Hoping for a raise going into 2018? You're not alone. Most of us could use more money, whether it's to pay the bills, save for a specific milestone, or have a little extra breathing room for emergencies.
The good news is that most large companies plan to give out raises for 2018, according to consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. Furthermore, the average increase will be somewhere in the ballpark of 3%, which, if you're earning $60,000 at present, will put another $1,800 in your pocket next year, minus taxes.
Still, just because many employers will be dishing out pay increases doesn't mean you're guaranteed to get one. If you want to improve your chances of seeing a larger paycheck in 2018, here are a few key moves to make this month.
1. Volunteer for something big
Whether you volunteer to drive a new marketing campaign or do that research report nobody wants to do, going above and beyond toward the end of the year is a good way to secure a raise for 2018. After all, if the fact that you're stepping up is fresh in your boss's mind, he or she is more likely to consider giving you a pay increase.
What if there's no major assignment to jump on? It's simple -- invent your own. Come up with a proposal for an initiative that will better the business, and offer to be the one to spearhead it. This will show your boss that you're thinking big and aren't afraid to take on new challenges, which will hopefully work to your advantage moneywise.
2. Get a major assignment done ahead of schedule
If you want to prove that you're worthy of a raise, you'll need to do a good job of delivering on the tasks you're responsible for. But if you really want to increase your chances, don't just aim to meet deadlines. Rather, get your assignments done well in advance, so much so that your boss can't help but take notice. This especially holds true for major projects that others are depending on.
3. Do your research
A big part of landing a raise is knowing how much you're worth. If you're eager to get a raise for 2018, do your research to see what the going rate is for your title. And don't just do a general search. Rather, find out what people in your position are making in your geographic region, keeping in mind that earnings tend to be higher in or near major cities, for example. If you're not sure where to begin, Glassdoor has a helpful "know your worth" tool that lets you search based on specific criteria.
4. Ask for a raise before decisions are set in stone
Initiating that conversation where you ask for a raise isn't easy, but don't wait too long to have it. Often, your company will need to get its budget in place well before the end of the year, which means that if you first sit down with your boss during the last week of December, you might be too late. If your company gives performance reviews, you can probably plan on working that conversation into your already scheduled meeting. But if you don't have a formal year-end wrap-up on the calendar, be proactive and set one up with your manager sooner rather than later.
Scoring a raise often boils down to getting your boss's attention, proving your value, doing your research, and timing your conversation just right. As we prepare to close out 2017, be sure to hit on all of these points if you want a raise going into the new year. That way, you'll have even more reason to celebrate once 2018 rolls around.