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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

April 3, 2015 / Molly Moseley

Are raises nonexistent in a growing economy?

raiseThe year started out with a bang thanks to impressive first-quarter job growth. While March’s gains of 126,000 jobs were lower than expected, more than half a million jobs were added in January and February alone, and new job postings on LinkUp were up 24 percent. But as the New York Times points out, even with normalized unemployment and increased job growth, employed workers are not getting the raises they would typically enjoy considering these economical indicators.

It turns out if you’re facing a paltry raise this year, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit back, be quiet and take it. You are your best advocate for increasing your compensation, so it might be time to think outside the box about how you can get the most out of your job. Here are 10 ideas to consider.

1. More vacation days
If a raise is out of the question, consider asking for additional paid time off. This can be a great option, particularly if you have a longer tenure at the company.

2. 401k match
If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(K) employee match, ask for one. If they already have one, see if you can increase it by 1 or 2 percent.

3. Flexible work time
Sick of working 8-5? See if you can get a flexible work schedule that allows you to work alternative hours that better fit your lifestyle.

4. Flexible work arrangement
Try to negotiate a work-from-home schedule. Less time in traffic can mean a better work-life balance and savings on fuel costs.

5. Performance-based bonuses
Rather than an annual raise, propose the idea of performance-based bonuses to your manager. Pitch a fairly aggressive program and then go get it!

6. Ask to have costs offset
See if you can get costs of employment reimbursed by your employer. This could include the cost of parking or the cost of Internet at home for telecommuters.

7. Travel and receive per diem costs
Depending on how travel policies are structured, you may be able to earn extra cash by not spending all the per diem you’re allowed.

8. Overtime
If you’re eligible, mention your desire to work overtime to your supervisor. If it’s available, it can be a great way to boost your paycheck, particularly if you are paid a higher amount for an overtime wage.

9. Apply for a promotion
Sitting idle may be comfortable, but it likely won’t get you a big pay raise. To boost your salary, work hard and apply for available promotions.

10. Get a side gig
When all else fails, if you want more money consider alternative ways to use your skills. Can you freelance or consult on the side? If there a hobby you can turn into a business? If so, get to work!