3 ways to safeguard your job and land a raise during a recession

(BPT) - With the rising cost of goods and signs of an impending recession, employees in all industries are worried about pay and job security. While the news is filled with headlines about "quiet quitting," "rage applying" and "the Great Resignation," not everyone is looking to jump ship during a time of economic uncertainty.

According to a research survey by Employment BOOST, a full-service resume writing, corporate outplacement and career services company, experienced workers are taking a more practical view than their younger, less experienced co-workers. Because they've been in the workforce longer, experienced workers may have already experienced an economic downturn during their career and know the benefit of staying put.

"You can't control large-scale economic trends," said James Philip, Founder and CEO of Heavy Hitter Holdings and Employment BOOST. "However, professionals can approach 2023 with a 'new year, new me' mindset and demonstrate their value to their team and business leaders to offset the chance of a layoff and make a case for a pay increase."

To help you develop a growth mindset and prepare for a conversation about a raise, check out these three tips to safeguard your job and advocate for a raise during a recession.

1. Learn new skills

When you were hired, you came into your role with an existing set of skills necessary to perform your job. While your position may have strengthened those skills, professional development and continued education is the best way to safeguard your job and make a case for a pay bump.

Acquiring new skills isn't as complicated as you may think. You've likely already developed a few new ones through work projects that required you to learn new procedures or carry out tasks outside your purview.

Search out informal learning opportunities at work. If you want to acquire new skills, ask your supervisor if there are any tools or technologies the company would like to integrate but lacks employees with the necessary knowledge or bandwidth to tackle.

You can also see if the business offers professional development courses like Employment BOOST's Careerology platform or reimbursement for certifications that benefit your career and the company's mission.

Through formal and informal learning opportunities, you advance your career at your current place of employment and set yourself up for a successful compensation conversation.

2. Make yourself an essential part of the company

A company is less likely to get rid of an employee who is essential to the business. This means that you'll want to embed yourself into the fabric of the organization, so if layoffs occur, you're less likely to end up without a job.

Of course, this is easier said than done. At a smaller company, you may wear multiple hats and you'll have more face-to-face time with decision-makers. At a larger organization, you can get lost in a sea of colleagues or intimidated by office politics and bureaucracy. However, the key to making yourself indispensable is to take on additional duties that will make it much harder to fill your role if you were to leave.

Some ways you can make yourself an essential business member is to:

  • Mentor or coach younger colleagues
  • Show initiative by proposing new projects
  • Help streamline workflows and processes
  • Offer to help a colleague by taking a few responsibilities off their plate.

No matter what you decide to do, you want to show that you are a value-add to the business and that there would be a void to fill if you were to leave.

3. Prepare for the conversation

When you're ready to talk with your manager or supervisor about a raise, make sure you prepare a pitch that frames a pay increase as a win for you and a win for the company.

Remember those skills you built and the extra duties you took on? Take stock of your contributions to the company beyond the scope of your official role. Make a list of the tasks, projects and initiatives you've spearheaded to show that you take your job seriously and want to grow and advance within your current organization. You can use these points as leverage for additional compensation.

Don't go into the conversation without a number in mind. If you're unsure what fair compensation for your title and responsibilities looks like, research the going rate for your position. Use this as a starting point for how much of a raise you're seeking and to help you manage expectations for yourself and your boss.

Finally, approach the conversation with gratitude. Make it clear to your manager that you are grateful for your job and the opportunities it's given you. Emphasize that you want to stay at the organization and want to advance your career within its structure. As part of that growth, you want your pay to reflect the scope of your work.

Using these three tips, you can safeguard your current job and make a strong case for a raise, even during economic uncertainty. To learn more about how you can grow your career and receive expert advice, visit EmploymentBOOST.com.

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