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Thriving, dynamic firm best bet for pay growth

bizO-DautenOdonnel_DaleJanine_BizODEAR J.T. & DALE: I love my job. My company had a rough year and there are no raises or bonuses. I really need a pay raise. I have school loans and want to eventually buy a home. How can I make more income without leaving my current employer? – Jessa

Dale: It’s great to love your job, but you need a job that loves you back. And by “love,” I mean gives you raises and opportunities for promotion. Here’s how important it is: Let’s assume for a minute that you’re one of three identical triplets – let’s call them Jessa, Tessa and Bessa. (Stay with me – it’s important.) Each of you currently makes $50,000 a year. All of you are identically wonderful employees. Jessa works for a stagnant company and gets a 5 percent raise every other year. Tessa works for a successful company where she earns that 5 percent raise every year. Bessa is with a thriving, dynamic company and not only gets those regular raises, but also gets promotions every two or three years, and each one comes with a 20 percent salary bump. Ten years from now, here’s what they each make:

• Jessa = $64,000

• Tessa = $81,000

• Bessa = $120,000+

That means Bessa will be the career star of the family, despite having the same skills, education and work ethic, only having had the sense or luck to get herself inside a fast-growing company. Here’s my point: It isn’t just how you do your job, but where.

J.T.: Excellent point. But getting back to the assumption in your question, Jessa, let’s consider what you can do right where you are. You could seek out a consulting or freelance gig that could supplement your efforts. Many sites are now available to help you, including,, and others. Even LinkedIn has a professional marketplace where you can promote yourself as a freelancer. Second, sit down with your boss and see if you might be able to work a reduced schedule of a 35-hour workweek for the same pay. Since you can’t get a raise or bonus, your boss may be willing to trade you for time. My guess is that you can do your job well in seven hours since you are loyal and want to stay there. This could give you the extra time you need in the week to freelance.

Dale: Except, hang a DANGER sign on that plan. If you’re laboring in a company that’s struggling, you don’t want to be the discontented employee who’s devoting energy to other jobs. After all, the next step might well be layoffs. So I’d suggest making a job search your new side job as you look for a company that loves you back.

Best of …

Dale: Time for us to pick an excellent new career resource and this one is easy because J.T. has a terrific new website called You’ve got to start by explaining that name.

J.T.: It came about when my team was discussing the studies showing that the average American spends over one hour each day on Facebook. We realized that if people can spend that much time on social media, they can invest 10 minutes a day in their careers. We also studied data from over 5,000 career-coaching customers and recognized that the secret to success is consistency of effort. So “work it daily” reflects the critical idea that if you will invest just a few minutes a day in your career development, you could achieve great things.

So, what we did was combine two older sites – one with free advice and the other with coaching services – and we brought the two together under one cyber roof. We have a free daily newsletter that I hope all our readers will sign up for – if you aren’t staying current, you can miss out on important workplace trends. Then, should you have a specific problem in your career, that’s when you should check out our courses to help you get clarity on what to do. The goal is to make solving career problems easy and affordable.

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm jtodonnell. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with com. Please visit them at, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. (c) 2016 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.