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Make More Money

By Genevieve Roja

Not everyone can marry a millionaire. Sometimes you just gotta earn it. That doesn't necessarily mean starting your own dotcom. With a little strategic planning, anyone can learn to negotiate a better income right where he or she is now. No wedding rings. No resumes. No kidding.

The most important thing is to maintain a relationship with the boss that extends beyond the annual review, says Patti Wilson, founder of The Career Company (408.354.1964), a Los Gatos-based human-resources company that works with start-ups. "They want to know whether you're happy, and what you're doing, whether it's by e-mail or verbally," Wilson says. "But I wouldn't do it, then raise and merit pay time comes. I'd want to have the ground paved already."

During the annual review, make sure you and your boss talk about merit and achievement, and your goals for next year. But it is just as important to understand your own marketability. At www.careercompany.com, Wilson posts information on salary ranges.

Don't be afraid to be assertive, perhaps even bluff a little. "To get a raise in a big company is to say, 'I've got a big offer,'" Wilson says. "To get a substantial increase is to have one or more offers. But you can only use it once."

If an increase isn't feasible, it won't hurt to weigh your options. "I'd negotiate compensation, not just money," Wilson says. "And what that means is negotiating 30-hour weeks, sabbatical time or telecommuting, because that can be [more] valuable than money in terms of stress levels."

Employers know that flexibility is key to keeping employees. "People are getting burned out, especially what I'm seeing with baby boomers," says Wilson, who made a career lifestyle change after a serious illness. "People are looking at whatever alternatives they have in negotiating a raise. Sit down and say to your boss, 'This is what's going to keep me happy.'"

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Streamlined Living: Pare down and live simply.

Put Up Yer Dukes: Don't get mad, get even.

Cruising: Transit made simple.

Soul Relief: Free your inner self.

Get in on the Gold Rush: Grab a fistful of cash and join the party.
    IPO Game Show
    Get Your Own URL
    Swap Stocks Online
    Avoid The Funny Money

Domestic Bliss: Make your house into a home.

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From the March 16-22, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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