Some might say you’re lucky to even have a job.  It’s tough out there right now and for some, finding a job has taken longer than expected.  But you’re one of the lucky ones — you have a job, and love it or hate it — it’s a job that’s paying the bills.

But still you’re not happy.  You think you should be earning more for what you do, for how faithful you are, for how well you do your job. Is it possible to ask for a raise during a bad economy?


FACT: Most people would pay more for something that has a high return.  A car that won’t break down, over a car that constantly has problems. In the long run, that car that doesn’t break down holds its value.

FACT: Buying fast food is fast — and cheap. But over time, it’s not good for you. It’s much better to spend the money on a real, healthy meal and reap the rewards of good eating.

Do you see where we’re going with this? You’ve got to convince your boss that you aren’t fast food, you’re a steak dinner.  Asking for a raise during a uncertain times is possible, even practical if you’re a valued, contributing employee.

But how do you ask for more when most people have less or nothing at all? Live by this rule of threes:

1. What have you done for me lately?

Take the time to do your homework on what you’ve done for the company.  If you’ve single-handedly introduced a new     organisational system, point that out — and don’t forget to highlight what this new organisational system has done for the company. Has it streamlined processes? Catapulted efficiency? Those are things that add to the bottom line of the company and reflect well on you and your job performance.

2. Just the facts

How long have you been at the company? How many sick days have you taken? Have you worked late, come in early, worked on holidays just to get the job done? Nothing speaks louder than cold, hard facts and if you’re known for always stepping up to the plate and taking on more without asking for more (in the past) now it’s time to bring that information to light.

3. May I have some more?

Now is the time to expand your job description.  In your compensation conversation, propose new responsibilities that you’re willing to take on.  If you’re one employee willing to do 1.5 jobs for a pay increase, in an employer’s eyes, that’s more cost-effective on time and money.  You already know what you’re doing so they don’t have to train somebody new,and they are saving money by raising your established salary.

Timing is important, so do a little investigating.  If you find out people are getting cut this week, it might not be the best time to ask for a raise. Wait until things settle down a bit and then ask.

Also, if there’s anything you can do to bring on new clients or grow the business, do that first — create your own raise!  Then when you go to your manager with your request they will already be happy with the new business you brought in the door and that raise is as good as yours.



Is a vivacious woman, driven by her love for her family. She strives to create a life with work/life balance and knows what it is like to raise a family and want a career for herself.


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