THE HELP DESK The Help Desk: Top Tips

Even now it's possible to get a raise

Gerri Willis advises on how to negotiate a salary increase in today's difficult times.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
By Gerri Willis, CNN personal finance editor

For more information on managing your largest investment, check out Gerri Willis' 'Home Rich,' now in bookstores.

NEW YORK ( -- Companies across the U.S. are looking for ways to whittle down costs. A recent survey from Watson Wyatt indicates that 42% of companies have already frozen salaries. But there are strategies for getting a raise, even in a down economy.

Getting a raise may be a little more difficult, but it's not impossible.

Your value as an employee is not dependent upon the economic conditions of the time; it's all about what you bring to the company. And putting together a good strategy is key here. Here are some do's of getting a raise:

First, time your proposal right, like after a large achievement. And make sure you schedule an appointment with your boss. Forget scheduling your meeting on Monday mornings or Friday afternoon.

Don't forget to highlight your accomplishments. Think: how have you contributed to the company's bottom line? And finally, be flexible -- let your boss know that you understand that times are tough. Maybe you don't get the raise you wanted, but maybe you can negotiate to work at home on some days.

Now, keep in mind that there are some big no-no's too. When you do ask for a raise, make sure you don't beg, whine or get angry. Keep it professional.

When you're asking for more money, don't make it about you. You shouldn't be getting a raise simply because your personal expenses have gone up. Necessity never made a good bargain. And finally, don't be unrealistic -- have an idea of how much you can ask for.

If you feel as if you're just hitting a brick wall, it helps to be persistent. Ask the boss if he or she will consider a second meeting a few months from now or perhaps an accelerated annual review.

If you can't get a raise, think about how your company can help you take the next step on your career path. Perhaps you can ask your employer to pay for more education or career-development courses that will raise your value. To top of page

Gerri's Mailbox: Got questions about your money? We want to hear them! Send an e-mail,we'll answer questions on CNN, Headline News and
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.