Annual Review...need advice!

So, I have my first annual review coming up in the next couple weeks, and I’m not sure how to prepare for it. I guess my questions are simple:

What should I expect, and what kinds of issues should I bring up then?

How do I ask for a raise, and how much should I expect to get? I’m 1 year out of school, and I am the only designer in house. I manage all or the projects and coordinate with our factories in Asia. I feel like my job is a mix between a staff designer and a jr. project manager of sorts. The first 6mo. I was learning the ropes, but now I know what has to be done and I work on my own and manage myself 90% of the time.

How much can one expect to get after their first year, and how should I negotiate my position?

Any help or advice would be really appreciated.

first off, think from your employers perspective.

how is the company doing? making money? laying off people, busy, etc.?

how do you compare to others already working there?

how do you compare to other potential designer who would want your job?

how does your salary compare to average salaries for similar positions?

did you already negociate up when getting the entry level position?

the key i believe is showing what you are worth and what they get for their money. #1 are you willing to walk away for another job if you dont get a raise? if not, what incentive does an employer have to give you more if you will work for less?

can you show how you have saved the company $ doing something they would have to outsource or hire another person?

are you doing more than you bargained for for the position?

from what you describe, having only 1 designer in house and given you have only 1 yr experience, it doesnt sound like design is that high a priority or value for the company (unfortunately). to me, it sounds like the first 6mo. of your job was getting up to speed and just now you are doing the job. unless your contract was based on some sort of a forecasted increase, id say it’d be hard to get an increase. look at from their persepctive- for the first 6mo. you were doing LESS than they paid you for while you were learning.

still, you can try, but also maybe want to consider a strategic plan to not ask for anything now, and wait until you are really indispensible and then ask…

just my 0.02$ worth.


Thanks R…all good things to consider.

Do you (or anyone else) know what the average percentage a annual raise would be? Is there a certain point where it jumps up significantly?

annual raise is normally inline with inflation if you are talking about cost of living increases. depends on where you live. north america avg. seems about 1-3%/yr.

normally there are 3 types of raises-

  1. cost of living. as above. very small.
  2. performance raise- based on doing a good job, over and above your job description, etc. could be anywhere from 5-10% or some sort of a bonus structure.
  3. readjustment- usually goes with getting a new position or a change in your job description, managing more people, taking on different tasks, etc. could be anywhere from 5-20%+ …or more if you jump from jr. designer to VP :wink:

%'s and raises vary a lot depending on the industry, company, country, you, your experience, etc. don’t hold me to any of these numbers should anyone come work for me :slight_smile: