Benchmark your way to a raise

A little chutzpah goes a long way

There is a time and a place for everything. That phrase certainly applies to the advice I’m about to offer.

Most of us are uncomfortable, and correctly so in my opinion, asking friends and relatives any variation on the rather personal question, “So, how much money do you make?”

Your company looks for any data that will confirm what it wants to know, and usually finds it. I’m not accusing anyone of lying or conspiring, but I am pointing out that an agenda is at work. So, if an apples-to-apples comparison is unavailable, then the most favorable (for the company) apples to oranges benchmarking data will suffice.

Several attorney-specific benchmarking surveys come out annually, and summaries of such surveys are featured on occasion in InsideCounsel. Complete or customized survey results are costly, and they always are based on questionnaires that were completed months ago. Since some information is better than none, do arm yourself with survey summaries if you are unwilling to heed the advice that follows. At the very least, you will demonstrate that you are serious about the compensation discussion and have done some homework on your fair market value.


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Mike Evers

Mike Evers recruits attorneys for corporate legal departments throughout the United States. Please visit His...

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