Yesterday I saw a “career expert” with a book to sell on a national morning show talking about how to ask for a raise. She had four points. The first should be considered malpractice by anyone in the careers industry. She suggested telling your current employer that you received an offer from one of their competitors to create demand and solicit a counter offer to keep you from flying the coop. After all, it costs employers a lot to hire new team members. I see three problems with this advice.

1 – It damages your integrity if you take it. What happens when your employer calls your bluff? The “career expert” mentioned this might happen, but had no solution. So what happens?! You’re out of a job. On the other hand, if your employer decides to match the faux offer you’ve received and then they find out that they were duped into giving you a raise, it will damage any trust you’ve built with them.

2 – When does telling your employer you are looking for another job turn out well? How would you feel if someone you counted on told you they were actively looking for another job while continuing to come in and work for you? Sure. It happens, but your current employer typically doesn’t know. It can further damage a relationship that was already attenuating. It may make them start the process to replace you before you want to be replaced. Etc. Etc. Etc.

3 – You have to live with yourself if you choose to follow this advice. You lied to get a raise. You tricked your employer into giving you a raise when your merits should have been enough. Bottom line, if an employer won’t give you a raise based upon merit – see ya! No games. No tricks. Get your resume out there. Your current employer has told you everything about their philosophy about rewarding excellence and it’s not good.

It’s too bad this career expert opened with this piece of advice. It was distracting from the other sound advice she gave for getting a raise. Beware of career advice. If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t follow it no matter how touted the expert or slick the book the advice comes in.

The best is yet to come,


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