We all feel we deserve a raise, but are we entitled to one. Are employers required to give raises? Unless you have a contract stating you will receive a raise at a certain point, your employer is not required to give you one. Additionally, some people work without ever seeing a raise.
The average raise hovers between three and four percent a year, but depending on your job, this could be more or less. With the average annual inflation rate fluctuating between 2 and 4 percent, a raise may not actually be gaining you any ground. For those who want to do better than keep pace with inflation, here are some ways to increase the odds of getting a raise.
- Give at least 100 percent. If you are not doing the best you can at a minimum, then there is no reason for your employer to reward you with a raise. Even a better approach is going beyond what is required.
- Document your efforts. While your boss may know most of what you are doing, he may not know everything. This is especially true if you are helping others with work that improves your productivity, but not necessarily supervised by your boss. Documenting all you do is a good way to show your boss why you deserve a raise, especially if you have gone beyond what was required.
- Set goals to achieve. Many employees get yearly performance reviews, which include tasks to complete in the coming year. This is your checklist to complete for your “100 percent effort.” If you do not receive a yearly objectives list, create one yourself with the help of your boss and strive for those goals.
- Improve your appearance. According to research, good-looking people earn more money than those who are less attractive. Always be well groomed and look your best no matter what your job.
- Volunteer for the undesirable jobs. You know the jobs. Your boss asks for volunteers for a new company initiative or something of the sort that makes everyone groan. Do not be afraid to take on the task. It may lead to more experience and it will show your boss you are a team player.
- When you ask, do not say you “want” a raise. Tell them you deserve a raise. Break out that documentation of accomplishments for the year and explain why you deserve that raise.
- Try to attain a certification. Trying for a certification can show an employer how serious you are about your career. Some employers even pay for some or all of the education required in obtaining a certification.
- Help the company. Remember the Staples commercial where various people saved their company money by using Staples for all of their office supplies? Look for ways to improve efficiency and save money. Helping your employer’s bottom line will likely help yours.
Just because you are not “entitled” to receive a raise does not mean you should not try for one. Sometimes this is out of your control, but do not give up. Everyone deserves compensation for a job well done, especially if it is going beyond what is required. In addition, if your employer does not see it your way, there are probably other employers looking for motivated employees.
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