NEW YORK (MainStreet) – The recession has ended (officially at least), the job market is showing small signs of improvement, and according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder.com, some hiring managers are willing to start negotiating salary increases with their employees.
Sounds like the perfect time to ask for a raise, right? Not so fast. According to career experts, employees may still want to think twice before approaching their bosses about a wage hike.
“Check with your HR department to see what their schedule for raises is,” Allison Nawoj, corporate communications director of CareerBuilder, tells MainStreet. “Some companies start the process very early in the year, others wait until later in the year. Some won’t be offering raises at all.”
Just because the economy has improved doesn’t mean that your company’s financial status has, Nawoj says. Moreover, she advises anyone working at a company that is still in the red not to expect - or aggressively pursue - one. Nick Jimenez, executive vice president of recruitment site Climber.com, agrees.
“The days of being average and getting a 3% to 5% raise are over,” Jimenez says. “Unless you’re exceptional, you’re not going to get a raise.”
In other words, mediocre employees need not apply – especially when you consider that a botched salary negotiation can be easily misconstrued. According to Jimenez, recruiters who use Climber.com say that what they value most in an employee these days is loyalty and an overall positive attitude. Demanding a raise, he says, especially when you don’t have the job performance to back it up, can come across as negative and, as such, garner some unwanted attention if the raise isn’t awarded.
“They’re going to be watching you to see how that affects your attitude and productivity,” he says.