By August 9, 2018

How To Avoid Traps When Asking For A Raise?

Asking for a raise is definitely one of the biggest taboos amongst developers (and employees in general). This is such an easy thing but still, most people do it wrong.

Well, the purpose of this video is not to teach you how to ask for a raiser, I already teach this in my “The Complete Software Developer's Career Guide”.

However, I must say that there are traps when it comes to asking for a raise, and these are definitely things you should be avoiding. Wanna know more? Watch this video and find out!

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from I got a question from Francisco Quintero. I think that's a made-up name because that’s too cool of a name. I don't know, Francisco. I'll go with it. Maybe it's your stage name. I like it. He says, “Does my commitment deserve a salary raise?” That's the question. He says, “There have been a couple of weekends I've had to do some work, no big deal, nothing that would take me a whole day to do, but those days start to add and it seems to be something that is going to continue down the road. Should I ask for a salary raise that would compensate my extra effort?” He says, “Additional info: I understand sometimes we should show some level of commitment with the project/company and I have no problem doing it from time to time, but with this project it starts to feel different, more demanding.”

Okay, so I've done some videos—I think I did a video on should you work overtime. You should check out that video definitely so you're not taken advantage of or I think it was called like Should I Work Extra Hours for my Employer or something like that. I don't know. Hopefully we could find the video.

In this case, so I'm going to give you sort of a different advice. You should ask for a raise, yes, always, because you're doing such a good job. It has nothing to do with you working overtime. Now, if you're going to work a lot of overtime—see, I'm against working a lot of overtime. I don't want you to—here's the thing. This is a trap that you could go down. Let's say that you go to your boss and you're like, “Dude, here—” don't call him dude, but you say like, “Here's the deal. I'm working a lot more hours. When I signed up for this job—it's cool, it's cool, I like it. I love the company. You're an awesome guy. That's a nice shirt. But here's the thing, so you have me coming in on weekends now. I'm okay with that. That's cool, but I'm doing more work, so you need to pay me more.” He says, “I don't know. Let me talk—” and then finally he gives you some money, he throws you some money.

Then what happens now is you're stuck because you've made the case for getting a raise, your basis for getting a raise is that you're coming in on weekends. Guess what you're going to be doing for the whole fuckin' rest of your life at that job. You're going to be coming in for weekends because that's what you're being paid to do now. You see what I'm saying? So, yes get a raise but do not make it because you're coming in on weekends. It's no good. It's no good. You don't want to be trapped in that. You see what I'm saying? That's a bargain that you don’t want to sign.

Instead, you go to your boss and you say, “Hey look, I've taken on more responsibility” it doesn't mean on weekends, right? Or you say, “Hey, I provide a lot of value for this company” and you show the value, and you have a folder. I always say have a kudos folder. I did this video, I think, a while back on creating weekly reports. If you can't find the video or—the whole point of it is that you can have a bunch of stuff that you work on and you save this up in your kudos folder or whatever, and all these things, so that when you go in for a raise which actually, I will tell you, that in my other book though, in The Complete Software Developer's Career Guide, I'm just going to plug all my books here, in that book I do tell you exactly how to get a raise, exactly how to do it, step by step how to do it. What it is is that what oy want to do is you want to show a lot of accomplishments, you want to show your value. You never want to come in and you never want to be like, “I had a new kid and I need more money” or “My rent went up.” Your boss doesn’t' give a shit about you. Honestly. Fine. Maybe your boss does, but the business doesn’t, the business doesn’t. What you've got to have is you've got to have a reason why you're creating more value, why it's worth it. That's the position that you have to come from.

Again, yes, should you get a raise? Of course! Should you ask for the raise on the basis that you're coming in on weekends? No. Let's not get into that trap. Instead, what you want to do is you want to figure out why are you more valuable to the company, what value are you creating right now that they should be paying you for, and make a really good argument and case for it. Keep on doing it. Always ask for the raise. Always ask for the raise. Why not? Why not? The worst that could happen is you get turned down and then you just keep on trying.

I mean no one ever gets something—like your boss isn't going to be like, “Hey, I think I'm just going to give you a raise.” Maybe in a review or something, but it's not going to—you're not going to get what you don't ask for, so I'm always asking for stuff. I'm asking people for crazy shit. Sometimes people just give me stuff, but I'm always asking. I'm always asking. I'm out there asking. Be asking.

Grant Cardone has a good—he says—I love what he says. He's like, “You've got to find out who has your money, who has my money. Who's got your money?” I like that because then you're asking it. That's my money. You've got it. I want it. That's kind of the attitude that you've got to have with this, but don’t fall into that trap. Don't fall into traps of working weekends all the time as well. Once you start this—you've got to really have boundaries and say, “I work 40 hours a week.” It doesn’t mean you never come in, it doesn't mean you never help your employee when there's a pinch on a project or whatever, but you've got to have those boundaries, otherwise you're going to be—you've got to play it forward and think about if you want to live your whole life this way. Because once you start to erode those boundaries and you let people start to take advantage of you, whether they need to or not, then you start to lose that ground and it's really hard to gain that ground back. Gaining that ground back is really, really difficult.

Think about things. Play it forward. I wish you the best. I hope you get a raise. Let me know. Send me an email. I want to hear about your raise. All right, by the way, you can send me an email if you want me to answer your question. I don't answer all the questions, but if yo email me at, there's a good chance if you write a nice question that I may answer it and do a video on it. Before I forget, make sure you click that Subscribe button below. As if I were ever going to forget that because I say that in every video. Click the bell so you don't miss any of the videos. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."