Some companies have periodic employee reviews and set intervals to discuss pay increases. This makes it easy to know where you stand and when you can expect a raise.
Other places are more random, though. You might get three or four raises in a year or none unless you ask for one.
If you work for a company that doesn’t have specific processes in place for salary discussions, you may have to initiate one yourself. But it can be hard to know when it’s time to ask for a raise.
When you think it’s been a while and you’re due for a raise, watch for these five subtle signs. If you see them, you’re definitely justified in asking for a pay increase!
1. You Go Above and Beyond Your Duties Regularly
Your salary is what you earn for doing your job. But you’ve probably noticed that some people go to work each day and put in 100%, while others skate by with as minimal effort as possible.
If you’re constantly in the 100% range, you can be proud of yourself for doing your job as you should be. When you go above and beyond the call of duty, volunteering to help when it’s needed, you’re paving the way to a raise.
This can be tricky, though. Some people go over their job descriptions and step on their coworkers’ toes. Make sure you’re only volunteering for jobs that no one else is doing before you expect to be rewarded for your hard work.
And ultimately, keep in mind that volunteering is a reward all on its own. A raise would be a bonus!
2. The Company is Thriving
How well the business’s net profits are doing plays a part in employees’ salaries. When the company you’re working for is doing well, it’s more likely that a raise request would be approved.
But if the business is struggling to cover expenses, chances are, they’re not going to be able to give you that increase, even if they’d like to.
Look for telltale signs of abundance or lack. If memos are going out initiating ways to cut costs or people are being laid off, the business is financially unstable at the moment. It could be a seasonal slow-down, too, in which case you should wait until the busy season kicks in to ask for a raise.
3. Your Contract is Nearing its End
Your employer might not be paying attention to the dates on your contract, but you should. As you notice your terms are coming to an end, it’s time to revisit them.
Are there changes you’d like to make to your hours, PTO, or salary? This is the time to prepare your requests in writing. It’s also the perfect opportunity to have your contract reviewed by a professional to check for areas that you should negotiate before renewing.
Use sites like Glassdoor and Payscale to check out what other people in your profession and location are making. Is your current salary on par with that amount? If not, you have leverage when you ask for a raise.
Armed with this information, you have options if your employer denies your request. You can opt to try to negotiate better perks instead if the problem is financial. Or, you can choose not to renew your contract and find a higher-paying position elsewhere.
4. You Further Your Education
Picking up a new skill or degree is always cause for a celebration! In your case, this could be in the form of a pay raise.
Depending on what your new skill is, it may be worthy of a higher salary. For example, learning a new computer program is beneficial but probably not helpful to the company financially.
Picking up a certification in an in-demand medical field as a physician, though, could mean the facility gets to bill new codes. Your value just went up with that extra skill, and you should be compensated for it.
5. You’ve Been Offered Another Job
Depending on your industry, people with your skills may be needed in other companies, too. In your networking adventures, if you are offered another job elsewhere for more money, it can be a tough decision.
Your loyalty might be with your current employer, or you’re happy where you’re at. But more money is a tempting reason to switch positions.
Before you decide what you’re going to do, talk to your HR person while the other offer is still hot. Let them know that you don’t want to leave, but the extra money would be helpful.
This gives them the opportunity to counter with a raise to keep you with them. Even if it’s not as much as the other job is offering, it’s more than you were making, and you get to stay where you’re comfortable.
However, you should be prepared that your current employer might not be willing to give you a raise. They may accept the meeting as your resignation, so make sure you’re ready to leave if you try to leverage the other job offer this way.
Knowing when to ask for a salary increase isn’t always black and white. But when you feel like your work is deserving of more money, look for these five signs to encourage you to go for that raise!