Just what is the best way to ask for a raise?

Received Thursday, January 29, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I need some advice. I have been working with this family for two years. I take care of an eight year-old and a three year-old. I take my four year-old with me in the days. I work three 15 hour days and get paid $340 weekly cash. I drive the kids to activites, cook, clean, do the dishes, do laundry and ironing for the kids, assist with homework, buy groceries and anything else child related. I am in Rockville Maryland. I was wondering if I am being underpaid because the hours are long and the work is mounting or so it seems. I have not gotten a raise in two years. The problem is that these people are decent in the way they treat me and my child. They don't bother me one bit. I am thankful for them but I can barely provide the basics for myself. Should I be getting more? How much for this area? How do I ask for a raise without creating a hostile or uncomfortable working environment?

This post bring up a question that has oft been submitted to the blog. What is the best way to ask for a raise? Employers, we'd like to hear from you on this one.


Anonymous said...
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N VA Nanny said...

You are making $7.50/hr. That is completely unreasonable. You definitely deserve a raise. I would say $15/hr minimum in this area.
Do you think they pay you less because you are able to bring your child? Regardless you need more money.

MN Nanny said...

$7.50 an hour? I made more working at a petstore...

I wouldn't nanny for two children, regardless of whether I was bringing my own child or not, for less than $15 an hour.

I would demand a raise if I were you. You should have been getting yearly raises in the first place.

Kenyata said...

Wow, sweetie I know it's tough out there right now but $7.50 is unacceptable. You need to ask for a raise asap. Just say that the cost of living has gone up, and you think that you need a raise. 2 kids for that amount of money is bad. Those people ought to be ashamed of themselves. If they say no I would search for a different job.

ericsmom said...

They probably feel they are doing you a favor by allowing your child to come to their house. But still thats too low for all those hours. Not sure how the area is.

But if the going rate is $15hr, maybe ask for $13hr. Since, you are bringing your child with you. And you don't have to worry about childcare.

career nanny said...

Has anyone given thought to the fact that her child is with her during these 15 hr work shifts? That is way too long to have your child away from home, out of their comfort zone. That's a lot to expect out of a child, who gets no choice in the matter. And to top it off, you get $7.50 an hour? I say forget asking for a raise and start looking for another job ASAP that offers more money and fewer hours than what you are working now, then leave!

career nanny said...

Oh and BTW, I have noticed that more families are accommodating their nanny in bringing along a child these days, especially if it is just one. It allows their child a chance to socialize more, and this nanny having a child so young is a plus!

DenverNanny said...

I doubt many parents would be willing to double their nanny's pay, even though they were paying such a low wage to begin with. Maybe set up a time to meet with both parents and bring up the difference between your pay and that of the average pay in your area. If the parents aren't willing to give you the whole raise, maybe you can discuss it and come to a number with which you'd both be happy.

Village said...

It could be the reason they are so happy is that you are making minimum wage, and they are thrilled.

$10 would be a living wage. I would ask for that.

But be prepared to be let go. I'd be using my other four days to see if I could find a better job.

Socalorangecountynanny said...

WOW...that isnt even min wage here in California. Given the fact you take your child with do save alot on childcare yourself. But $10 an hour at least...they are really getting a bargain with you.

honest nanny said...

That is unreasonably low even if you are bringing your daughter. I'd sit down with them ASAP and discuss this with them. Have an idea of what you need in order to live a little more comfortably, but be willing to bargain with them. Keep in mind you are bringing your child and thank them for allowing you to do that. However, let them know that you need and deserve more. Parents "get what they pay for." I was offered $9/hour from a family with 3 houses that cost more than a million dollars each. NO WAY will I let myself be taken advantage like that.

If $15/hour is normal in the area I would ask to be paid around $11-$13/hour since you are bringing your child. At least $450 cash/week!

If you haven't gotten a raise in two years you are DUE and you shouldn't feel bad asking for it. If they aren't willing to go up, maybe it is time to move on...

Nanny Taxi said...

$12-$15 is the minimum here, you need to ask for more $$
I know it's hard to bring it up, but if you are polite and reasonable they may be receptive. Don't you have a contract? If not,ask them to draw one up and have them include yearly raises. My nephew bags groceries and makes $9.25 an hour!

nannyneedsanap said...

No, it's not even minimum wage, but you accepted it when you took the job. To demand twice as much money now is unreasonable. You live and learn. I'm doing a lot of shit for my family that I shouldn't have to, but I agreed to it, so I can't complain. I've learned a good lesson for next time.

Snips and snails said...

I would not ask for more than $10 for now. And there is no other way to ask for the raise than flat out ask for the raise. Only you will know the best setting for that.

You did not ask, but it is important to point out: Posters are saying that $7.50 is not enough; you are not paying child care yourself, so when ou should take into account what you would be paying for your own child care if you were not allowed to bring your child to work with you.

