Is it a good or bad time to ask for a raise? It depends upon some dynamics within the organization for which you work. Answer some basic questions for your answer:
Is your company accelerating revenue and profit? Are there many open positions that the company is finding hard to fill? Are new employees being hired at inflated pay just to get them on board? Are they receiving hiring bonuses? Is your function at the core of the business? Is your performance better than average? Are you at the bottom or top of the salary range? If you’re below the mid-point of the range your chances are better for a raise than if you’re near the top of the range. These are the kinds of questions that suggest your chances of asking for and getting a pay raise, if not a promotion, are very good.
The reverse is also true if your company is not growing or producing increased profits. Are employees around you leaving or is there a staff cut rumor? Is turnover becoming a problem? Are you asked to work more hours or is the pressure to produce more becoming a habit? Are your competitors hiring while your company is remaining static? If your company is publicly held, is the stock price up, down or the same as a year ago? These are the kinds of questions that suggest you may want to test the market. The marketplace will tell you a lot about your function and the demand for your expertise.
Here are some other questions that will help answer the question about a raise or promotion:
- Are you getting calls from recruiters? Are the opportunities equal to or better than your current job? Are there promotional opportunities? Is the job 20% to 30% higher than your current pay? Are the jobs in the same industry (easier transition) or different industry (more difficult)
- The economy is surging, but not for everyone. Are your skills in high demand? Can you leverage your experiences in a way that a company can see your potential contribution? Have you upgraded your skills through on-line courses or a new certification?
- Do you enjoy your work and the people around you? Are you comfortable and learning new skills and experiences through your boss? Is the culture of the organization compatible with your style? Are you getting the training you need to improve performance or the development you need to assume more responsibilities?
- Test the market by researching similar jobs in comparable companies through website boards to give you an idea of your compensation range. It will provide you with information as to where you are in relation to your function, industry, company and competitive position.
- Determine how to differentiate yourself from others. What do you have to offer a company that few others can claim? Skills? Experience? Measurable results? Education?
Now is the perfect time to evaluate your future direction. The marketplace is hot for talent.
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