mba earnings


The Asano Graduation Album Info-Dump

It seems like there’s bits of information from the Graduation Album floating around on Tumblr and elsewhere. It’s hard to tell which pieces have been mentioned already, so I figured I’d translate all the pages related to the Asanos and stick it in one post. Compared to the first data book, there’s much less regurgitation of info from the manga, plus I thought Matsui’s word choices in his descriptions of them were pretty interesting (“He shines like a star”… really Matsui?), so it seems reasonable just to give you all the whole text! It’s still a sizable amount of text though, so it’s entirely possible that there could be a few errors .w.

I numbered the sections so that you can see which part from each page I’m translating since there’s pictures that go along with some of the text. 

Keep reading

Investment banking neither seeks out nor requires the allegedly “best and brightest”—whoever the f― they are supposed to be—for its employees. All we seek are aggressive, ambitious, smart enough young kids to process our ridiculous pitch books, update our standardized models, and generally take our sh_t while we senior bankers do whatever is necessary to bring in enough revenues to ensure our continued employment and the consequent support of our dependent wives, children, mistresses, and bartenders.

The core premise of my industry … is uncompromising customer service. The entire f―ing point of working 24 hours a day, for days on end, and canceling weeknight dates with Kate Upton, Las Vegas bachelor parties with George Clooney and Brad Pitt, and Christmas holidays with the Pope of all Christendom at the last possible minute is that the entire investment bank works at the pleasure and whim of clients who pay us a small fortune to do so. That is why successful senior bankers never tell the client no. That is why we agree to impossible deadlines for ridiculous requests at the last minute. Why we therefore ruin our junior bankers’ lives with all-night and all-weekend work on a regular basis. Because that is the f―ing job.

The Epicurean Dealmaker, The Invention of Leisure


He adds:

[I] mean the wet-behind-the-ears tyros who join investment banks straight out of college (known, grandiloquently, as “Financial Analysts”) or business school (“Associates”) to provide the blood, lymphatic fluid, and gristle which lubricate the grindstones of a large, multinational investment bank such as Goldman Sachs. Note that the moniker “professionals” is applied only to those naïfs who join an investment bank with some pretense or ambition of making widow and orphan cheating their long-term career, rather than the far more numerous, better-treated, and far less dispensable folks known as “support staff” who actually make the world go around.

Tommy Egan  Imagine

This is something that popped in my head while driving to work and listening to…wait for it……. the Power soundtrack. So I typed it up real quick. Nothing long and I’m not particularly fond of it but I thought I would post anyway even if just one person enjoys it. My Tommy one shot or two might be a total different story line (she will still be Jamie’s sister) or the same….who knows with me. 

“I’m coming! Hold your horses! Dammit!” Tommy let out a string of curse words as he threw on the first t-shirt and pants crumbled up near his bed. This better be good waking him up from good sleep. Tommy swung the door open ready to curse out whoever was on the other side. He couldn’t move as he stared at LaToya’s beautiful face. It has been ten long years since Tommy has seen her face to face. Yes, he had talked to her whenever she Facetimed her brother, his best friend Jamie but to actually be in her physical presence it has been ten years. LaToya could not take her eyes off Tommy either as she stood in his doorway.

“Are you going to let me in?” She asked. Tommy smiled as he heard a southern twang in her voice. Living in Atlanta for ten years took away most of her northern accent.

“What are you doing here?” He asked truly confused as he let her in his apartment.

“Happy to see you too.” She told him sarcastically.  She was more than happy to see him. Not seeing someone that you were in love with since you were eighteen was hard in fact it was pure torture. LaToya held up a backpack.

“Delivery. Tasha could not make it. So, she ask me to bring it.”

Tommy took the bag and looked inside and saw it filled with cash.

“Why does Jamie have you carrying this amount of cash?” Tommy asked getting a little upset that Jamie would have his sister do a run when she had been out the game so long.

“I carried worse than this Tommy. No need to get upset.”

“How long you in town for?” Tommy threw the backpack on his pool table and turned his attention back to Latoya. She looked absolutely stunning in a black and pink sundress that stopped right above her knees.

“I’m back for now Jamie needs help with Truth.”

“He knows you over here?” Tommy asked instinctively drawing closer to her.

