We all want to make more money at work, and the start of a new year often coincides with a boost in income. That said, raises are by no means guaranteed, and just because your friends and peers might be getting an increase doesn't mean you should automatically expect the same. If you really want to score a raise for 2019, here are some steps you should take.
1. Ask sooner rather than later
You might think that asking for a raise would lower your chances of getting one, since you'll risk coming off as too bold or greedy. But actually, 70% of workers who request more money are successful to some degree, according to data from PayScale. Just as importantly, 39% of those who ask for raises get the exact boost they're looking for, which is why it pays to not just state that you'd like more money, but rather, give your boss a hard figure to work with.
That said, you don't want to put off the raise discussion much longer, because the closer you get to the end of the year, the more likely it'll be that your company will have mapped out its 2019 budget. And if there's no room in that budget for the number you're asking for, you might get denied on the basis of bad timing.
2. Figure out what you're really worth
Maybe you have an idea of what most people in your industry make. But wouldn't it be better to have precise figures? The more salary data you dig up and present to your manager when asking for a raise, the stronger a case you'll ultimately build. There are dozens of sites you can use to access this information, such as Glassdoor, which has a "Know Your Worth" tool that lets you research salary data by industry, job title, and geographic location.
That last point is important, because while sites like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics might give you salary averages on a national level, it pays to get more granular when making the case for a raise. After all, if you live in New York City and have the same job title as someone in rural Georgia, your salary should be higher by virtue of the higher cost of living you're exposed to. Therefore, be sure to find research that accounts for geographic differences when making your case.
3. Earn that increase
Just because the average person in your area with your job description makes $60,000 doesn't mean you deserve to be earning that much. If you really want to sway your boss to give you a boost, earn it. Take a class to improve your skills, volunteer for a new project that no one else seems to want to own, or push yourself to finish up a major task you know your manager has been waiting on. It's one thing to tell your boss you'll do an even better job in 2019, but it's another thing to take steps today to prove that you'll be able to make good on that promise.
A raise won't necessarily just land in your lap. If you want your earnings to increase in the new year, you'll need to be proactive in making that happen -- even if it means working harder and stepping outside of your comfort zone.