We could all use a pay raise. However, getting one can be a lot more complicated than simply asking, so if you want to score an increase in your salary, you might have to get creative.
According to research by Villanova University, employers are motivated to avoid the high cost of worker turnover. Employers who offer a pay raise more frequently than others tend to reap the benefits of doing so, with advantages like increased employee production, loyalty and overall job satisfaction.
But sometimes, companies are either unwilling or just not in a position to bump up your annual pay simply for the asking.
With that information in mind, let’s take a look at four proven ways to get the pay raise that you want, need and deserve — even if your company isn’t willing to shell out an extra dime.
#1: Get Certified
Do you work in an industry where certifications matter? If so, you can almost always increase your salary by enhancing your resume. Your company might be unwilling to budge on pay right now, but by taking a course and getting certified in a specific skillset, you may be able to shift the balance of power in your favor.
Specialized employees are much more valuable to employers than employees who only possess generic skills. Thus, getting certified will give you a much better chance of getting a straight-up raise.
#2: Negotiate a Better Compensation Package
Are you certain you’ll get denied if you ask for a pay raise? Well, there are other ways to improve your financial situation beyond a bigger paycheck.
One of the most popular strategies — at least in big companies — is to enhance the compensation package.
Remember that salary isn’t everything. There are also employee-sponsored savings accounts, health insurance and other benefits. If you can find a way to save money in these areas, you’ll essentially give yourself a raise.
#3: Work From Home
Remote working is becoming more and more commonplace in the American workforce. According to a survey from Dialpad, 81.2% of respondents spend fewer than 40 hours a week at their desks. More than 73% of respondents report working from home at least some of the time. These numbers signal that working from home is no longer questionable — it’s practical and conventional.
What does this have to do with increasing your salary?
Well, consider that the average worker can save between $2,000 and $7,000 per year working from home. These savings come in the form of transportation, food, clothing and accessories, childcare, tax deductions, and other related expenses.
In other words, if you can get your workplace to allow you to work from home — even a day or two a week — you can essentially increase your salary via cost savings.
#4: Reassess Your Tax Situation
If you’re filing your taxes through an online self-service tool, you may think you’re saving money. However, whatever money you’re saving on the front end is probably costing you dearly on the backside.
It almost always pays to hire a certified CPA. An accountant can help you maximize your savings and deductions, as well as help you maximize your monthly paycheck so you aren’t giving the IRS a free loan every year. By changing just a couple of lines on your W-2 form, you could earn a few hundred dollars more per pay period.
For many families, that’s not an insignificant amount. It could cover the mortgage, pay for childcare, or allow for a refreshing summer vacation.
It’s your money, so make sure you’re keeping more of it.
Earn More for Your Time
The salary increase serves two purposes: to motivate workers and to keep employees from leaving for a better-paying job. In its current form, the traditional raise does neither of those things very well.
You’ve invested years of your time in formal education and training. You spend most of your waking hours at the office. Your life revolves around work and you tirelessly labor until the job is done right. Shouldn’t you be earning more for your time?
If this is something you think about on a regular basis, you aren’t alone. But the difference between you and the people who actually see their salary increase is that they take action.