In the past, most workers could expect a raise at least every year — more often than that if they were a strong performer. These days things are less clear. How do you know if you’re getting paid what you deserve? Ask yourself these questions before you go looking for other work.
This is when having a good network of contacts comes in handy. Ask others in the business, especially veterans with a lot of experience. What’s reasonable to expect? This way you can find out if there are problems in your industry that might be causing pay stagnation.
There’s no magic number, but if you haven’t gotten a raise in the last 18 months, then it’s time to start thinking about why that is. After all, the cost of goods and services increases every year, so should your pay. Bankrate reports that the cost of services will increase 2.5% in 2016.
It’s reasonable to expect that your employer should at least explain why you’re not getting a raise. Although there are plenty of other factors that determine why you might stay at a job, a survey by Robert Half found that 38% of employees who left their jobs did so because of inadequate salary and benefits.
With the constant demands of day-to-day business, it’s entirely possible that your employer has simply neglected to consider how much you’re being paid. If you feel you’re not being paid enough, schedule a meeting with your supervisor. Come prepared with a case for why you should be paid more. And don’t be afraid to negotiate.
You can make a better case for a raise if your career track lines up with staying at your current employer. If you can take on more responsibilities, you’ll be in a stronger position to ask for better pay. If you don’t see a long-term future at the company, then maybe it’s time to move on.
While many employees go into negotiations over pay, that isn’t the complete compensation package. For example, strong health insurance or a good retirement deal might be big incentives. Tell your employer exactly what you need, then be ready for a bit of back and forth.
Although the salary forecast isn’t strong, you should still pursue fair pay. Maybe it’s time to evaluate where you see yourself within the company and how you can move up.