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No Raise in 2018? 4 Steps to Take Next Year

By Maurie Backman – Dec 18, 2018 at 9:48AM

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It can be disappointing to not get a boost in salary. If that was your reality this year, here's how to change things for 2019.

We all want to make more money at work, so if you didn't get a raise this year, you might be in a funk of sorts -- not to mention at a financial disadvantage going into the new year. The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take to improve your chances of snagging a pay boost in 2019. Here are a few to start with.

1. Learn some new skills

Maybe you've mastered your current role and have proven you can do your work reliably. That's all fine and good, but if you're looking to boost your income, you should strive to do better -- namely, by growing your skills so you're equipped to take on a whole new set of responsibilities in the coming year. The more value you're able to add to your company, the stronger a case you'll make for a raise, so sign up for some online or in-person courses, or get certified in a key area related to your field. You can even ask to shadow some seasoned folks within your company and see what skills you pick up.

Bespectacled man in suit at laptop with annoyed expression, holding the sides of his head


2. Volunteer for different things

Doing the things you're supposed to be doing at work promptly and accurately is a good way to please your boss. But if you want to see a bump in salary, you might need to take things one step further, and that means volunteering for the tasks your manager needs someone to take on. When you volunteer, you send the message that you're not afraid to be challenged, and that's a quality that might prompt your boss to reconsider your pay.

3. Go above and beyond the call of duty

Maybe you're that employee who shows up on time every day, meets deadlines, and is generally pleasant to be around. These are all respectable qualities, but they don't necessarily make the case for a raise. What does, however, is doing more than what your manager expects of you. In the coming year, be that person who's willing to stay late to help on a last-minute project or help your teammates when they're struggling to complete their work on time. Once your manager observes this behavior, he or she will be more inclined to bump up your salary as a means of saying thank you.

4. Ask for one

You might be bummed out by the fact that you didn't get a raise this year -- but did you actually ask for one? An estimated 56% of employees have never come out and requested a raise, according to job site CareerBuilder, but of those who have asked for more money, 66% have been successful. While talking salary with your boss perhaps won't make for the most comfortable conversation, it's one you need to have. But don't just go in blindly -- do some research ahead of time to see how your salary compares to the average in your industry and prove to your manager that your company can do better (if that is indeed the case). At the same time, prepare a list of ways you've been contributing to your company's success. With any luck, that'll be the winning combination that scores you the bump you're after.

The more money you make, the easier it'll be for you to boost your savings and meet whatever financial goals you have. If you didn't manage to secure a pay increase this year, don't give up on 2019. Instead, focus on the above moves -- they'll improve your chances of getting the raise you deserve.

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