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Would I Look Silly Asking for a Raise?

Dear Experts, First, let me just say I am a huge fan of your blog. I've been job searching for the past 6 months and whenever I start to really feel completely discouraged and depressed, I just read the advice, articles, tips on your blog and on Twitter and try to 'freshen up' my job search. My question is whether or not I should ask for a raise from my current employer. I've been with the company full time since June 2008 and haven't received a raise since. Prior to becoming full-time, I worked part-time for about 1.5 years. The company is very small (less than 5 employees) and fortunately hasn't been hit too hard by the recession (no layoffs, pay cuts, etc). The company hasn't grown with regard to revenue in the past year, but 2010 looks promising for landing new business. I'm unsure of whether or not to ask for a raise because of the fact so many people are unemployed or getting pay cuts or freezes - would I look completely oblivious to the economic climate if I ask for a raise? Here is how our CAREEREALISM-Approved Experts answered this question on Twitter: Q#410 It's never silly to ask for a raise. Make sure you outline why you deserve the raise and present a strong case. (@gradversity) Q#410 Better b able 2 back up raise request w/some solid performance. Demonstrate excellence, then ask. (@beneubanks) Q#410 Ask boss to meet & inquire, "What can I do this year to earn a raise?" Then they'll know your 2010 goal! (@jtodonnell) Q#410 Not silly when raise is deserved; not just because you want or need it. (@teenarose) Q#410 Quantify/Qualify UR contribution to the bottom line & demonstrate reason for increase. Has to be more than "I want". (@DawnBugni) Q#410 Nothing silly abt. a raise. Make a bus. case for it and present it 2 ur boss. Be prepared w reasons 4 the increase. (@DebraWheatman) Our Twitter Advice Project (T.A.P.) is no longer an active campaign. To find an answer to the above question, please use the "Search" box in the right-hand column of this website.

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In this week's edition of Well,This Happened, the series that lets you become a career coach, we addressed James' tough situation.

James was caught off guard during a department heads meeting when he was asked to present. He wasn't prepared but did so anyway and bombed the presentation because of this. James is now wondering what he should do to address this situation.

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