Many Americans got a raise before the end of the year, found a recent GOBankingRates survey.
The survey asked over 2,000 Americans if they received a raise or compensation increase at their current job in 2018 — and 30 percent said they did. Surprisingly, a higher percentage of women than men received a raise. And, younger Generation Xers (those ages 35 to 44) received the largest pay increase among all age groups. In addition to finding out how many Americans received a raise, the survey also asked respondents to explain the reasons behind their pay increases in 2018.
Perhaps surprisingly, only about 4 percent of Americans who got a raise attributed it to having strong negotiation skills.
Gen Z-ers (ages 18 to 24) chose this reason the most, with about 6 percent saying they got their raise through negotiation. Interestingly, none of the survey respondents age 65 and older said that negotiation played a role in getting their pay increase.
If you want to negotiate a better salary, focus your discussion on what you bring to the job.
Grow in the Role and Become More Independent
About 9 percent of those who got a raise in 2018 said they “grew in their role and became more independent,” and believe this is responsible for their pay bump.
Men were more likely to choose this as a reason than women, with 12 percent of men selecting this response versus 7 percent of women.
Some of the best ways to climb the career ladder and grow in your role are to take charge in one-on-one meetings, be proactive and be open to new opportunities.
Contribute to the Company's Bottom Line
Ten percent of those who got a raise selected “I made a positive impact on my company’s bottom line” as the reason.
Older Gen X-ers (ages 45 to 54) were the least likely to give this as a reason, with 7 percent selecting this response; older baby boomers (age 65 and older) were the most likely, with 15 percent selecting this response.
When your company is doing well and you can show how you contributed, this is one of the best times to ask for a raise.
“If the employee is in sales, it is very easy to show how the employee contributed to the bottom line since sales is very numbers-driven,” said Cheryl Palmer, a career coach and owner of Call to Career. “But even employees who are not in sales can point out the contributions they have made to the company.”
Palmer said talking about time- or cost-saving measures you have implemented is one smart way to do this.
Always Complete Work on Time
Eleven percent of Americans who received a raise in 2018 said it’s because they consistently completed their work on time.
Gen Z (ages 18 to 24) was the most likely to choose this as the reason for their raise, with 16 percent choosing this response, and millennials (ages 25 to 34) were the least likely, with 6 percent choosing this response.
Leverage time management hacks such as identifying daily tasks and mapping out your day to make sure you get all your work tasks done in a timely manner.
Take on More Responsibilities and Ownership
Of the Americans who received raises in 2018, 12 percent said it’s because they willingly took on more responsibilities and ownership.
Young baby boomers (ages 55 to 65) were the least likely to give this as a reason, with 9 percent choosing this response; millennials (ages 25 to 34) were the most likely, with 16 percent choosing this response.
There are ways that anyone can act as a leader, even if you’re not the boss. Challenge yourself to do more and new types of work, and always be open to learning new things.
Have a Great Attitude and Work Well With Others
Being a people person can get you far at your job, at least according to the 14 percent of Americans who believe that having a great attitude and/or working well with the other people on their team is what led them to get a raise.
Women were much more likely to choose this reason than men, with 18 percent of women choosing this as the reason for their raise versus only 9 percent of men.
Having a positive attitude is one of the best ways to get your boss to love you, which in turn can help you get a pay raise. Chantal Wynter, an author, speaker and career coach, said some simple ways to convey a positive attitude are to smile more and offer compliments to your colleagues.
Women and Careers: More Than 20% of Women Changed Jobs for This Reason
Cost of Living Increases
Some companies automatically give raises due to cost of living increases, which is why 17 percent of Americans who got raises this year received a bump in their paycheck.
Young baby boomers (ages 55 to 64) are the most likely to work at a company with this perk, with 31 percent stating that this was the reason for their raise. Gen Z (ages 18 to 24) is the least likely to work at a company that gives cost-of-living raises, with only 4 percent choosing this as the reason for their raise.
Cost-of-living raises are likely necessary to maintain a standard of living — a recent GOBankingRates analysis found that the cost of living has increased 14 percent over the past three years.
Accomplish or Exceed Goals and Expectations
Most Americans who got a raise — 23 percent — said they got their salary increase because they accomplished or exceeded goals and expectations.
Millennials (ages 25 to 34) were the most likely to give this response, with 27 percent choosing this as the reason for their raise; older baby boomers (age 65 and older) were the least likely, with only 17 percent selecting this as the likely reason for their raise.
Some of the top tips for setting and achieving job goals are to break down goals into smaller steps, stay accountable and monitor your progress.
How to Get a Raise in 2019
If you’re wondering how to get a raise by end of year, the best way to do that, according to this survey, is to accomplish or exceed the goals and expectations that have been set for you by your boss.
Before you meet with your boss to discuss a potential raise, be sure to research salary ranges for your position, practice your pitch and be positive.
If it’s been a while since you got your last raise and don’t see any real possibility to get one, it might be time to start looking for another job. Click through to find out why Americans are quitting their jobs at record rates.
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- Watch: The Key to Negotiating a Higher Salary at Your Job
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About the Author
Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.