Episode 114 — Front Loading Your Pay Raise



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Episode 114 – Front Loading Your Pay Raise

[-[21:33] One of the big things we all think, “Next year, I want to get more money!” If you have a full-time job, it’s hard to get those pay raises. If you are a freelancer, it’s a lot more simple to step up your rates. This is a perfect opportunity to take the initiative to take things into your own hands:

– You can go to the boss now and talk about investing yourself into the studio.

– Mention wanting to supervise down the line.

– Discuss your performance this year.

– Talk about where you can do better so that you can be a valuable asset to the team.

– Ask about areas where you should improve (better communication skills, or showing leadership skills, etc.)

The point of that is to learn how to learn your job better. Every employer would want to hear that! 

Whatever it might be — lighting or compositing — by getting that skill, you will become more valuable. Any employer would encourage that! By simply having that meeting, you’re taking a step toward painting a roadmap to getting more money. It’s the simplest thing in the world!

[-[16:25] Some people think that the only way to getting a pay raise is go a new job offer and then come back to their current employer with threats. That’s negative behavior and no employer wants to deal with that. The worst thing is to burn bridges like that. Instead, you can go in and tell the employer that you love your job and you want to improve.

– Make sure to repeat that list of improvement back!

– Schedule another review 3 months from then — and do a follow-up.


Step It Up

[-[13:19] Then, you just have to go DO it! If you go get new skills and become more valuable, they will want you to even more skills later on. But you would have proven to them that you’re interested in being a leader. In those three months, crush it! Do more of what the employer wants.

[-[12:24] Make sure to document it all. Every single time someone praises your work, ask them to shoot an email to the boss because. Document this on your end as well. When that follow-up review comes us, you can mention all of that. Of course, your employer can’t back out of the agreement. Promise to continue working hard.


Rinse and Repeat

[-[10:19] All you’re doing is doing a relay:

– Ask what you need to do.

– Go do it.

– If you accomplish that list, ask for more feedback.

– Go do that again.

Then you can ask for more of a Supervisor responsibility — and therefore a Supervisor’s pay.

[-[08:49] This is a really simple concept. I am surprised so many people neglect to pay attention to this. If you want more money, ask for more responsibility. Ask for your employer to groom you. The money comes as a no-brainer with that.

Start thinking bigger. Think more strategic: What makes your irreplaceable to the team. By putting a deadline on it, you’re positioning yourself for another review over and over.


A Note on Negotiating

[-[07:21] I know people negotiate those reviews into their contract. They take a smaller salary for more contingencies: On a contingency that they can have a review every few months.

– You can negotiate a 5K raise every three months.

– You can negotiate to have a once-a-month lunch with a Senior VFX Supervisor. By doing that, you’re getting face time with a valuable person in the company and you’ll get more included in things.

I’ve done an Episode on this called Negotiating Creatively: allanmckay.com/64/. I talk about this more in-depth.

[-[05:10] You have to start thinking longterm. Just doing good work is one thing. Negotiating the spotlight to be on you — that’s how you’re able to insure you get maximum growth.

[-[04:48] As a freelancer, all you have to do is raise your rates on every new job. If you’re doing a repeat work with one client, you can change your rate to “keep a healthy relationship”. You negotiate it down to their target rate but they are aware that it’s a pay cut for you.

Don’t ever be afraid: The negotiating part happens at the first point of resistance. 

A TIP: In the meantime, keep improving:

– Cut a new reel every 6 months.

– Ramp up your skill level.

– Advertise that every time you come back to a studio.

– Keep progressively pushing until you get the point of resistance.


I hope you found this Episode valuable. Let me know what you think. I definitely want to hear from you: [email protected].

Please review this Episode on iTunes.

Rock on!


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