After putting in hours upon hours, day after day at your job, the truest gesture of appreciation comes in the form of a raise.
Sure, a "thank you" here and there or a Saturday barbecue hosted by your boss is nice, but most employees agree that nothing says "I value your hard work" more than a good 'ole fashioned raise.
According to CBS News, the "new normal" for yearly raises is a 3% increase. Companies want to keep labor costs at more of a fixed expense than a variable one.
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Even if you do not work in a growing company, raises are not unheard of. If you're a good employee who's put in the work, it's never a bad thing to at least ask for a raise.
Tips for Negotiating a Raise
Among the factors to remember when looking to make a little more money on the job:
Go above and beyond your normal duties. It's easy to say you'll "work harder, take on extra work and be willing to put in overtime hours" after you receive the raise, but why not start doing all those extra little things now? That way, when you do go to ask for a raise, you can argue what you do, not what you will do.
Time it wisely. Ideally, you'll have been working with the company for at least one year to prove your worth and get a feel for the types of people that succeed. Additionally, know when your company does their annual budgets. It can be best to ask for a raise right before; that way, the money isn't all used up before you've gotten the raise.
Talk more than money. A monetary raise is great, but if the company isn't doing so hot right now, a raise may not be possible no matter how much you deserve one. Instead, be willing to negotiate for things other than money. Examples include extra vacation days, working from home a few days per week, or you could mention the possibility of a promotion (which would most likely come with a monetary increase).
What Not to Do
Among the things you want to avoid when seeking a raise:
Giving your employer an ultimatum. It's never a good idea to threaten your employer that you'll leave without getting a raise. The reason for not receiving a raise is most likely nothing personal, but by threatening to leave the company, the company will be inclined to replace you. With unemployment rates on the rise, the company knows there are qualified people out there who would gladly take your place in a heartbeat.
Telling your boss you need this raise. Listing out all of your bills and spending habits is not going to get you a raise. Everyone would like to have more money, so avoid "money" as the main reason for the raise. You want a raise because you work hard, go above and beyond what's expected of you, you're valuable to the company, and so on and so forth.
With employment rates high and the economy low, getting a raise can be tough. If and when you do decide to ask your employer for one, keep a positive attitude and your head high.
Remember, too, that if you don't get a monetary raise, you may be able to get extra paid time-off days or something of equal value.
As an employee, how have you been successful in getting more money on the job?