MINNETONKA, Minn. - With the worst of the economic crisis behind us, most employers have moved beyond the pay cuts, pay freezes and furloughs.
As the economy shows signs of improvement, it has many workers wondering if the time is right to ask for that richly deserved raise.
"If you're just a seat warmer and you're not a game changer, chances are you won't get the raise that you're looking for," said professional recruiter Marni Hockenberg.
Hockenberg has a few tips on how to earn a few more bucks.
He says to find out a benchmark. What to do the people in a specific industry and market currently earn.
Once you know the earning potential, and then set aside a time with the boss well before you plan to ask for a raise to lay a little groundwork. Discuss goals that need to be met to earn more money and ways to separate yourself from others.
Setting goals ahead of time will help establish expectations and in turn, help you meet the criteria to earn more money down the road, Hockenberg said.
"How can I be that top performer that can earn the raise, you have to earn raises these days. It's generally not automatic," explained Hockenberg.
She said that workers should create a list of accomplishments or a "brag book" that illustrates the different ways they have helped their company either make money, save money or streamline a process. Businesses now look more closely at productivity and how much a person can contribute.
When to ask for a raise is also key.
"Where is your company at right now financially?" explained Hockenberg. "How are they doing? Are they just barely hanging on? That's probably not a great time to go ask for a raise."
If the timing does seems right, be prepared and treat the "raise conversation" like a business meeting.
"You go in and you say, 'OK, here I've done all of this now let's talk about my increase and they don't give you the increase,'" Hockenberg said. "I would dig a little bit deeper and say, 'Did something happen between the conversation we had and right now?'"
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