woman having a conversation with here colleague

If you’re not satisfied with your current salary and you’d like it to be much higher than it is, try these strategies to raise it to your target goal.

Ask for a Raise

The simplest way to increase your salary is to discuss a raise with your employer. Before you take this step, you should do some research. Check to see the average salary for your position outside of your company. Is it higher? Lower? Or just the same? If it’s lower than the average, you have some leverage to negotiate a higher rate. 

You should also do some research at your workplace. Discuss your current salary with coworkers who hold similar roles. Many employees avoid this step because they believe that discussing pay is illegal or against company policy. This is untrue — the National Labor Relations Act gives you the right to discuss your wages with other employees at the workplace. Any company that tries to dissuade you from doing this simple act is violating labor laws.

Why should you discuss your pay with coworkers? This is an effective way of finding out whether there are any pay disparities in the workplace. You could find out that you’re being paid significantly less than your coworkers, even though they have similar roles and responsibilities. You should ask for a raise to close that pay gap.  

Look Elsewhere

What if your current employer isn’t offering a raise? Or what if the raise they’re offering isn’t very good? Then, this may be a sign that you should look for a high-paying job somewhere else. 

How can you find a newer, better job? Check with your network. Talk to your friends and old coworkers to see whether they know of any positions you could jump into. 

If that doesn’t yield any results, go to a professional recruitment firm that specializes in your field. So, if you’re in sales, you should go to a firm that recruits for sales jobs in a wide variety of industries, from media to finance. The right recruiters can guide you toward a better-paying job that you’re completely qualified for. They’ll find you the right fit.

Join The Great Reshuffle

You’re not alone in this! Plenty of employees across the country are changing jobs in hopes of achieving better salaries. This phenomenon has been dubbed The Great Resignation — although a more positive spin on the term has been The Great Reshuffle. Employees aren’t leaving the job market — they’re just shuffling to higher spots in it.

A survey from the Pew Research Center found that low pay was one of the top reasons why workers quit their jobs in 2021. The reason was tied with “no opportunities for advancement,” which also relates to low salary issues. When a workplace has no opportunities to climb up the corporate ladder, employees will assume that their salaries won’t get much higher.

Think Beyond Pay

A higher salary isn’t the only route for receiving financial compensation as an employee. When you’re interviewing for new jobs, ask about the employer’s benefits package, vacation days, PTO, etc. All of these will have a positive impact on your finances.

If there’s an employment opportunity that offers a salary a little below your target goal but a better benefits package, don’t ignore it. This could be a financially advantageous deal.

So, if you’re feeling disappointed when you look at your paycheck, follow these tips to boost your salary this year.

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Eric Hammer is a personal finance expert and writer based in Washington state.

Eric graduated from Excelsior College, a distance learning school accredited by the Middle States Association and the New York State Board of Regents (the same organizations that accredit Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, etc.).

Eric actually held lots of different jobs, including such varied positions as a sales clerk, paralegal, surveyor’s assistant, community rabbi and English teacher, to name just a few.

He has since learned how to manage money wisely and uses his experience to help others make smart financial decisions. Today, his work appears on sites like Demand Studios and Bright Hub.