, get investments to develop your MVP and become a person raising salaries, not the one asking for a raise!


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