Once Jamie found out his sister’s feelings toward his best friend and Tommy’s mutual feelings he had her shipped off to college in Atlanta where she earned her MBA and worked in Atlanta for the last ten years. Now he needed her back home to have her take over his club Truth while he handled his other business. Jamie or known as his alias on the street as Ghost had warned his little sister to stay away from Tommy. Latoya just rolled her eyes at her brother. She may be a couple of years younger than him but she was a grown ass woman now and she could see who she wanted. Latoya shrugged her shoulders at Tommy’s question.

“Don’t know and I don’t care.” She answered.

“You trying to get me killed?” Tommy whispered as he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her to him. Latoya looked up in Tommy’s blue eyes.

“You want me to leave?” She asked as her fingers caressed his lips. Damn ten years was too damn long.

Tommy shook his head no. He was trying to comprehend that she was actually in his arms.

“Why are you really back Toya?” Tommy asked. “You could have told Ghost no about the club.” Tommy’s hand raised Toya’s sundress and he massaged her inner thighs. One thing Tommy regretted in his life was not fighting for Toya, not seeing her beautiful body naked and to feel her wrapped around him as he made her come and call out his name in ecstasy. There was no way in hell he was letting her go this time. No matter what Ghost threatened. Toya let out a low moan as Tommy’s fingers grazed over the thin fabric of her panties just over her clit.  

“Ten years Toya. Ten fuckin years.” Tommy murmured against her lips before finally crashing down on them.

Dersha Fiction: skylines prequel (Chap.1 )

If you haven’t read the original Skylines, you can find it  (here).  You can find the original characters list in the first chapter of the original series. The prequel character list can be found (here) It doesn’t matter if you read it first or not since this is the prequel. But just in case you want to, you have it. I hope you all enjoy this first chapter. It’s more of an intro, but enjoy!

Chapter inspiration song: I Want You-Floetry 


Life after college could be rather scary. Even when you thought you had life together, the unthinkable hit you like a ton of bricks. After graduation, you were either stuck looking for employment, not finding the job you thought you deserved, or maybe you were one of the lucky ones. It was all quite unpredictable which was scary. No longer having to report to class and finish last minute projects but instead, being a part of the real world.

Ahsha Davenport was one of those people who had a plan from the beginning. She would work at a local dance studio, while attending graduate school to earn her MBA. Then she would start her own business, preferably a dance studio and live the life she always wanted. That all changed when she saw a flyer posted in the student center advertising the Los Angeles Devil Girl tryouts. They were the hottest team in the NBA and it wasn’t easy earning a spot. Luckily, Ahsha was a seasoned dancer and had been dancing since she was four years old. Her mother thought being on stage would bring Ahsha out of her shell. Which it did.

“I know you’re going to try it,” Bobbi, one of Ahsha’s roommates, expressed.

“Eh, I’m not sure. I’ve heard some crazy stories about the Devils and their crooked owner,” Ahsha replied, stuffing the flyer in her purse. “But their team is good. Really good.”

“Which is why you should tryout! What’s there to lose? You got a bangin’ body, you can dance your ass off and you aren’t too bad in the face department,” Bobbi added, earning a side eye from her favorite roomie. “Seriously, you should do it. Maybe you’ll meet one of those fine ass players and he can pay your bills for the rest of your life. Then again, your parents are pretty well off.”

“Keywords, they are well off. Not me. I have to make my own money, Bobbi. Yeah, they’d help me if I were in trouble but I can’t depend on mommy and daddy for a living,” the dancer explained. “If I make the team, that’s extra money in my pocket.”

“Mmmmhhmm. Now you’re on the right path. I think you have a good shot, girl. I’ll even drive you to the audition if I need to. Just to make sure your ass doesn’t back out of it. When is it?”

Ahsha sighed. “Right after graduation. The next day to be exact.”

“Good! I’ll be in town until that Sunday. Oh, my friend is about to be a Devil Girl,” Bobbi sang, her ATL accent strong.

Her friend’s excitement made Ahsha chuckle. “I haven’t even stepped foot onto the court.”

“Hey, put it out there into the universe. If I’m right, we’re going to dinner before I Ieave town,” the ATL born beauty, suggested.

“Yeah, yeah,” came Ahsha’s lazy reply as she and her friend walked out of the student union.


