How To Position Yourself for a Salary Increase

by Jan Roland

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Are you worried you could lose your regular salary increases for the next few years to another recession? Start taking these steps to position yourself for a bigger paycheck regardless of what the economy does.

Whether it’s a recession or a virus that slows the economy, it’s hard to get a raise when many are just trying to hang onto their jobs. That’s true regardless of how long we’ve been at our jobs.

So if staying in your job isn’t enough to get you a raise, what can you do to increase your take-home pay? Human resource experts suggest that you manage your work life as if it were a business. Make plans for where you want to go and how you plan on getting there. Consider taking these steps as you begin to manage your career.

Develop a written plan.

Business owners start with a plan. An unwritten plan is just a wish. Writing down your plan forces you to think about it and commit to it. It also sets you up to track your progress.

Make the plan detailed.

A written plan should contain much more than your ultimate goal. You’ll want to include the small steps along the way. List the job that you hope to have next, and the one after that. Include skills that you want to learn. Arrange them in the order that you hope to accomplish them. Make it a step-by-step plan.

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Add a timeline to your plan.

Set specific targets for completion of specific goals. List when you want the next promotion or raise. Target completion dates on specific tasks or skills. Put yourself in a position to know whether you’re moving along your desired path or not.

Let your boss know your plan.

Even in low level jobs, your boss should be glad that you want to do a good job and earn a promotion. If they know you’re interested in advancement, they could make additional training and job challenges available to you.

Don’t go it alone.

Find a co-worker or friend to share the journey. Whether you’re taking a class, learning a new skill, or celebrating the achievement of one of your goals, it’s always more enjoyable to share it with someone else.

Work on your communication skills.

No matter your career path, learning to communicate well will help you move forward. A “good listener” is not only well liked, but they also learn more from other people. Also, someone who can communicate their ideas will have an advantage over others who have trouble getting an idea across.

Learn different jobs.

Always be open to learning new work skills. Look for opportunities to test a new piece of equipment or software or try a new method for solving a problem. Volunteer for special assignments or duties. Your boss will begin to look to you as a “go to” person when they have something different to accomplish. Your variety of skills will make you more valuable to your current organization or to another organization.

Take additional classes.

Learn as much as you can about subjects related to your work. Don’t limit yourself to accredited classes. You can learn a lot from professional organizations and online, too. Look specifically for skills that will be needed for the next job you expect to have.

Watch for trends in your field.

Will new skills be required for people doing your work? Are there any companies that are looking for employees with the skills that you have? Always look for opportunities that could provide you with advancement.

You don’t need to sit back and wait for someone to give you a raise. With some planning and work, you’ll put yourself in a position to claim a bigger paycheck!

Reviewed January 2023

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