How to Get a Raise in 2015


After 2008’s recession period, job growth has steadily been on the rise.  The growth has been slow but the statistics for a full year (2014) has shown steady growth in jobs every quarter, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In November 2014, employers said that they had about 5 million openings, up 142,000 from October 2014.  In fact, employers have reported a higher number of openings that they can fill and this suggests that to make these jobs more attractive to fill, employers need to offer higher pay, improved benefits, better working conditions or a combination of these.

Short-term unemployment, which relates to workers out of jobs six months or less, is at its lowest since the start of the recession.  This indicates that there are workers available right now with readily available skills and who therefore can demand higher wages.

Furthermore, workers are more confident in leaving their current jobs if dissatisfied as they are more sure of getting hired based on their skill sets.  This “quit-rate” has hit its highest level in six years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September 2014 job openings and labor survey.

Glassdoor’s quarterly Employment Confidence Survey, released Friday, January 9, 2015, reports that more than one in three employees plan to search for new jobs this year if they don’t get a pay raise in 2015.  Also, 48 percent of the surveyed workers feel confident that they can find a new job in the next six months in the event that they do quit.

If you are feeling that a raise is in order there are a few strategic ways to go about it to get the desired outcome.  Asking for more money is a sensitive matter so do not rush into it hastily and get disappointed but approach it carefully and consider the tips below:

Be proactive:

A raise will not fall into your lap.  You have to be proactive about it.  This means you need to start a conversation with your boss about your compensation.  Don’t come across as whiny and ungrateful for the compensation that you currently receive though.  Appreciate what you have and clearly state why you feel that you deserve a raise.

Timing is everything:

Timing takes on several layers.  Firstly, the timing should be right in terms of your track record.  You should have a sustained record of accomplishments you can point to.  A raise is a recognition that you are contributing at a higher level than before.  Secondly, you should choose the time to talk wisely, not when your boss is busy or having a bad day, or just back from a business trip and needs to catch up.  Reflect on a good time to have this conversation and set up a meeting.  Giving your boss an idea of what you want to discuss is also a good idea.  No one wants to be surprised or cornered or put on the spot.  You will never get a raise by springing the idea on your boss anyway.  He will ask for more time so why not give him the time before hand and let him be prepared for the meeting as well.

Remember too, that most employees do not get raises more than once a year, except in very unusual circumstances.  So if you have already received a raise in the last 11 months, then you might wait a little longer.

Build a strong case:

To present a compelling case for a raise, you need to show a list of achievements in the last year and the impact you have had on your team and organization.  If there are specific positive feedback you’ve received, now would be a time to showcase them.

Know your worth:

Before you ask for a raise, know the market rate for your position.  You cannot ask your employer to pay you significantly higher than the market rate so you need to research the fair market value for your position.  The best way to go about this is to ask recruiters, other people in your field and professional organizations in your field.

Finally, make sure to consider the noteworthy benefits your company provides like generous retirement contributions and unusual amounts of paid time off.

For more information, access our career tools here and read our career articles.

Good luck!


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