The entertainment industry is a hard field to navigate, and I am excited to be a part of The Media Chronicles to assist others along the way!
We are all taught from a very young age to not discuss money. It’s simply uncouth. Our parents, our relatives, even our teachers—why else do word problems with abstract groups like marbles and apples exist? And yet, when you enter the workplace, knowing when it’s okay to discuss your financial worth can be paramount to your position within your company. A correctly timed request can both impress your employer and improve your self-worth and lifestyle.
When It’s Been Promised
It doesn’t matter how many times your company has alluded to a future salary bump, when the actual deadline arrives, nothing is going to happen without your first move. If you started a job with a preliminary salary for the first six months, ask for a review. Within this private setting you can discuss with your supervisor how you have proven yourself to be a permanent member of the team, and therefore would be interested in a salary that reflects that stability.
When You Go Above and Beyond
During the training period of your new job, be sure to get as crisp an understanding as possible about the previous responsibilities of the employee you are replacing. This way, when your position becomes more developed and you are trusted with more responsibilities, you will know increased compensation is due. Recently a producer friend advised me, “Always have a list of things ready that you’ve done but that aren’t in your job description… If you don’t have any, you don’t deserve a raise.” While a little extreme, having these points is a great method of proving your value and necessity to any devil’s advocate within the company.
When You Get Promoted
Promotions are the most obvious time for a raise—you would think. However, in this industry the two can sometimes happen independently. Don’t get caught up in the gratefulness of getting increased prestige and responsibility from your boss. If you haven’t already recently gotten a raise, this conversation is fair game. Don’t shy away from it, but don’t be blunt either. Instead, find a coy way of bringing it up: “I wouldn’t be a good businessman if I didn’t at least ask…” or “I wouldn’t be worthy of this promotion if I didn’t at least ask…” With increased time and pressure, an increase in pay is not a ridiculous item to correlate.
When You’ve Been Offered Another Option
This is the trickiest of them all, but just as important of a time to discuss your salary as any. If you love your current position, but have been offered a higher salary at another company, what should you do? Present your supervisor with a general outline of the situation: that you would love to stay at your current company, but cannot justify it unless you can receive a raise that matches your new offer. The only important note is to be fully prepared for either outcome. Do not fake this if you are planning to leave regardless, and likewise do not give an ultimatum unless you actually have an appealing alternative lined up.