Five Sneaky (And Legal) Ways to Give Yourself a “Raise”
Did you get turned down for a raise this year? Thanks to the economy and flat wage trends, it’s becoming more and more difficult to move up an income bracket. If you’re feeling the wage crunch, here are five ways to give yourself a raise that don’t require you to quit or get promoted.
1. Maximize your pension contributions.
Does your employer have an RSP matching program? For every dollar you contribute, your company will match you a certain amount. Each month that you aren’t contributing to this plan you are saying no to free money. FREE MONEY. If you’re reading this at work, please stop whatever you’re doing and go talk to your HR administrator. I’ll wait.
2. Delegate/contract out time-sucking tasks.
Is there a budget to hire freelancers or purchase streamlining software? Have a direct report wanting more responsibility? By taking the mundane tasks off of your plate, you free up several hours a week to either go home early or focus on the strategic initiatives that will grow your career (and your worth to the company). Time is money, so claim some of it back for yourself.
3. Know and use your benefits.
How regularly do you see your dentist, go to the gym, get a massage, or talk to a licensed counselor about your most recent existential crisis? Some, if not all of these benefits are included in many compensation packages. Take advantage of these benefits and improve not only your performance on the job, but your overall well-being. After all, health is wealth.
4. Company-sponsored continuing education.
If you’re not getting a raise this year, consider strengthening your skill set so that you can either go for a promotion or pursue lucrative opportunities elsewhere. Many companies set aside funds to develop their employees, whether through college courses, webinars, conferences or even books. Talk to your manager about your options, and don’t forget to frame it in a way that demonstrates how an investment in you benefits the company.
5. Get a mentor within the organization.
Many successful people have career and leadership coaches, often paying them hundreds of dollars an hour. You can get the same value and insight by building relationships with the leaders in your company. If there’s a leader or “rock star” in your organization with whom you have a great rapport, why not invite them to a monthly lunch to pick their brain and exchange ideas? Don’t be shy, with your fresh insights, this experience will be just as rewarding for your mentor as it is for you.
Take a look at your workplace and see what opportunities are available to you—ones that play the same role that money does in your life: improving your lifestyle, and that of your family.