Graduation Day

“Ahsha Elise Davenport,” the university president announced. The Davenport and Hayes families cheered loudly as Ahsha crossed the stage to collect her degree. One chapter of her life was officially closing. Those four years seemed to zoom by and now Ahsha had to enter the “real” world. She had decided to audition for the Los Angeles Devil Girls the next day. Her mother wouldn’t be happy with that decision. As a judge, she had come into contact with the Devils owner quite a bit. Somehow, he always got away with what he was accused of doing.  That’s what money and good lawyers got you. Pete Davenport wouldn’t be too happy about this either because he knew how the professional sports world worked. Being the General Manager for the Oakland Raiders gave him a front row view of what professional cheerleaders/dancers went through. Some of the guys acted as though they had never seen a woman in shorts and a bra top before. Getting involved with a player wasn’t the best thing either and ended with a scandal or broken heart. Most of the time, both.

Bobbi and her family joined them for dinner after the ceremony. “So, you’re taking a job in Canada, Bobbi,” Pete asked as the two families surrounded the dinner table.

“Yes. Met a guy a few years ago that was over a graphic designing company. He moved to Canada and it’s grown since then,” she explained.

“That’s great. Not many people get that opportunity right out of school. Congrats,” Sloane expressed with a warm smile. “Ahsha always talks about how creative and talented you are.”

“The girl can literally free hand anything. She’ll be amazing,” Ahsha added, hugging her friend’s shoulders.

“She’s been drawing like that since she was four. I don’t know where she got that from because it surely wasn’t from my side,” Bobbi’s mother laughed, digging into her Caesar salad.

“Well I’m proud of both young ladies. Finished school in four years and now they are moving on to bigger things,” Pete said, holding his glass up for a toast.

“Cheeeeeers,” Bobbi sang, clinking her glass against Ahsha’s .

“Ahsha, I hear you’re in a graduate program and thinking about opening your own studio someday,” Mrs. Peters, Bobbi’s mother, began. “Heard you were some dancer too.”

“Hopefully I can have something open in the next four or five years. I actually want a big dance company but I’ll work my way up.”

Not even thinking, Bobbi blurted out, “She’s trying out for the Devil Girls too!”

Sloane dropped her folk and the table fell silent. Bobbi stared with her mouth open, while her friend pushed food around on her plate.

“Trying out for the Devil Girls? You didn’t tell me this, Ahsha,” Sloane began, that motherly glare blazing in her eyes.

“I…I kinda decided to do it at the last minute. They had flyers at school and I thought I’d give it a try,” Ahsha answered, still unable to make eye contact with her mother across the table. Sloane stood to her feet and excused herself from the table.  

“Can I talk to you for a minute in the kitchen,” the mother demanded, Ahsha following behind her and out of earshot.

This was the only chance Ahsha would get to state her reasons for trying out for the very team her mother hated. Once Sloane started talking, she wasn’t going to stop. “This isn’t a permanent thing, that’s if I even make the team. Maybe being on this team will help me eventually open a studio. It’s a big opportunity.”

Sloane was expressionless, letting her daughter speak before giving her two cents.

“I already know you aren’t into their owner, but this is for me. Anything to help me get towards my dream…I’ll be careful. I promise,” Ahsha continued, pleading her case.

“Okay, that’s all I ask. Please be careful because that owner of theirs is a devil himself,” was the only thing Sloane had to say.

There had to be a catch because Sloane was adamant about Ahsha staying far away from the Devils. “Wait…you’re not going to stop me?”

“Ahsha, you’re a grown woman. I can’t stop you from doing anything. It’s your choice. I just want you to be careful and not get wrapped up in the mess going on there. Don’t trust anyone,” the mother stated firmly. “That’s all I ask.”

Shock was written all over Ahsha’s face, but she answered with a quick, “Okay.”

“Make me proud, but I already know you will,” Sloane added, pulling her daughter into a tight hug. Even when she didn’t agree with Ahsha, as a mother she was behind her all the way.


Friday-Devil Girl Tryouts-Day 1

The Devils arena looked rather intimidating from the outside. This was one of the biggest stages a dancer could encounter. Bobbi pulled into a parking spot close to the side entrance. Ahsha was thankful that her friend drove because her nerves were bad.

“Here we are,” Bobbi announced, putting the car in park. “You’re going to kill it in there, I just know it.”

“Thanks for bringing me. With my nerves, I wouldn’t be able to focus on the road,” the dancer sighed, taking another deep breath before opening the door.

