So I Don’t Deserve a Raise

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I just took a quiz on our sister site CNNMoney.com, and it turns out I really don’t deserve a raise.

The quiz accompanies a smart article by career-advice guru Annie Fisher of Fortune on how to get a raise. It’s adapted from Are You Paid What You’re Worth?: The Complete Guide to Negotiating the Salary, Benefits, Bonus and Raise You Deserve, by Michael O’Malley. Apparently, I am.

Question 1. If you left the company, how easy or hard would it be for the company to replace you? Um, easy. Writers are a dime a dozen, and what eager-beaver J-school grad wouldn’t want my job?

2. To what extent do you have abilities or possess knowledge that most others–both inside and outside the company–do not have? Somewhere between none and plenty, I guess. I mean, after five years with the magazine and 10 at the company, I’m somewhat comfortable navigating our administrative system and office politics. But there’s plenty I don’t know, like Ben Bernanke’s cell-phone number, or how to redesign a weekly magazine for the 21st century.

3. If your company had to eliminate departments, what would happen to yours? Sheesh. I’d like to think we wouldn’t be the first to go, but we wouldn’t be the last, either. Many publications farm out their writing; Reuters made news last year by outsourcing reporting to India. Who’s to say some smart girl in China couldn’t scratch out copy on deadline?

4. Is your department respected by other parts of the company? Here I can say, yes, absolutely. My department boasts a century of storied accomplishments, none of which I personally can take credit for but whose glow in which I can happily bask.

5. How much does your business or division contribute to the profitability of the company? Uh. Not the least, but not the most, either. It’s not our fault InStyle gets all the perfume ads.

6. Does it look as if your business will grow or shrink in coming years? Boy. That’s hard to say. I’d like to think the business, particularly the digital end, has unlimited potential for growth. But all signs point to a shrinking in our traditional line of work.

Overall I scored 18 out of 30, which gave me an “indispensability rating” of “medium.” In other words, I’m somewhat indispensable, or, if you’re a glass-half-empty sort, which I am–somewhat dispensable.

I’m glad I took this quiz. Truly, I am. It’s good to manage expectations. My kid’s Christmas list just got a little shorter.

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