Dreams of a pay increase may be put on hold, but that doesn’t mean giving up on the idea forever. Eventually, the economy will shake itself out of its doldrums, and employees will once again be in the position to negotiate robust raises.
In the meantime, lay the groundwork for a future raise:
- Do your job better than anyone has done it before.
- Don’t ask co-workers to weigh in on whether you should be earning more. You may feel tempted. Don’t.
- Ask for more work. Once you’re skilled at handling your current workload, look for an extra project to tackle. Show that you can do more and others will think of you as the sort of flexible, talented, can-do person they need to keep.
- Do the work no one else wants to do. In every office there’s a crummy project that everyone avoids. Volunteer to do it.
- Shine, even when things look uncertain or when layoffs lead to work pileups. “People never forget how you come across in extremis,” Ben Dattner, an executive coach who consults to such companies as Pfizer and Goodyear, tells The Wall Street Journal. “If you can shine at this moment, you’ll shine forever.”