Things aren’t exactly all that great economy-wise at the moment, but that shouldn’t stop you from piping up if you want a raise. That’s the stance New York Times reporter Tara Siegel Bernard takes in a recent article.
“There have been some encouraging signs on pay lately,” Bernard said.” Only about 9 per cent of companies have put pay freezes in place over the last 18 months, a rate more in line with historical levels. That’s down from the nearly two-thirds of companies that had pay freezes in place in January 2010, according to research conducted by Buck Consultants.”
Sure, companies can cut employees by the thousands with no problem — it’s only business after all. But it’s not like you can look at your kids or spouse and decide to kick a few of them out of the house due to “budget cuts.”
The cost of health care is on the rise, as well as college tuition and gas, all trends that haven’t quite kept up with employee salaries, unless you work in IT that is. You shouldn’t be afraid to speak up if you feel you’ve earned a raise.
The worst that could happen is you’re turned down flat-out. Even if you’re granted your wish, don’t expect much. Bernard reports the average merit increase these days has been 1.9 to 2 per cent.
Career expert Penelope Trunk told Your Money that raises will be given to employees who put in the hard work and time to earn them. Clockwatchers will likely miss out.
Your shot at getting a salary bump jumps if you’re an exceptional employee, but you’ve got to prove your worth to the higher-ups first.
“I don’t think anyone deserves a raise just for showing up,” she said. “If you’ve been at a company for three years, then expect a raise in the fourth year, why? If you want consistent raises, you have to keep learning and adding to your skill set all the time.”