If you're like us, your first thought when you hear that we're facing inflation and a pending recession is: "I'm sure glad I'm not unemployed." At the same time, while that may be true for us, the fact is that many employed people have been forced to take pay cuts or simply aren't getting raises.
We are not immune to these issues, either. But if you're working and worried about your pay, you can use this time to negotiate for a higher salary (if it's deserved and warranted).
The only question is how you can foster that conversation with your managers and bosses without sounding needy or desperate for your next pay raise. Today's blog will show you how you can do that while unlocking more opportunities to advance in your career.
Take Advantage of Free Training
In most cases, especially during inflationary times, management will only grant raises once you can show them you deserve them. Free training is one hidden way to prove you deserve increased income.
Free training is a great way to build your skillsets and show your managers that you are willing to take the initiative when needed. And during these times, they are looking to keep employees who can handle both abilities to advance the company.
For example, if your boss were looking for volunteers to attend a seminar on becoming a better leader, they would look favorably upon those who volunteer for that training.
So if your company offers free training, take advantage of it. A solid way to start is by checking in with the people who work around you. Perhaps they know about local workshops or conferences that might help further your career—or be fun and exciting.
Get To Know Your Boss
Another step in getting a raise is understanding who your boss is and what they think is essential. Knowing their values, understanding how they like to communicate, and trying to understand what they think you're doing right and wrong shows your interest in improving for the company's sake.
A great way to start is by getting your boss to talk about themselves by asking questions that show interest in what makes them tick. They can include questions like:
What's the best part of your job?
What does it mean when you say, "I never want us to become complacent?"
How do you feel about me working from home one day per week?
If there was one thing I could improve on at work, what would it be?
You don't need the whole world's secrets for this strategy to work. All you need is enough so that even if someone else did get promoted before you were ready for a promotion yourself (which happens), there'd still be no question as to who should get a raise next time around.
This also gives your boss time to see just how hardworking and dedicated an employee they have, as well as how much more valuable their company could be if only more people had qualities like yours.
Know Your Salary Worth
Before discussing a salary increase, you must prepare your points for the conversation. That all starts with knowing the type of salary that matches your worth and skill level.
You can research salaries in your field and region by simply searching online. You might be surprised at how much you'll learn about your industry's standards or what you should make if you want to stay competitive.
To apply this lesson to yourself, find out what people with comparable skills, experience, education, and location make before negotiating a new salary. If your potential employer doesn't disclose its employee salaries budget, find something similar on the company website, such as an article about company culture.
You can also ask friends and family who work in similar industries how much they currently earn. They can provide some stellar advice on negotiating your desired pay range and making it big financially in your industry.
Ask For A Promotion Directly
The next step is to ask for the promotion directly. Sounds daunting, right? But keep in mind that you're already qualified for the raise. All you need to do is get your managers to realize this. And if you can do that, they will be more willing to work with you for a higher salary.
The key here is preparation, which starts with knowing what you want, having specific reasons why you deserve it, and not being afraid of asking for more than what makes up the difference between your current pay and what you would like.
After calculating all this information, let's say you find out there is about $4,000 per year, separating your salary now and what you would want at your ideal compensation rate. In this case, you should ask for $4,000 per year more than what the company currently pays you—and then offer some compelling reasons why they should agree.
Remember that this is a conversation, not a debate. If you can bring your points across personally and professionally, your boss will likely take your side.
Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
One of the best methods of earning your pay raise is based on your negotiation skills. But before you discount this method as settling, here us out.
Negotiating for a raise is no easy task, but it can set you up for success in the workplace and beyond. If you're prepared and have done your research, you'll be ready to handle any salary negotiations confidently—and walk away if necessary.
Start by negotiating early on in your career (if applicable). Doing this allows you to establish a precedent that shows employers how valuable of an employee you are to them, making it easier for them to recognize you when it comes time for future big pay raises or changes in position or responsibilities.
Even if things don't go as planned (which they probably won't), learning these skills now will help lay the groundwork for future negotiations. And the better you negotiate, the more opportunities will knock at your door.
Learn When To Say No
Learning to say no will take you far, especially when trying to reach your desired salary. Plus, it prevents you from becoming obligated to stay at a job that doesn't want to pay you what you're worth.
In saying no, you also avoid becoming a victim of workplace slavery. You're already doing too much work, and management needs to know that you can't do it all. If they don't acknowledge this, find a new job because they will not change their minds or help you out.
Also, pay attention to the tasks that aren't part of your job description, and avoid getting sucked into them more than once every couple of months. By doing this, you maintain your dignity and make more room to grow in other areas of your industry.
You should be able to get higher pay despite inflation or a recession. You need to know what you want and the proper method of getting to your desired pay range.
Please note that if your company or industry is in a downturn, even if you are a star performer, the company may not be able to promote you or give you a raise at this time. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways for you to get promoted or earn more money.
You have to know what those things are and how they can help get your career on track so that when the time comes for promotions and raises again, you'll be ready. Consider these the steps needed to set that foundation and make way for that opportunity to present itself with time.
How will you begin to negotiate a higher salary with your employer today?