“I’ll be looking for your call later telling me you’re going to the next round,” her friend sang making Ahsha smile.

“Bye Bobbi,” Ahsha laughed, shutting the door, and making her way to the Devil arena entrance.

Stepping into the arena, Ahsha’s eyes went straight to multiple championship banners hanging from the ceiling. They were a big deal.  Being a part of this organization gave people power, whether they liked it or not.

The dancer was on her way to the dance room when a blonde headed young woman yelled in her direction. “Hey, are you headed to the tryout too? Been walking around this damn place for 20 minutes and can’t find the dance room to save my life,” she exclaimed, her southern accent heavy.

“Yeah, it’s on the second level. I’m headed that way now,” Ahsha answered, waiting until the woman was close enough to extend her hand, “I’m Ahsha.” Though these type of audition could be very catty, this woman looked approachable.

“I’m Kyle. Thank God you walked in or I’d be lost,” Kyle said, trying to catch her breath. “This your first time trying out?”

“Yes. I just graduated from college, so I figured I’d give it a try. You?”

“Yep! I’m not here for the dance stuff but I guess I’m flexible enough to make this thing, ya know. Rhinestones’ better be good for something,” Kyle expressed, throwing her bag over her shoulder and following Ahsha to the elevator.

Ahsha laughed. “Rhinestones’?”

“Yeah, the strip club. Made a pretty dollar at that hole in the wall but it was time to move on to bigger and better things. Now here I am. Even made a book of all the rich bachelors in the area. If I get a spot on this team, then I have access to all of them. Gotta keep my bills paid, honey. Mama always said use what you got to get what you want,” she continued, grabbing her breasts for emphasis.

Ahsha’s eyes widened but she liked Kyle. Not only was she hilarious, she appeared to be genuine. They finally reached the dance room, where many of the other candidates were stretching on the floor. When they entered, Jasmine Harris approached them. Ahsha recognized her face right away. Jasmine was the face of the Devil Girls and many girls looked up to her since she had made a name for herself.

“Hey ladies, come in and put your belongings along the wall. Everyone’s stretching and we’ll get started in a few,” Jasmine said sweetly, shaking each of their hands.  "I’m Jasmine, captain of the Devil Girls.”

Kyle and Ahsha introduced themselves before following the captain’s instructions. The dancers finished stretching and were taught a short routine to begin the tryout process.

Late afternoon came fast and they were ready to begin making cuts. First, the dancers had to perform one by one in front of the judges. Ahsha was the second to last performer, stepping out on the floor and introducing herself.

“I’m Ahsha Davenport, number 182 from Los Angeles, California,” she stated before hitting a pose and waiting on the music. A dance mix of various Aaliyah songs blared through the speakers as Ahsha began moving across the floor. She moved so effortlessly though she also had a spark that held everyone’s attention. In dance class, Ahsha was known for her stage presence and ability to grab people’s attention and keep it an entire routine. That shyness disappeared once she hit the floor or stage.

The judges seemed to be loving what they saw. Suddenly, Jasmine’s blood began to boil. She was perfectly fine with Ahsha when she was just a candidate looking for a chance to join one of the best dance teams in the country. Now, she saw Ahsha as a threat. Jasmine wasn’t the best dancer but she could choreograph and had enough personality to keep a crowd at her feet. Ahsha on the other hand could dance her ass off, plus she had charm. Something Jasmine lacked when she stepped off the stage.

Ahsha finished her routine in a middle split earning claps and cheers from her fellow candidates and judges.

“Thank you, Ms. Davenport. We’ll have our last candidate,” the main judge said.  

As Ahsha came off the floor, Jasmine grabbed her and pulled her to the side. “That prissy dancing won’t get you on this team. Nice try, though,” she whispered, giving Ahsha one of her fakest smiles. “You can sit down now.”

Confusion was etched on the dancer’s face. Wasn’t this girl just talking to her like they were besties a minute ago? What had changed? “Excuse me,” Ahsha muttered.

“You can return to your seat. Thanks,” Jasmine repeated, her attention back on the dance floor.

It took everything out of Ahsha not to drop kick Jasmine into the next room. Instead of arguing, Ahsha returned to her spot on the floor. Maybe Jasmine had an evil twin named Jelena that she hadn’t met until now. Interesting.


