Whether you’re a rheumatologist or a rheumatology health professional, unless you are self-employed, the time will come when you start thinking it may be time to ask for a raise. The thought of asking for a raise likely conjures up anything but warm and fuzzy feelings, but if you do it at the right time—and for the right reasons—you greatly improve your chances of the conversation going well.
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Explore This IssueAugust 2017
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When requesting a raise, make sure you’re asking at a good time. “The key is to understand what’s going on in your environment,” says Mark Szypko, CCP, GRP, vice president, Compensation Strategy, Salary.com, Wellesley, Mass.
“If your practice is performing well—revenue is up, the practice is expanding and patient satisfaction is high, that’s a good time [to ask for a raise],” says Patricia Mathews, owner and principal consultant, Workplace Experts LLC, Sarasota, Fla. “You should also try to gauge your boss’ mood. Is he having a good day, week or month? When things are going well for decision makers, you have a better chance of succeeding in your request.”
After a positive performance review is also a great time to bring the subject up. “You already have your boss’ time and attention, and a good review provides an excellent springboard and segue for requesting a raise,” says Dan Jennings, regional vice president, The Medicus Firm, Atlanta.
Conversely, it is not in your best interest to ask for more money if your practice is struggling or has just spent a lot of money on a capital equipment purchase. Further, if your practice is going through a restructuring or downsizing phase, steer clear.
Of course, if you recently made a bad error or your performance is rated below average, forget about asking your boss to pony up, Mr. Szypko says.
Other reasons to wait, according to Ms. Mathews, are if:
- You haven’t been in the position for more than one year;
- It’s a Monday or it’s late in the day—especially Friday;
- You are having a bad day;
- You have just returned from sick leave, vacation or a conference;
- Patients have complained about you; or
- You need more money due to personal issues not related to work.
Be straightforward when requesting a private meeting to talk about your pay. While asking (whether verbally or in an email), mention a few reasons why you believe you deserve a raise. Although compensation is a highly emotive subjective, it’s important to not be emotional during such conversations. “The key is to lay out the facts in a matter-of-fact, professional manner,” Mr. Szypko says.