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1How to Earn a Raise in Salary During a Recession

Energy costs are up, gas prices are up, healthcare costs are up. But your salary has stayed the same for longer than you want to remember. In the midst of a recession, what can you do about it? It is possible to negotiate for a higher salary and more money even during a recession. Our panel of industry and career experts tells you how.

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Make Sure the Boss Likes YouEstablish a good relationship with your boss – he or she has to like you. If someone else has a better relationship with them, they have a better chance of getting a raise than you do.- Patti Wilson, The Career Company, executive branding and networking

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Make Sure Your Coworkers Like You, TooAt the same time, don’t make waves with the rest of the team. The rest of the team has to like you, too. Make no enemies. – Patti Wilson

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Take a Look at Your CertificationsKeep up to date with your certifications and continue to add more. Go for the next level of accreditation. For example, if you are an A+, then go for a Network+ certification.- Joe Iovinelli, CEO of Smart Source, IT recruiting firm catering to solution providers

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Make Sure the Customer Is HappyDifferentiate yourself from the technician pack with excellent customer service skills. Look into courses or certifications you can take to prove to employers that you are better than your peers when it comes to customer service.- Joe Iovinelli

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Just One MoreDo just one more. Read one more book, earn one more certification, stay one hour later. This approach will make you better educated, more effective and considered to have a better work ethic. – Doug Ford, CEO, The I.T. Pros, a solution provider and managed services company

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Make The Boss Look GoodCover your boss’s back during tough times (like the crash or the recession) by taking on a special project, or doing other things outside your area or job description.- Patti Wilson

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Think BonusIf you are unable to negotiate for a raise, consider negotiating for a bonus. Companies may not want to add a higher salary to their operating expenses. But if you can earn that bonus every year, on your side of things it amounts to a raise. – Patti Wilson

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Become a Customer FavoriteIf the company’s biggest customers or clients always ask for you, you will be considered more valuable in the boss’s mind. Cultivate those relationships with your company’s customers.- Anonymous consultant

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Consider Side GigsLook for new opportunities such as supplementing your income with some side work. Such work could potentially turn into a whole business of your own. – Peter Cannone, CEO, OnForce, online IT services marketplace

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Outsell Your CoworkersIn sales, work to become the top revenue generator. If you are generating more income for your company than anyone else (and most companies post sales totals internally) then you have an argument that you deserve a pay raise. – Joe Iovinelli

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Save MoneyImplement a money-saving program and demonstrate to the decision-makers how much you’ve saved. – Joe Iovinelli

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Money Isn’t EverythingThink overall compensation instead of just salary. Instead of asking for a raise, see if you can get your company to send you to a conference that will add to your visibility or thought leadership within your segment of the industry. Perhaps your company will be willing to pay for you to get another certification. Negotiate for a better laptop than the rest of the staff, or a few long weekends. Think in broader terms about what compensation means, and negotiate for something besides salary.- Patti Wilson

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“Future Forward”Think “future forward.” That means negotiate for a raise in salary starting next year if you reach an agreed upon and defined set of goals. – Patti Wilson

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Look at What Skills are in High DemandHave a skill that’s in demand. Cisco-certified with VOIP skills, good .NET developers, and virtualization experts command top salaries. You demonstrate your prowess with both certifications and experience.- Joe Iovinelli

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Start Looking for a New JobIf you’ve been with your current company for five years or more, start looking for another job. (So you don’t stagnate.) Don’t change jobs now, but start the process. And in the meantime, negotiate for a better job title at your current company that will help with salary negotiations when you are offered a new job elsewhere.- Patti Wilson