Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Monday, September 10, 2007

Talking turkey

A friend called me for advice about asking for a raise. In TV, of course, the easiest way to get a raise is to have a job offer elsewhere. In fact, the biggest raises I've gotten have been when I've jumped ship. That said, it certainly doesn't hurt to ask for more money at your current job.

Prior to going into the boss man's office, it helps to sit down and assess your value to the company. Generally, companies don't give you more money because they're nice. They give you more money because they think you add to the bottom line and they don't want to lose you. Has your job changed or have more duties been added? Have you started some new programs or done things on your own that have benefited the company? Sit down and make a list of everything you do. You can bring in the list or not, but I am a big fan of props. I like to bring in a sheet of paper or maybe a tape of my work to say, look, here's what I've done for you. You can also do this for your normal yearly reviews. ((If you don't have one-- schedule one. They handy ways of getting RARE feedback.))

Make an appointment to speak with your boss. Don't just grab him or her in the hallway. Make the appointment for a time when he'll be most receptive. Is your boss happy in the morning but seems to get progressively more cranky during the day? Is your boss overstressed the minute he gets in but mellows when he's watching the show? Book your five minute appointment for whenever he seems happiest. It also helps to talk with a coworker who knows your boss well to see what approach might work best.

You have nothing to lose by asking for a raise. When I was a writer in college, one of our fellow writers marched in to the news director and demanded one. The writer said he could make more money at his old job at the Cracker Barrel. He told the news director as much. The writer came out with a raise. The rest of us were fuming. Why did he get more money and we didn't? It's because he asked. And also because he was willing to walk if he didn't get what he deserved.

One final note. This website might be helpful in your negotiations. It's RTNDF's annual salary survey:

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