How to Ask for a Raise During Uncertain Times

Career Blog

So many people have seen their relationship with work change because of COVID-19 this year. Whether you’ve been furloughed or lost your job, seen your hours and salary reduced, or have adjusted to working remotely, the way we all work has been fundamentally altered.

While finding a job in these tough times seems like its own struggle – you can find tips on that here – asking for the raise you’ve been expecting or have earned might seem impossible given the circumstances. But, with the right preparation and strategy, you’ll be ready for the important talk with your boss, even if it is over Zoom.

3 tips on negotiating salary during a pandemic:

1. When to Ask

Timing is everything when it comes to important conversations. If you ask for a raise at the wrong time, it could easily backfire. For example, if your company had to lay people off earlier this year and business is still slow, it might be worth waiting. Make sure business is stable and secure, and you’ve been in your role for at least a year before thinking about a raise.

2. Know Your Value

What distinguishes you from other employees? What special qualities of yours can contribute to the company’s performance? Defining the value you bring to your employer will demonstrate to your boss the ways in which you’ve earned a raise, and why you deserve one. Start by pinpointing your achievements at work and paying attention to your unique skills.

3. Don’t Forget About Benefits!

Getting more out of your job doesn’t mean just getting more money in your pockets. If there are benefits to working at your employer, be sure to ask for and take advantage of them! These can include more paid time off, higher bonuses or commissions, tuition assistance or paid training, and even higher levels of coverage on your health plan.

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