From studies to expert opinions, the consensus on the economy is that the worst is over and we're starting to pull out of the now 20-month-old recession — slowly.
And perhaps just as slowly, workers will be trying to regain some of the money they've lost through layoffs, pay cuts, or salary freezes. Others will be looking for the compensation they should have been getting after taking on the work their ex-colleagues were doing before they were pink-slipped.
Surprisingly, many employers may be ready to accommodate these changes, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com and staffing firm Robert Half. Among the findings:
- Nearly half of the 500+ full-time employees surveyed said more money will be the most effective way for employers to make them happy after the economy improves.
- Almost as many hiring managers recognize that; 40% of hiring managers in the survey said providing more money will be their primary method for retaining top performers when the rebound begins.
- In a bit of a surprise given the large labor pool, 6 out of 10 hiring managers said their companies are willing to negotiate higher compensation for qualified candidates.
Depending on your current status, here's what this might mean to you:
- EMPLOYED BUT LOOKING? If you're aiming for a better job or a bigger paycheck, you may have some leverage if — and this is a big if — there's a healthy demand for someone with your skills. In that case, get your resume ready.
- EMPLOYED, BUT NOT LOOKING? If you've been a good soldier through the recession and your company is doing well or recovering, build your case for a raise. List what you've done to help the company. Include any extra duties you've taken on and successes you've achieved, whether they were part of your responsibilities or beyond the scope of your job. Keep adding to this list, and use it at your next performance review to support your request for a raise.
- UNEMPLOYED? There's a good chance you won't have to lower your salary expectations to land a job. This could also lower the degree of any sense of desperation in your job search. (But if you're desperate, don't show it, as Brianna Raymond emphasized in her post last week.)
As always, know the salary range for the job you want or want to keep. Sites such as Salary.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have lots of data to keep you well informed on your value in today's job market.
Are you beginning to see some employers who are willing to bend on salary — or give out raises? Let us know with a comment.
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