It’s no secret that we’re in the midst of an economic downturn. Businesses are struggling, and many industries have been hit hard. As a result, a lot of people are worried about their jobs and their finances. The cost of living is rising, and wages have not kept pace. As a result, many people are struggling to make ends meet. But just because the economy is struggling, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight for what you deserve. If you’re not happy with your current salary, now is the time to ask for a raise. Here’s why:
Inflation Is Higher Than Wages
One of the most important things to understand when asking for a raise is inflation. In short, inflation is the rate at which prices for goods and services rise. It’s measured as an annual percentage change, and it directly impacts your purchasing power. Put simply, if inflation is high, it takes more money to buy the same things you could have bought last year.
Right now, inflation is sitting at about 9%. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually higher than wages. The average salary increase in 2021 was only 2.9%. So even if you got a raise last year, chances are it wasn’t enough to keep up with inflation. And that means your dollars aren’t going as far as they used to.
A Recession Could Be Looming
In addition to rising inflation rates, there’s also the possibility of a recession on the horizon. A recession is defined as “a significant decline in activity across the economy,” lasting longer than a few months. And while we’re not currently in a recession, many experts believe one could be coming soon. In fact, the odds of a recession happening in the next 12 months are currently at about 47.5%.
Of course, this all may seem like bad news. But there is a silver lining: now is actually an ideal time to ask for a raise.
Here are some tips in going in for the ask
Do Your Research
Before asking for a raise, it’s important to do your research. Pull up some data on the cost of living in your area and compare it to your current salary. If the cost of living has gone up by 9% but your salary has only increased by 2%, then you have a good case for asking for a raise. You can also look at the salaries of others in your field to see if you’re being underpaid relative to your peers. However, don’t use this as your only argument; employers are often aware of these statistics and may not be sympathetic if that’s all you have to say.
Frame It as An Investment In The Company
Instead of talking about how a raise would benefit you personally, try to frame it as an investment in the company. For example, you could say something like, “I know the company is working hard to cut costs, but I think investing in my development would be a wise long-term decision. I’m confident I could save the company X amount of money per year by doing Y.” This shows that you’re thinking about ways to improve the company’s bottom line, and that should be music to any employer’s ears.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
When asking for a raise, it’s important to be prepared to negotiate. Your boss may not be able to give you exactly what you want, but they may be willing to give you a smaller raise or some other form of compensation, like more vacation days. So, before going into your meeting, have a few ideas in mind for what you would be willing to accept. That way, even if you don’t get everything you want, you can still walk away with something.
Asking for a raise is never easy, and even though we’re facing difficult economic times, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight for what you deserve. That said, it’s still possible to successfully ask for a raise if you do your homework and frame your request in terms of how it will benefit the company. If you’re not happy with your current salary, now is the time to ask for a raise. Remember, be prepared to negotiate; sometimes getting part of what you want is better than getting nothing at all. Lastly, have a backup plan if your request is denied, start dusting off the old resume and be sure to start applying for other roles. Chances are, if you really like your company but have an offer from another company, they may be willing to match to keep you. Inflation rates are higher than wages, and a recession could be on the horizon—so don’t wait until it’s too late to get the compensation you deserve.