Two Hours later

The dancers filed into the gym, put their belongings on the sideline benches and returned to the middle of the floor. Jasmine was waiting with a binder in her hands, along with a few judges and the interim director.

“Congrats on making it to the next round. We’ll be learning two more routines, then performing them in front of the judges. You’ll be in groups of three.”

The dancers waited until they were sorted into groups, then spaced out on the floor. Kyle and Ahsha were placed into the same group with a girl named Claudia.

“Think this dance will be as hard as the last one,” Kyle asked, stretching into a split.

“Probably. Seems like Miss Thang is trying to kill us so she’s the only girl on the squad,” Claudia added, with a scoff. It was pretty clear that she wasn’t here for Jasmine.

In all honesty, Ahsha wasn’t sure how she felt about her either. At first Jasmine seemed sweet, until she saw Ahsha dance.

“I wouldn’t be shocked. After that first routine, she’s been giving Ahsha the stank eye. You sure you didn’t sleep with her man or something,” Kyle joked with her new friend.

Ahsha frowned. “Terrence Wall is fine but no. He’s not exactly my type,” she said, making her partners laugh.

“What exactly is your type then because Terrence is fine, rich and did I say fine,” Claudia added, high fiving Kyle. “What else do you need?”

Right when Ahsha was about to answer, the gym door opened and Devils players walked in. Ahsha had never seen any of the guys up close and was amazed at how tall some of them were.  Terrence was the first to walk in, followed by Derek Roman.

“Daaaaaamn, I may have to jump off the T-Wall train and jump on that bad boy,” Claudia gushed, her eyes set on Derek.

All of a sudden, Claudia’s words seemed to fade when Derek Roman and Ahsha Davenport made eye contact. It was like they were in a trance. The player’s lips curved into a sexy smirk as Ahsha stared back. There seemed to be an immediate pull. Derek took a seat in the front row, his eyes still on the dancer.

“Ahsha….Ahsha,” Kyle yelled, tapping her arm and following her gaze across the gym. “Damn girl, what were you daydreaming about?”

Finally coming back to reality, Ahsha replied, “Huh? Oh…sorry. I was just thinking about something. What did you say?”

“Uh oh, I think Miss Davenport has a little crush,” Claudia declared, glancing up at the baller who was now laughing with his teammates. “You’re too sweet for a man like Derek Roman. Heard that man will tire you out in the bedroom.”

“He’s definitely a bad boy,” Kyle added, biting her lip. “But some good girls are into that type of thing, Claudia. You can’t assume.”

“I don’t do bad boys. No matter how good they are in bed,” Ahsha admitted, turning her back to the Devils players. “Basketball players don’t make good husbands.”

“True, true,” Claudia chuckled.

The women continued to chatter as Ahsha took one last look behind her. Derek smiled again before pulling his jersey over his head and replacing it with a t-shirt. The dancer’s breath hitched when she saw his abs and bulging arms. Turn your ass back around, she thought to herself. But she couldn’t listen to her inner voice right now. Letting her eyes linger a second longer, Ahsha finally turned her head away. Derek chuckled to himself.

“D, don’t even think about it,” Terrence said, watching his friend make ‘the eye’ at a dancer across the gym. “Don’t you already have at least four chicks at the moment?”

“Only two,” Derek joked. “She’s fine as hell though. Damn.”

“Dude, leave that girl alone,” Terrence rolled his eyes. Derek and Terrence were drafted in the same year and seemed to click right away. They were total opposites. Terrence being the calm one who thought before speaking. While Derek was quick tempered and a party animal, though he had a huge heart. Few people saw it due to Derek not letting anyone that close.

“She doesn’t look like she wants to be left alone,” Derek mentioned, noticing that Ahsha had glanced at him again.  


After Day One of Tryouts

Ahsha made it to the next round while Kyle was eliminated. The two women exchanged numbers and went their separate ways in the parking lot. Stuffing the piece of paper in her bag, Ahsha headed towards the side entrance, where Bobbi had dropped her off. Not paying attention to where she was walking, the dancer bumped right into a hard body, knocking her to the ground.

“Whoa! You alright,” a deep voice asked. Ahsha looked up and saw the player she was eye fucking during tryouts.

“Yeah…wasn’t watching where I was going. Sorry about that,” she mumbled, brushing off her legs and trying to hide her embarrassment.

