A raise can help you get in better shape, financially.
By Ian Salisbury
June 3, 2015

This is the second installment in Money’s Midyear Financial Checkup. Read the first installment, on how to recalibrate your investments, here.

You’ve suffered through years of stagnant wages. But in 2015 workers stand the best chance of getting a raise since the financial crisis, according to a PNC survey of small and midsize businesses late last year. Midyear is the best time to negotiate a bump because budgets are still flexible and you’ll have time to make your case with your boss, says Lydia Frank, editorial director at PayScale.com. Wait until year-end, at your annual performance review, and you’ll run into stiff competition for raises.

Here’s how to do it.

Demonstrate your value. Not only will this increase your odds of getting a raise, it could boost the amount (see chart below). Start by requesting a midyear review. This will let you know if you’re on track to meet this year’s goals. It’s also a chance to remind the boss of your accomplishments.

Play mind games. At the meeting, provide a specific range of pay you’re seeking. This makes you look flexible, but it also anchors a figure in your boss’s head. For instance if you want $90,000, set a pay range of $90,000 to $95,000. Behavioral studies show discussing a number first and then making your case works best. Finally, offer a written summary highlighting your accomplishments. This will make your achievements concrete for your supervisor, Frank says.

Hedge your bets. “Experience is in demand,” says Steve Gross, senior partner at consulting firm Mercer. Execs willing to jump ship are likely to command a 15% bump. Even if you prefer to stay put, having an offer can help you negotiate with your current firm. Dip your toes in the hiring pool by signing up for a job site like Poachable, which is anonymous and lets employers come to you.


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