Job Help

Here’s the deal. I am midlevel management at a pretty large national nonprofit. I’ve been in the same position for many years. I’ve always been somewhat involved in sales (ads, sponsorships, exhibit hall space) but it was never my direct responsibility. I was more in an advisory role.

For the past 2 years we had someone in my department who was solely dedicated to this. She didn’t work out (that’s a whole other topic) and the executive director asked me to fill in temporarily until a permanent solution was decided on.

It turns out I am really good at this and have sold more in one month than she did in 2 years. The exec dir is very happy and everyone seems to be hinting this will stay with me permanently, which I am fine with. Two minor things I manage will be transferred to another staff member whose job was rearranged a bit.

I am still responsible for about 80% of my usual work. So I’d like to bring up a salary adjustment with my boss. Any suggestions on how to go about this with her? This seems like such a no-brainer, but I don’t want to blow this and might be overlooking the right strategy.

I actually deal with helping people find jobs, so this thing does come up with me.

The key is you’re going to have to research and find out what other people doing similar jobs at similar companies are making.

If it involves sales, does this mean you’ll get commissions? If so it may mean you may make less money but will make more overall with the salary + commissions.

Also if you can gauge what the last person made it would be helpful.

Then decide what your range for the job is. There is no way to get around the fact, you’re going to have to come out and ask about money once the job is offered to you. I would not say anything about it until the job is offered to you, it will be easier all the way around.

The more you know the better bargaining position you may be in. Also don’t forget to look at the profitability of your company currently. Often times situations that happened to you, are a result of the company trying to make cutbacks, so they eliminate one position and combine the duties or redistribute them hoping to make no salary adjustments, at least upward.

Finally I’d like to add if, this job involves commissions or bonuses based on sales, get everything in writing (some states require it) and find out when you’ll be paid these extras, how, does 401k and other such things come out of bonuses and salaries, and what happens to them if you quit or get terminated.

Also look into your state laws regarding bonuses/commission to make sure what they tell you jives with the law. Often companies come up short or won’t follow the law till pressed, hoping employees are too timid or naive to look.

Once this is done, when the subject is brought up, try to get the company to make the first offer. If they refuse, this is when you give your range.

You had me at “more in one month than the previous person did in 2 years”.

Be prepared for when they stop hinting and make it official. If you can do 80% of your old job and 2400% of another job, asking for a raise is kind of a no-brainer.

I am not a real good negotiator. I would rather decide on a reasonable figure and ask for that than do the back-and-forth where you ask for the moon and they lowball you and you split the difference.

“I am making $X. I brought in $Y for the company. Therefore I think $X+20% is reasonable.” If they counter with 3%, continue to argue why you are worth 20%.

FWIW I just got a raise with that strategy.

Congratulations, by the way. Good for you!


Thank you both for the excellent advice and well wishes.

Unless, of course, they never do anything “official.” I’ve worked at places where they’d just let you keep those new responsibilities and, well, this is just how things are now. No new title or anything. Makes it easier for them.

So if a reasonable amount of time passes and nothing is made official, you’re going to have to request a meeting with your boss. You’ll have to decide how much you want to ask for, but be sure to let her know you’re excited about your new responsibilities.