“That’s cool,” Derek replied, licking his lips. “Never caught your name back in the gym.”

Here we go, Ahsha thought to herself. Athletes were dangerous and she knew Derek Roman’s type. He was always connected with a new model or actress in the tabloids. “Probably because you never asked me or I didn’t tell you,” came her sassy reply. The man was sexy as hell, but she was about to nip this in the bud.

“Ohhh, why you gotta do me like that,” he gasped. “I’m Derek by the way.”

“I know who you are,” she groaned, crossing her arms across her chest.

“Mmmm, I bet.  Waiting on a ride? You know I could give you one, right,” the baller added, the double meaning obvious.

Ahsha’s mouth fell open. “Your pick-up lines are bad, dude. Hope your game on the court isn’t that wack.”  

If only Ahsha knew that her feistiness was even more appealing to Derek. “Damn! You aren’t letting a brotha up for air, huh?”

“Because I know your type,” she shot back as Bobbi pulled up to the sidewalk. “Oh, and the name is Ahsha. You have a nice evening…Derek Roman.”

“Nice meeting you, Ahsha,” he called out, walking backwards towards the arena.

The two held eye contact a few more moments as Ahsha ducked inside the car. From that very moment, their lives would forever be changed.

Thank you for reading! Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter of the Skylines Prequel. Next chapter will dive into Derek a bit more and we’ll move on to the second and final day of Devil Girl tryouts.

Some thoughts on asking for a raise.

Satya Nadella is that rare person who got far in life – indeed to the very top of Microsoft – without apparently ever having to ask for a raise. 

Not me.

I’ve asked for raises or other changes to my compensation many times in my past and I’m glad I did. 

As an employer, I’ve also been asked for raises – some I’ve granted, some I’ve not.  And I’ve also given raises without being asked.  (Of course, I’ve also fired people, but we’ll leave that for another post.) 

Here’s how I think about this somewhat uncomfortable topic.

First, I need to be my own advocate  – because nobody else is likely going to do it.  No one else is waking up every day thinking, “Is Heidi Roizen happy in her job?  Is she challenged?  Is she appreciated?  Is she fairly compensated?  Does she have enough upside economics in our outcome?”  Even the best bosses are not thinking about this all the time.  I owe it to myself to advocate being paid appropriately for my work.

Next, human capital is a market.  There’s supply and demand of talent to fill jobs, and the market moves up and down given the roles, the sectors, the geographies, the level of experience required and on and on.  Also, in business school long ago I learned about “economic value to the customer” – that is, some things are worth more to some customers than to others in terms of the financial benefit they gain from utilizing that asset.  My skill set as a seasoned venture capitalist and board member is likely worth more to a Silicon Valley venture firm than it would be to an industrial manufacturer in Detroit (one of the many reasons I am here).  You owe it to yourself to know what your ‘market price’ is and what tradeoffs you would have to make in order to maximize your financial outcome, if that is your goal.

Of course money is only one dimension of compensation.  Also to weigh and consider are your passion for the work, the lifestyle the job affords (or lack thereof it requires), future upside, commute, flex time, work from home options, great mentors or co-workers – that is, a whole host of factors beyond the paycheck that comprise your ‘pay’ for what you do, and for many of us some of those things are far more important than the number on the pay stub each month.  At my old company T/Maker two of the most polarizing company issues were whether to serve daily free food and whether it was okay to bring dogs to work – for some folks these issues were far more important than optimizing their paychecks.

I also believe most employers are not trying to screw you or underpay you.  Maybe those are my rose-colored Silicon Valley glasses at work, but in this fluid employment market, underpaying someone because you can get away with it for a while is bad business and it builds bad culture.

However, human capital markets are not perfect and the inefficiencies therein create discrepancies even among the most well-meaning employers.  For example, say you were hired early in the company’s life and the ‘market’ for your role has gotten very hot (UX designers or data scientists in the Valley, for example).  Your employer may not have the tools or make the time to keep up-to-date on the market rate for your position, particularly if the company is small and they don’t need to hire another one of you.   They won’t know they are underpaying you until you leave to take another job – unless you tell them.

