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Getting a Raise in a Recession: Increasing your Earning Potential

Updated on September 20, 2011

Steps to Success

These days it can be difficult to keep a job much less ask for a raise, but it’s still possible! Follow these steps and you can increase your earning potential, and maybe even look forward to going into work. You are a unique individual and can become a valuable asset to any business, just believe in yourself.


1. Love Your Job

Yes, that's what I said! A Fox Business associate stated “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life”. This is a very true statement, since having a job can be a luxury. It is also a great tool for achieving goals, and enhancing your life.

You just need to find the positives. Look for things about your job that you do love, even if they are small. If you are enjoying your work, IT SHOWS, and your boss will notice as well.

2. Know Your Boss

What type of personality is your boss? Are they precise, motivated, competitive, and outgoing? They will respond really well towards that same work ethic, they will also likely be a "numbers" kind of person. Show them the figures, where you decreased expenses, or increased gross sales, they will in turn react positively towards you, instinctively.

Maybe your boss is creative, spontaneous, and pushes boundaries. They want someone who comes up with new, innovative ideas, with creative (and fun) marketing. Understanding your boss’s personality will go a long way.

3. Timing

This is more of an obvious tip. If your boss is having a bad day, or the end of the quarter figures just came out, it might not be the best time to talk "raises". Some studies show that asking for a raise or promotion is best done on a Thursday or Friday, since most of the week is past and the weekend is near.

4. Strategic Teamwork

Being a team player is an overused tip for impressing your boss or coworkers, but it's still important. Look at it from your boss's point of view, what would make the business have better "quality of life"? Quality of life for a business is basically a pleasant environment where success and endless potential are able to grow.

Obviously the quicker and higher the net gains, the better quality of life for the business and everyone working for that company. So show your enthusiasm and loyalty to the company, knowing your trustworthy can go a very long way.

5. DON'T Ask For A Raise

Confused? Don't JUST ask for a raise. Tell your boss you would like a 5% or 10% raise, showing the reasons why. This way your boss can't just say "yes" or "no" to your question. This will make them choose a percentage (PRO TIP-in most cases they will psychologically choose the smaller percent, so just make sure that number is the one you want)!

Schedule a time to sit down Face-to-Face (not email to text message) with your boss. Be confident and look them in the eyes, show them you actually believe what you are saying. Be genuine! Don't bother trying to sell something you don't even believe in, no one else will want to buy it.

6. It's Not Just About Money

Maybe your company is being hit hard by the recession, and you know there isn't a possibility for a monetary raise. Ask if you can get a promotion, higher ranking title, or even extra vacation days. Maybe you can work from home, decreasing fuel expenses and cutting down commute time, making you enjoy your work more.

Don't just show how hard you have worked, during this time everyone is working hard and puts in a lot of hours. Explain how you bring something advantageous or unique to the table.

7. Don't Threaten

The days of threatening to quit if you don't get a raise are over. Don't shove the possibility of a new job in front of your employer and expect them to concede. There are PLENTY unemployed Americans ready to take the job, and your boss knows that. Be confident about your contribution and know what you are worth to the company, but don't over estimate anything.

8. Reap What You Sow

It's true, about everything in life; you only get out what you put in. If you are diligent and faithful, it will pay off. Perhaps not in this job, but maybe the next one, and you will get a great reference letter full of praise.

Be hard working, and respectful. Treating others well and not causing discord will bring more peace and earning potential, than being the "biggest, baddest employee" that everyone hates. Your boss is a human too!

The best time to ask for a raise is when you just impressed your boss, closed a deal with a major client, or gotten a great quarterly review. You are fresh in their minds as a positive company team member, and you exhibit qualities of a great leader.


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    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I agree, during these stressful financial times I am hoping that this article will help others with getting the most out of their jobs. Thanks for voting and commenting.

    • pedrn44 profile image


      7 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      Thanks for writing this hub. With so much unemployment and financial strife I'm sure people are just happy to have a job. It is not enough to just settle because you have a job. If you love your work and are a valuable member of the team you should definately be rewarded for that. I hope this hub has given people a boost to go after what they deserve. Voted up:)

    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      JS - So happy you got a raise, thanks for the update!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Update: I finally got a $0.50/hour raise! Had to argue my case a bit but it worked!


    • Aeron Wright profile image

      Aeron Wright 

      7 years ago

      Good hub! it is true that we must know our boss well. thanks for sharing.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up. Very well stated information. Great advice to anyone.

    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Lord - I really enjoy reading too

      frugalfamily - I'm glad you liked the advice

      Thanks for commenting.

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 

      7 years ago from Houston, TX

      This is sound and unique advice. Thanks!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      7 years ago from New York

      I love my job too ApplecSmith.I print books and magazines.Lol, I can read for free... and reap what I sow.


    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      SuperheroSales - Thank you for the nice comment.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I appreciate that!


    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      rebekahELLE - I'm glad my article was helpful, good luck with any future jobs.

      JS Matthew - It's great to hear that you found this hub, even if it wasn't quite in the right time, better late than never. I definitely agree that anyone who loses you as an employee is missing out, you are a great part of the HubPages community.

      Thanks for the comments.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I asked for a raise (which I was promised) after a year of working for the same small company. I was told that there wasn't enough money, even though I handle all the sales and know how much money is made on a daily basis. Wish I had read this beforehand because I could have "told" my boss the amount I wanted. I think I'll be looking for new work anyway, but I won't threaten that I'm leaving. In the end, it will be her loss because I am always there, on time, and am a good worker. I deal with customers personally (I deliver bottled water)and have never had an issue. I have even promoted the business on my own time. I saw this Hub not too long ago and glad that I found it again in the Feed. Voting up and sharing.


    • rebekahELLE profile image


      7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      These are very helpful tips, and I also appreciate the video.

      It definitely helps to love our job and to know our boss. I didn't know about Wednesday being the best day. It makes sense that it wouldn't be at the beginning of the week. Thanks for sharing.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      I like how professionally you wrote this. Good tips.

    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thanks for the comments, and the Hubnugget nomination!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      7 years ago

      Great common sense tips. I especially like the point about NOT asking for a raise. You are right, that just leaves too much wiggle room.

      Good job and congrats on the nominations.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I agree if you love your job and it manifests in your work, the company will reward you if they value that. :)

      Congrats on your Hubnuggets nomination! Head this way to read and vote:

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      Great ideas. I'm self-employed, so this isn't relevant to me at this point in time. But for anyone who does have a boss, this is a good artile to read. Congratulations on your nomination.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      All sound like great tips. I hope it helps some people, vote-up and useful.


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