By Jacquelyn Smith
Think you deserve a bigger paycheck? Want to ask for a raise but not sure you’ll get one?
Plenty of employees are finding themselves in this predicament, because many recession-wary companies that stopped handing out raises during the economic downturn are still hesitant to open their wallets today. But career experts say that despite all the penny-pinching, a salary hike isn’t necessarily out of the question–so you might as well ask.
“Clearly most companies today are not looking for opportunities to hand out money,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant
. “During the boom era of the late ’90s when talent was scarce and retention was top of mind, nearly the opposite was true. While the corporate landscape is different now, you shouldn’t sit idly and feel dissatisfied in silence. If you have supportive evidence your salary is at sub-market levels, you should speak up.”
She says it is possible to get a raise, even in an environment where money isn’t exactly falling from trees. “Your organization has invested time and money in you. Savvy bosses understand that unhappy and underpaid employees are under-performing employees, which helps no one. It’s a drain on their time to have to re-hire and train a replacement that fits the corporate culture. So if you have a legitimate request, you do have a certain amount of leverage.”
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