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How do I ask for a substantial raise?


I’m an art director in my 4th year. I’ve done some nice work, won a few awards, and lately, I’ve started to feel underpaid. Asking for a raise is never fun, let alone asking for a big raise. What is my best strategy?

intro How do I ask for a substantial raise?Asking for a raise gives most of us hives. We’d rather have a small surgery. Have you been at the same place for 4 years? Never had a raise? If so, you’re long overdue and should feel more than justified to ask for a substantial increase, particularly considering you’re doing award-winning work. In any case, do your homework—find out from your peers with similar experience what they’re making, and/or ask a headhunter what they think you’re worth. It helps to ask for a raise with a figure in mind, based on a comparison with others. And going into the conversation with a positive attitude is helpful. You’re helping to bring this to your CD’s attention; you’re letting them know this is important to your happiness, even as you pledge your ongoing desire to do great work and continue to grow as a valuable team member. The unspoken part is clear: without due compensation, the risk is there that you will move on. During these tough times, a lot of people are living without raises for long stretches. Be sure you are, in fact, underpaid before you make your case. These days if you ask for much more than you’re worth, you could be making your job vulnerable.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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