You should reconsider being paid in cash. If you are working a full time job you are cheating yourself out of social security and your state/government out of taxes.

Georgia on the board said...

You work 45 hours a week. You agreed to work 3 days and long hours. You bring your child to work with you so if you were paying for child care yourself that would be using the rate mentioned here ($450 or $12 hr x 45 =540) so let's just say YOU low ball someone else for your child care and pay $250 a week. Add that 250 to your 340 (cash - shame on you for not claiming) and you get $611 a week or 200/day. If you want it ask, but don't be surprised if they balk at paying you $15 hour whether it was the going rate or not. I agree with snails, you just have to ask, and I would start with a discussion about a 2% raise per year. Oh, and consider paying the taxes on your income or having them start.

Metronanny said...

Ok, almost everyone gets a raise at least once per year so you are more than entitled to one.

Since you get paid cash I am I can only guess it's off the books, in which case you are really making about $9.00 per hour.

You cannot logically ask for $15 per hour. It would be way too large a raise. It also doesn't take into consideration the fact that you don't have to worry about paying for someone to watch your child. The perk of being able to have your own child with you is a huge bonus and must be figured into your compensation as a benefit.

I don't know what the parents do for a living, so it's hard to say what they can afford, but I would guess asking for and additional
$60-$75 per week would be reasonable compensation for your housekeeping services. If you are using your car and gas to haul their kids around, Ask for the cost of 2 tanks of gas per week additional to cover fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle.

Good luck to you, OP!

Metronanny said...
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nannyinmanhattan said...

I usually prompt my employers yearly with a performance appraisal. When they receive this via email...a list of questions concerning how they feel about the job I am doing and whether or not they have concerns and I also list my concerns.
I has worked for me from the first year I started. I was worried that they would screw me over and pretend they didn't know I was SUPPOSED to receive a raise yearly, and use as an excuse they being first time parents.
They eventually got with the program, and my salary is increased by 5% yearly.
I think if they, on their job receive a yearly raise, so should the employees of their home.
Fair is fair.

Good luck!


truth or consequences said...

Best way to ask for a raise? Don't do it. If you're worthy of a raise, you'll get it. If you signed on for a screwey wage to work for cheap ass bitches and hos, you've screwed yourself. They're not about to cough up anything more. Game over.

Start looking for a new job.

NannyInCharge said...

First of all I would go on a few interviews in your area to see what kind of pay you could be making, and to also have options ready in case things don't go as planned as far as getting a raise.

I agree that your pay is way too low, and yes you are getting childcare, but at the same time your child is a playmate for your child and I doubt the other kids get neglected any because your child is there.

Anyways, since it's been 2 years with no raise, I would ask for at least $10 dollars an hour. 45 hours a week is a lot of hours and very long days. If they are not willing to give you a decent raise, live and learn and start going on those interviews. They can't be mad at you for wanting you to better your life for you and your child. How can anyone live off of $300 something a week?

NVMom said...

Here is an employer's perspective. I bring up all issues WHEN I hire someone. That includes when reviews/raises will take place (at least once a year), job conditions, hours, everything.

Your starting salary is very important. Never start hoping to do better later. Employers generally will not bring you up to market standards if you did not start out that way.

Most people, in any profession, can expect raises of 3-5% these days if they get any raise at all. That's a small percentage on $7:50/hour. I would look for another job and start at a reasonable salary. You may not get $15/hour with bringing your own child, but you could probably get at least $10-12.

lynn said...

I think I'd ask for at least $10 ....I'm assuming the 8 yo is in school full getting $15 an hour like some suggested is a bit high esp in this economy. And bringing your dc to work with you is a HUGE perk since you don't have to pay for childcare youself like most working mothers do. Frankly, I'd start by saying to your employer..."I have something I need to talk about with you and it's very difficult for me to say... and I hope I can be tactful.....I am really struggling financially and I need to make more money. I was thinking X dollars an hour......I know times are tough and I don't mean to put you over a barrel, but I need to start looking for something else unless you can increase my salary....then add that you will be happy to work for your current wage until you find something else (unless you want to risk being unemployed and having zero income). Phrase it as if you really love your job, love them/the kids but that you can't support yourself with the wages you are earning right now.....good luck to you. If they are decent people, they would understand.

nannyinmanhattan said...

Write/email or just sit down for a friendly chat, ask them what they think about your performance for the past two years, whether or not they have any concerns, if they would like you to do anything differently etc...
Then remind them in a diplomatic way the length of time you were employed with them and ask them to consider giving you a raise.
If all is well as you say. If they agree they are happy with your performance, you should get what you ask for, if you don't they should be willing to negotiate some sort of salary increase with you.

