In today’s economy, the prospect of asking for a raise can be more intimidating than usual, yet with more mass layoffs and rising inflation, even more necessary. With so much uncertainty, many employees find themselves wondering if it’s the right time to approach their managers about the salary increase that they desperately need to weather the difficult financial times.
To understand the gravity of the issue, let’s look at some recent data: Roughly 28% of Americans have been laid off in the past two years, and U.S. incomes have decreased for the third year in a row. When 48% of Americans have anxiety about even keeping their job, asking for a raise can seem unthinkable.
However, with the right approach, it’s still possible to advocate for fair compensation. Here are some tips to do it right and secure that pay increase you deserve.
1. Research And Reflect
Before you even think about scheduling a meeting with your supervisor, do your homework. Utilize salary comparison websites, professional networks and industry reports to gather data on industry standards and salary benchmarks for your role.
Next, reflect on your performance. Highlight your responsibilities, achievements, and any additional skills or certifications you’ve acquired since your last salary negotiation. By keeping printouts of positive client feedback, and noting where you’ve exceeded expectations in your job, you’re in a good spot! Be prepared to demonstrate your value to the company, especially in terms of contributing to stability during difficult times. Your research and reflection will not only help you determine a fair raise request, but it will also boost your confidence during the conversation.
2. Know That Timing Is Everything
In a down economy, timing becomes a much more critical factor in requesting a raise. Consider the financial health of your company and industry: if your organization is facing financial difficulties or laying off employees, it may not be the best time to ask for a raise; however, if your company is relatively stable or has recently reported positive financial results, your manager may be more receptive to the idea.
Nonetheless, there is always room to compensate someone more if they’re overdelivering in their results, and indispensable to the team.
Be sure to choose an appropriate moment within your company’s annual review cycle or budget planning period. Strategic timing can increase the likelihood of a positive response.
To make the conversation more casual and well-received, you might frame the meeting as a time to outline your financial goals and ask how you and your manager can work together to put you on track to meet these objectives, instead as the end all be all negotiation table.
3. Emphasize Your Value And Loyalty
In a downturn, employers often prioritize adaptable and resourceful employees who can help the organization weather the storm. When you approach your manager for a raise, emphasize your ability to adapt to changing circumstances, your willingness to take on additional responsibilities, and your contributions to cost-saving measures or revenue generation.
Showcase specific examples of how your skills and effort have made a difference in the company’s performance. By positioning yourself as an indispensable asset and a loyal employee, you not only justify your request for a raise but also demonstrate your commitment to the organization’s success.
While asking for a raise in a down economy may seem like a daunting task, it’s not an impossible one. Remember that open and respectful communication with your employer is key to achieving your financial goals, even during challenging economic times.
Approach the conversation with confidence and a clear understanding of your worth, and you may find that your employer is more willing to reward your contributions than you anticipated. In the end, it’s not just about asking for a raise; it’s about asking for fair compensation and recognizing your own value in the workplace.