Another trap is that you remain cast in your original role even if your workload increases, becomes more sophisticated, you take on managerial duties or in your spare time you gain additional skills or credentials (for example you earn that MBA over two hard years of nights and weekends).  I had this at my first employer, Tandem.  They were VERY well-meaning and yet when I helped them recruit other Stanford MBAs for summer internships from the business school class of which I was a member, those interns were actually paid higher monthly salaries than I was because my prior pay level (from before I enrolled in business school) had not been changed. 

Until I pointed that out.  Then it was.

Going back to my market construct, another useful exercise is to understand your opportunity cost.  That is, ask yourself, if I weren’t here, where would I be and what would I be doing?  I used this data effectively a few years ago when I was negotiating to join a board.  On this particular board, the compensation was lower than the market while the workload was higher.  The recruiter was surprised when I asked him to increase the compensation – he said that I should consider it an honor to serve on this board, and not be doing it for the money!  I replied that indeed I considered it a great honor and I was thrilled they were asking me.  However, as board work is something I do to pay my way through life, and I only had limited slots to serve on boards, if I were to take this board I was incurring an opportunity cost because I could not take another board I was being offered that paid almost double.  I did not ask him to match the other board, but I did ask him to consider this issue from my point of view, as well as recognize that anyone else with my ‘spec’ (and this I knew from having spoken to a lot of other corporate directors about what they were making) was also going to cost a similar amount, because other candidates would likely be weighing this same opportunity cost.  They figured out a way to meet me in the middle and I think – so far –  we’re all happy that happened.

I think opportunity cost is a super valuable construct for understanding and communicating the market for your services, however, it can also be irrelevant to the other side.  If they are in the market to spend 1x and your opportunity cost is 2x, you are out of luck unless they ultimately find a way to value your contribution at 2x to them as well.  If your opportunity cost was - like mine in this case - due to their underpricing the role in the market, then it is a good construct.  If your opportunity cost is 2x because someone completely not relevant to this employer would value you twice as highly, it is not a worthwhile consideration for the employer – though I’d argue it still is for you!

Data is a slippery slope – you have to use it wisely.  As a manager, I hate it when an employee points to someone else and calls out one aspect of that other person’s compensation and then claims the right to parity.  Sure that gal got more stock, but maybe she takes less cash comp.  Maybe she is actually worth more because even though she has the same title as you, at her firm that title means a much higher-level job.  Maybe she has experience, education or skills that commands a premium.  My point is this: don’t use incomplete or bad data to make your case.

In addition to using data wisely, timing is also key.  There are natural times to discuss compensation, such as when you are first negotiating joining the firm.  If you feel you have strong data to support that you are under-compensated, letting your manager know the data before the end of year budgeting process is a good idea.  You should also take the long view – if you are not properly compensated today, talk with your manager about what expectations you should have about your future outlook for compensation changes, and what you would have to do in terms of increased responsibilities or other actions to be more in line for growth in your compensation.  Career growth planning goes hand in hand – the easiest way to get a bigger paycheck is to earn a bigger job.

Of course, the most delicate negotiation occurs when you have been quietly looking elsewhere and you now have an offer in hand that is higher than what you are currently being paid.  Again, it’s a market, and there is no better market validation than a bona fide offer.  However, if you are using that solely as a stalking horse to get a raise, and I were your boss…well, I would sure have liked you to come to me first to tell me you were unhappy with compensation and let me have a try at fixing it.  On this tactic all I can say is every firm is different and every person is different.  For some, this is the only way to get your compensation raised, for others, it can taint the relationship forever.  Use this with caution.

And finally, here is one thing NEVER to do when asking for more money.  Never ask for it nor justify it because of your need.  If you work for a for-profit entity, as most of us do, your need is completely irrelevant.  While I can personally be hugely empathetic to your financial needs and hardships, I cannot justify increasing your compensation because of them – that is unfair to the company and to any coworker who puts in the same effort but walks away with less. 

In summary:  You have to be your own advocate – in my experience waiting in a corner to be noticed and appreciated doesn’t work for the simple reason that everyone else is too busy worrying about other things.  Use thorough, relevant data.  Ask at appropriate times.  Do it in a manner that feels collaborative and non-threatening if at all possible, and seek out guidance for how to climb the income and responsibility ladder with a longer term horizon in mind.  If you feel strongly that you deserve more, and yet you don’t get what you want, go find it somewhere else.  And if you can’t find anything better, well at least you’ve now fully determined your market price!