Have no fear!!
Just go for it!


K said...

I would ask but keep in mind that with all that is going on in the world, $$ is tight. I don't know your bosses situation.It does sound as thougha raise is well deserved though. And congrats on finding a family that you adore so much!!!
I think it is wonderful that your boss allows you to bring your child to work..mine does too!

Good luck!

Justine said...

Yes, you are definitely getting paid too little.

When I worked in Rockville over 10 years ago, I left with making $10 an hour--nowadays it should be at least $12-$15.

The way I told (not asked) a previous employer for a raise: "I feel I deserve to be paid more".

They gave me a raise that very same pay period.

Just be honest and let them know how you feel.

my two cents said...

"I really enjoy working for you, and I love your kids. I especially appreciate that you allow me to bring my child to work with me. But over the past two years, the cost of living has really increased, and I've taken on some extra responsibilities (list a couple). Because of that, I was hoping we could negotiate some kind of raise."

Hopefully employer will then ask wht you had in mind. I would go with about $10, personally. Good luck.

grumpy girl said...

Hey there fellow Marylander nanny! I don't have any kids and I nanny for 45 hours per week. I don't just nanny though...i clean, cook, shop, run errands, you name it. I get $10 per hour. However, I am lookin for a new job and once I get that, I am giving them a little notice and leaving. I can't and simply just can't make ends meet with $450 per week.

Tell them in an email or text message that you want to sit down and discuss a few things with them. Start with some things that you know will have a good answer and then work your way into the pay raise. Explain to them that your finances have become unmanageable and you need to make Blah amount of money per hour or you will be forced to look for another job. The KEY here is starting the conversation with a POSTITIVE note and then hitting them with the money thing. A typical nanny should get a raise every year, at the least. I like to say I charge $15 per hour tops with my experience, education, no kids of my own and that's for two kids and all the other stuff I do that I listed above.

Nanny Prints said...

You should definitely consider getting paid on the books. Not only is it on the straight and level, but you'd get overtime for the extra 5 hrs a week as well.

I work 45 hours, get paid 20 dollars and hour, and for my additional overtime hours, get time an a half. Very worth it! :)

ridiculous said...

you are being SERIOUSLY underpaid.

You should be getting at least $15 an hour given duties and age of your own child. If you were being paid legally you should also get time and a half ($22.50) for the last 5hrs/week.

Discreetly start your job search and move on.

fox in socks said...

I like what my twocents said:
"I really enjoy working for you, and I love your kids. I especially appreciate that you allow me to bring my child to work with me. But over the past two years, the cost of living has really increased, and I've taken on some extra responsibilities (list a couple). Because of that, I was hoping we could negotiate some kind of raise."

I would add to this that you just love teh job, are really happy about everything, but that you just CAN'T make ends meet on this salary. Explain that you definitely do not want to leave the job. You want to stay, and that you understand that bringing your child with you is a real help to you. (After all, what other job would allow this? Pretty much none that pays enough to cover childcare for your own kid.) But, you just aren't making enough money to live on. Is it possible that they could give you a raise? Explain that a significant raise would really help and you would be very appreciative. Tell them, please think about it. You would really appreciate it.

Good luck and tell us what happens.

I don't think it would be fruitful for you to go in with a pre-conceived idea that everyone else is making $15 per hour, or some such. This would just create hostility and animosity on the part of your employer. Just tell them how much you love the job, love being able to bring your kid, but you have a problem and can't make ends meet, and can they help.

Chances are, maybe they have no idea that you can't make ends meet. If you're lucky, they will find out, and hopefully be able to give you a significant raise.

Vanessa said...

Wow... talk about abusive cheapskates. If I were you, I'd quit and look for a family that really does appreciate your work and won't exploit you and take advantage of your good character.

PinkNanny said...

I have had to ask for raises a few times before. I have gotten good results by just asking in a very honest, sincere way.

I start by explaining my financial situation a little. I explain that lately I have been a little stressed because of money (or however I honestly feel).

I also make sure to say that I need more income to pay my bills and just to live. I tell them how much I appreciate working for them and that I love my job.

I say that I understand if they can't give me more, but that I may need to look for other work if I can't make more money in my current situation.

Whatever you do, don't say what other people make!

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Rockville said...

I use to live in Rockville, and let me tell you... even bringing your child with you, you are getting way under paid for the area. I am a PT Nanny myself and I would never take less than $12.50 for up to 2 kids plus time and a half after 40 hrs (Federal law) and paid holidays. Are they paying your SS & other required taxes too? It is their responsibility to pay taxes (again Federal law) on anything you made, but it is your responsibility to be paid legal.

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RUN! said...

You have been working for a family for 2 years and all they pay you is 7.50 an hour?? lol hahaha Run Run Run as fast as you can.