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Should I ask for $25,000 more?

Q. I was hired four years ago as a desktop technician for a Fortune 500 company. Since then I have skyrocketed up in the company, and I have been getting spot bonuses (of $1,200) and salary increases of about 9 percent a year.

However, since I was hired as a desktop tech and was given a competitive salary for that field, I've since become a major software/Web developer for the company. For the past two years I have been doing client/server development, but for the salary of a highly paid desktop tech, which is much lower.

My manager just walked into my office and told me I was now classified as a high-profile employee of great importance by the senior executive. I was told I am changing job titles and I should write up a profile of what I consider my future with the company and my salary requirements. Would it make sense to ask for a salary of at least $25,000 more than I'm getting?

A. Before you start negotiating any salary with your current employer, ask your supervisor to tell you your new job title, and describe your new responsibilities. It's not a good idea to take on the responsibility of defining your new job responsibilities, since it is ultimately up to your supervisor to approve them.

After you have some idea of what your new job will be, go to the Salary Wizard or get a Personal Salary Report and match those requirements to the appropriate job description. Let the data from your research guide you through your salary negotiations.

Good luck.