Sunday, December 10, 2017

Why It's Time To Start Asking For A Raise

Look no further than the November jobs report to build your case for a raise as early as next month.  228,000 net new jobs were added, mostly in three sectors: Healthcare, Business, and Manufacturing.  The unemployment rate remains at 4.1%, meaning employers are hiring plenty.  More employees means more bargaining power if you belong to a union.  But even if you don't, there's bound to be upward pressure to demand a higher wage from employers.

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Average hourly earnings rose a mere 2.5% over the past year.  Economists agree it should be closer to 3% to keep in line with the success companies have had on Wall Street.  Why hasn't your hourly wage gone up?  Here are some possible reasons.

1)  You are a low-skilled worker and lack the training to promote.
2)  You have a weak union and they're not representing you well.
3)  You traded higher wages for more benefits.
4)  You haven't asked for a raise, being content with your wages.
5)  You're afraid of your employer, and fear you'll be fired for asking for more.
6)  Robots, computers, and out-sourcing are replacing middle-skilled workers who would raise the average hourly wage by asking for a raise.

More on the job training or additional education will make you a more valuable employee, worthy of better wages.  In my industry, teaching, teachers get paid more the more units they have.  In fact, our union just negotiated an additional 14.5% increase to the stipend we were getting for having a Masters or Doctorate degree!  I have two Masters degrees (I get a stipend for each one) so I'll be benefiting nicely.  We're also getting an additional 3% increase to our salary schedule effective January 1, 2018.  I'm not sharing this to show off.  I'm sharing this to stress the importance of being part of a strong union.

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Look, having a skill is of paramount importance these days.  While you can ask for a raise as a low-skilled worker, your chances are high of being replaced by someone who can easily step in and do your job, especially if you're an at-will employee.  For everyone else out there, you're in the right to start demanding your stewards to seek better compensation terms.  Or to go into your boss's office and present your case for a raise.

If tax reform passes and corporations get that favorable tax rate 20-22%, you better demand a raise.  It's your duty to seek more booty! 

What If You Try And Get Nada?

It's not all bleak.  The situation is vastly improved.  With employers hiring, you can finally go out and look for a better paying job instead of being stuck in that dead-end job of yours.  I also suggest you get busy on starting a new side-hustle for 2018.  While having a second job is commendable, chances are you'll burn out clocking in and out twice every day.  A side-hustle, doing something you like to do when you want to do it is the best case scenario for someone looking to bring in more money.  Here is an article I recently read where some folks are making 6 figures with a side-hustle: $100K Side Hustles.

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Final Thoughts

It sounds trite but you really have to make 2018 your best year yet.  And this obviously means in part (because I know some of you aren't motivated by money...though why would you be here reading this???) making a whole bunch more of the greenback.  Taking action, by asking for a raise, e.g., is how you start 2018 on the right track.  You better come correct though, with a solid argument for why you deserve more.  I'll leave you to read an article at Forbes where managers describe the best ways to ask for a raise.  Read up!  That's your homework.  And I'm out!!! 

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