I recently got a nice pay raise. I didn't have to negotiate for one becausemy salary increase was guaranteed under a contract.
But how many of you think you deserve a raise, only to hear thesewords from the boss: We can't afford it. Workers cited getting a raise astheir No. 1 priority this year, according to a New Year resolution surveyby Adecco Staffing North America.
Here's the bad news: Next year, increases for salaries are expectedto remain relatively unchanged at 3.7 percent, according to Hewitt
Associates, a global human resources firm. Salary hikes have not generallykept up with the rate of inflation -- 3.8 percent in the past 12 monthsending in August, according to government data. (Feel free to complainnow.)
Complicating matters is some companies have replaced across-the-boardsalary increases for performance-based pay.
But that doesn't mean you should settle for little or no raise if youbelieve you're worth more. You could snag a raise by making a strong caseto your boss, especially now when the labor market is tight, experts say.
Here are some tips:Do your homework. Research the market salary for your position and
experience. There are plenty of salary surveys and data out there. Job
search engine www.indeed.com recently launched a new function where workers
can retrieve salary data by titles and certain skills, such as foreign
language or certification.
Get prepared for the meeting by putting together a list of your
accomplishments. Give specific examples of successful projects or
better-than-expected sales. Steve Schneiders, a director at Sudina Search,
a Timonium-based recruiting firm, says workers need to show the value they
bring to the organization.
"You have to have concrete evidence," he says. "You can't just say,
'I deserve it because I worked hard.'"
In some cases, an alternative job offer or interest from other
recruiters can help boost your case. But be very careful in how you use
this potential leverage because it can backfire. Paul Forster, chief
executive officer of indeed.com, says you don't want to come off as
blackmailing your employer.
And if you still don't get a raise, Forster suggests asking for other
perks, such as more vacation time or further training and education
opportunities. Forster says additional skills and training will increase a
worker's value and "justify a raise when the company is in a position to
From the mailbag: Tracy, a reader from Philadelphia, wrote about a
She was fired from a job a year ago for not working an event that was
mandatory because of an emergency.
Now, Tracy says she has an interview with the same company but
different department. Should she go on the interview? If she does, should
she come clean about her employment history with the company?
Eileen Levitt, president of the HR Team in Columbia, who frequently
interviews job candidates, questions why Tracy wants to work there
considering "apples -- in this case managers -- don't fall far from trees."
But Levitt says Tracy should be honest if she goes on the interview.
"That way, when she runs into her old boss, her new one will have all
the details, and it will take away the old boss' ability to diminish her
in the eyes of her new manager," Levitt says.
Have you been successful getting a raise? And what else is on your
mind about life at work? Send your stories, tips and questions to email@example.com.
Please include your first name and your city.
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