Succeed in America

Overcome Cultural and Linguistic Barriers. Improve Effectiveness

nara@SucceedinAmerica.com 



coin-1549051__340   In the current economic conditions, it is not unusual that your salary doesn’t increase each year that you have worked for a company.

   If you haven’t received a raise each year you have worked for a company, the value of your salary has gone down.  

  Even a cost-of-living increase (COL) of 3 – 4 percent is not considered a raise. It just keeps your salary even with inflation. It is wise to ask for a raise above a COL increase under any circumstance.

            If your boss does not give you a raise, you need to ask for it. 

            When is it a good time to ask for a raise? 

  • When you are very good at what you do
  • When you have taken on more job responsibilities 
  • When you have learned that you are being underpaid 

According to Wall Street Journal, nowadays, employers give out more raises based on performance than on years spent with the company. It is important to [pullquote] develop a strategy to ask for a raise at the appropriate time[/pullquote]. (There are two dominant notions here “ask” not “demand”, and “appropriate time“).

Here are some tips: 

Toot your own horn (promote yourself). Make sure that your boss knows which projects are yours. [pullquote] Very important! Keep a diary or a special list of your accomplishments (results of your work)[/pullquote] and learn how to make them known to your boss.

Do not ask for a raise. Prove that you deserve it. When discussing the raise, keep in mind the challenges your company and supervisor face and how your own work has helped them to overcome those challenges. 

-Determine what a competitive salary in your field is. Two well-known websites that provide information on salaries (at cost) are www.SalaryExpert.com and www.Salary.com.  The  information  is provided at no cost (free)  at the Department of Labor site www.bls.gov. However, the information maybe somewhat out of date. 

-Don’t wait until appraisal time to ask for a raise. By that time the resources will be distributed and decisions made. So, start asking for a raise well before the process begins. 

-Don’t expect to get a raise right away. Rather, view it as a campaign and expect to win after several interactions. 

II you asked your boss about a raise and did not get a definite answer. Wait a week or so and ask again. Ask him or her “What do I need to do to make it happen?” or “May we talk about this again in four months?” 

If everything fails and you think that you are treated not the way you deserve, start looking for another job. It is always an option. Good luck!

tn[2] (2)**Dr. Nara Venditti is the author of  How to Get a Job in the USA available at SucceedinAmerica and  Amazon.

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[pullquote]If you think that you know the meaning of the word OK, think again![/pullquote]If you think that you know the meaning of the word OK, think again! Everybody knows what OK (also spelled as okay, Okey, Okay, or okey) means.  However, is it always used appropriately?  ok-1186364_640

General usage:

 Often foreigners and non-native English speakers are not aware of the multiple uses of the word “okay,” instead assuming that it always means “yes” or “all right.”


For instance, in a work situation when your supervisor gives you a task, such as “Could  you please make this report available by Friday morning?”, it is not recommended to say  “okay.”  A good answer would be, “Yes, of course.

I will list some common usages of the word below… 

– As illogical as it may seem, in certain situations OK  can mean”so-so” as in “How is your dad after his surgery? He is OK, but needs some therapy to recover.”

– OK can mean agreement as well as permission if there are some additional circumstances to take into consideration. For instance: “I have doctor’s appointment and will be back in two hours or so. OK,  just be sure to be back by the end of the day.”

Other usages:

  1. When you are confirming a meeting or date:  “So, we will meet on Friday at noon at the restaurant.“ “OK, agreed”.
  2. When a speaker is seeking permission: “Is it OK if I bring along kids to the party? Of course, we will be happy to have them.”
  3. OK can show irritation:  “OK, OK, calm down!
  4. “OK?” may be equal to “Did you understand me?
  5. Are you OK?” This phrase is used when somebody slipped and is about to fall.  In other words, when you are checking on a person’s condition, when they had an accident.
  6. If somebody’s coughing badly and almost choking, you might say, “OK, OK” to soothe them.
Further Resource:

Need information on Business English usage? Check out Ameri$peak, a mini-dictionary of the most frequent words and phrases  you need to know to communicate effectively in American business: Ameri$peak   or  Amazon).

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