By Teo Spengler
Lots of people make a New Year’s resolution to increase their income. If that’s a top goal of yours, remember that it’s entirely possible to up your earning power if you pursue your financial goals with knowledge and determination.
If you want to make more money in 2017, try these tips on how to get a raise, increase your benefits or find a more lucrative position.
POSITION YOURSELF FOR A RAISE
To make more money, start by asking for a raise, because 75 percent of workers who ask for one receive one.
You might think your manager will notice your great work and up your pay, but unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule. Generally, an employee who gets a raise broaches the subject himself. But don’t just storm into the boss’s office with a list of demands. You’ll increase your chances of getting a salary raise if you do your homework, and that should start long before the big meeting.
Set yourself up for success by keeping an open line of communication with your manager. Let him know that you want to succeed in your current job but that you also want to advance. Ask him for advice on how you can improve your current performance, then follow through on the feedback and you’re on your way.
If you manage your time well, you can handle your current responsibilities and keep moving toward the next level of responsibility.
SHOW YOUR VALUE
You need to show your boss how valuable you are as an employee long before you sit down with him. It’s important to toot your own horn.
Singing your own praises might be outside your comfort zone, but it’s essential if you want to advance. You must demonstrate your accomplishments and keep your company aware of how you are helping it to succeed.
Doing excellent work isn’t typically enough to warrant a raise, nor is putting in long hours. You need to show how your work positively impacts the business, according to Forbes.
Let your manager know if you’ve brought in more money or clients and make sure he’s aware when you cut costs or add value in other ways to the organization. Statistics are better than generalities in this case: Don’t say you brought in a few new clients, say you increased the client base by 10 percent.
MEET BEFORE YOUR ANNUAL REVIEW
Part of learning how to get a pay raise is figuring out when to ask for one, and it might not be when you think. Perhaps it feels intuitive to broach the subject during your performance review, but by then, it’s likely too late.
You should schedule a meeting at least a few months before that performance review, according to Business News Daily, since salary budgets are usually set up long before annual reviews.
If you’ve done your prep work well, the meeting should fall into place. By this time, you’ve already received feedback from your manager and implemented it. You’ve also shared your accomplishments and your impact on the company’s bottom line with your boss.
In the meeting, reiterate how you’ve implemented his feedback and detail how that has impacted the company. Also, do your research about how much employees in your position are making elsewhere and present that to your boss.
DON’T UNDERVALUE BENEFITS
If you aim to make more money in 2017, you don’t have to limit your vision to paychecks. Increasing your benefits, like the company’s insurance contribution and your vacation time, is also an effective way to increase your pay.
Medical benefits are an essential part of an employment contract, and employer-sponsored insurance covers some 150 million Americans. The average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in 2016 were $18,142, according to the Kaiser Foundation’s 2016 Employer Health Benefits Survey. Workers paid an average of $5,277 toward the cost of their coverage.
The National Bureau of Labor Statistics lists average paid holidays and vacation days for full-time employees. The average number of holidays is 7.6 and the average number of vacation days an employee gets is often based on his years of service.
The average paid vacation for an employee with one year of service is 8.1 days, which goes up to 15.4 days after 20 years of service. Paid sick leave for someone with one year of service averages 8 days, and that figure increases to 10.8 days for someone who has worked at the company for 20 years.
It isn’t easy to negotiate additional medical coverage, according to Robert Half. However, don’t hesitate to ask for more time off, better 401(k) contributions, continuing education expenses or a more flexible work schedule.
Getting ready for a benefits negotiation can be stressful. The Harvard Business Review suggests you first figure out exactly what you want and then prepare several concrete proposals. Research confirms that you are more likely to get what you want when you present more than one option to your employer.
CONSIDER A JOB SEARCH
If you don’t succeed in negotiating the increase you want, begin a job search. These days, job-hopping is viewed as a pathway to success and a way to make more money. In fact, millennials hold an average of four jobs before they turn 32 years old, according to CNN Money.
One reason young workers change jobs is to make more money. In 2016, wage increases in the United States averaged around 3 percent, a figure that’s expected to hold steady in 2017, according to the Economic Research Institute. You can expect a far larger salary jump if you switch jobs, however, which could result in a salary increase of anywhere from 8 percent to 20 percent.
Workers who average more than two years in a job earn up to 50 percent less in a lifetime, according to Forbes. Don’t let stability become a weakness.
HOW TO GET THE NEW JOB YOU WANT
The mobile employee marketplace offers good news and bad. The good news is that employers won’t likely judge you for wanting to change jobs after a few years. But considering this trend, you are likely to see competition for exciting new positions.
To set yourself apart from other applicants, The Washington Post suggests you:
-Update your resume regularly so that it always reflects your experience and accomplishments.
-Tailor your resume to include the position’s required skills and talents.
-Increase your social media presence, including accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, to make yourself more visible.
Part of figuring out how to get a new job is staying ahead of the tide in your search. Networking remains a solid means for finding options, so don’t neglect it.
Don’t quit your current job when you begin a job search, you’ll be a stronger candidate if you already hold a responsible position.
Negotiating the dichotomy of being a valued employee and undertaking a job search at the same time can be difficult, according to Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and a modern manners authority who writes for The Huffington Post. Here are a few guidelines she suggests to help you stay on track:
-Be discrete about the job search and don’t use work time to advance it.
-Ask interviewers not to contact your current employers before they make a final decision. Keep on top of your current job responsibilities during the job search.
-Don’t speak badly of your manager or the company you are leaving, take all possible steps to leave the position without burning bridges.
By following these tips, you can earn more money for the work you do. Bonus: You might even be poised to double your earnings in 2017.