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Cover image for How to ask for a raise during a recession?
Aditi Sharma for Peerlist

Posted on • Originally published at

How to ask for a raise during a recession?

Asking for a raise can be a nerve-wracking experience, even in the best of economic times. However, the fear of being turned down or even risking your job can be overwhelming during a recession.

However, it's possible to ask for a raise during a recession. In fact, it's important to advocate for yourself and your worth, even in tough economic times.

Before we go through some tips on how to ask for a raise during a recession, let’s understand what a recession is.

A recession is a period of economic downturn, typically characterized by reduced economic activity, increased unemployment, and falling prices. During a recession, companies may be forced to tighten their belts and reduce costs, making it more difficult to secure a pay increase.

How to ask for a raise during a recession?

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that timing is everything. Before you approach your employer, make sure that the company is in a stable financial position and that they are not currently undergoing layoffs or other cost-cutting measures.

If the company is struggling, it may not be the best time to ask for a raise.

But once you are sure that the company is capable of giving a raise, and is in a healthy financial position, then go for it.

Start by gathering evidence to support your case for a raise. This could include things like your job performance, any achievements or accomplishments, and any additional responsibilities you have taken on.

Asking for raise is like negotiating your salary all over again.

Tackle pay to raise requests with similar steps of the negotiation process.

Remember to be strategic in your approach while asking for a raise. This means timing your request carefully and considering the best way to present your case.

For example, you might want to schedule a meeting with your boss or HR representative during a time when they are not under a lot of stress or pressure, such as after a big project.

Steps to asking for a raise -

Research the market and your worth

  • Before asking for a pay raise, it's important to have a clear understanding of the market and your worth.
  • Research the average salary for your position in your industry and location, and compare it to your current salary.
  • You can research job listings in your field and see what other companies are offering for similar positions to their employees.
  • This will help you determine if you are being paid fairly and if there is room for negotiation.
  • It’s also a good idea to have a specific number in mind when asking for a raise.

Prepare a strong case

  • Once you have determined that you are worth more than your current salary, it's time to prepare a strong case for the pay raise.
  • Start by compiling a list of your achievements and contributions to the company. This could include increased sales, improved processes, or any other positive impact you have made on the business.
  • Be specific and use numbers to illustrate your points - remember statistics like “X times” growth, etc, gives more value than plain numbers.

Be prepared to justify your request

  • When you ask for a raise, your employer will want to know why you deserve one.
  • You need to be prepared to provide evidence of your value to the company.
  • This can include things like your performance reviews, any awards or recognition you have received, and any additional responsibilities you have taken on.

When presenting your case, be sure to focus on the value you bring to the company. Explain how your work has helped the company to achieve its goals and how a raise would enable you to continue to contribute to the company’s success.

Schedule a meeting with your manager

  • Once you have prepared your case, schedule a meeting with your hiring manager or reporting manager to discuss a raise.
  • Choose a time that is convenient for both parties, and make sure to give your manager advanced notice so they can prepare for the meeting as well.

Communicate your value

  • During the meeting, make sure to communicate your value to the company.
  • Be clear and concise, and focus on the specific achievements and contributions you have made.
  • Avoid making it about your personal financial situation, and instead, focus on the value you bring to the company.

Be prepared to negotiate

  • It's important to be prepared to negotiate during the meeting. Be open to discussing different options, such as a pay increase, additional vacation days, or other perks.
  • One of the other options could be asking for a smaller raise now with the promise of a larger raise in the future, or you could ask for other benefits instead of a higher salary.
  • Be willing to compromise with pay raise, but also be firm in your stance, and don't be afraid to walk away if necessary.

Many organizations hire during the recession as well.

It’s also important to be prepared for any objections your employer may have. For example, they may point out that the company is facing financial challenges and may not be able to afford a raise. In this case, you could suggest alternative forms of compensation, such as additional vacation time or professional development opportunities.

Follow up

After the meeting, be sure to follow up with your manager to confirm any agreements made. This will ensure that everything is clear and that there is no confusion moving forward.

Bonus -

Lead the conversation gracefully

  • Your choices might not align but always keep your professionalism and your attitude in check.
  • Be respectful and thankful for the opportunity.

In conclusion, asking for a raise during a recession can be challenging, but it is not impossible. By researching the job market, being prepared to justify your request, considering the timing, being flexible and open to negotiation, and being professional and polite, you can increase your chances of successfully negotiating a higher salary.

Top comments (2)

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Oooo, this is a great subject to cover and lots of awesome advice in here. Thanks for sharing Aditi!

alexr profile image
Alex (The Engineering Bolt) ⚡

Great advice! That said in FAANG companies there is no point of asking for raise as salary is being calculated in a formulaic principle whick means there are raises happening automatically but those cannot be influenced by the employees. Also it is all performance based.