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Asked by Jisoo on February 5, 2017

My annual review is coming up and I have been with the company for 1 year. I am part of the customer care department. My manager always tells me during my monthly meetings that my emails numbers are the best out of the team and that I have been doing a great job taking on new responsibilities. Many in the customer support team say that raises are only about 3%. I want to ask for more than 15% (knowing that they'll counter lower). Would I look too much like an amateur asking for 5-6x more than the average raise? Of course I will list all the roles I took on and my reasons (no monthly incentives for my team like other teams, no 401k match, no year end bonus). As a minority female, I do not want to be underpaid especially in the customer care field! Any advice on annual reviews would be great. Thank you!

Answered by Stuart, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on February 21, 2017

Hello! This is a great question. In today’s environment it is not uncommon for annual merit increases to be in the 3% range for many industries. There are of course many exceptions. First, annual increases generally are not offer and counter offer propositions like initial job offers. They fall within a range based on the person’s performance rating. Second, the lack of a bonus, 401K match, etc applies to everyone in your department so is not really a reason to raise one employee’s pay in the department. Third, if you have taken on additional roles and responsibility you may want to investigate whether your employer has an incentive program for stretch assignments or if the role has expanded well above your peers in the department and is a sustained expectation you may want to look into the possibility of a promotion. Promotional increases are generally larger than annual increases and dependent on how much of a step up the new role is from the existing role. Lastly, going into pay conversations with facts and knowledge is powerful. If you have the ability find out the pay range for your position and where you are within it as well as investigating externally on sites such as

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