As a result of the economic recession, most Americans have had to deal with rising expenses and housing costs while wages seem to have remained stagnant. It’s a tough pill to swallow when your food, rent, insurance and fuel costs have all gradually increased while your wages haven’t. Given your current financial position, sticking to a realistic and somewhat strict budget can be crucial, but it’s not the only answer.

If you’re stuck in a financial slump or feel like you’ll never get a raise or increase your income outside of your main job, there are plenty of conventional and non-conventional ways to secure a much needed pay raise.

Change Your Mindset

New mindset new result

The first step is changing your mindset. Money is often a taboo subject and asking for a raise can seem like a complicated or uncomfortable task. Flat out asking someone for a pay increase can really put people out of their comfort zones, but sometimes it’s the single most effective way to get a raise.

It’s important to change your mindset from believing that it’s ‘bad’ or ‘weird’ to want more money after you’ve been working somewhere for a while. You shouldn’t feel entitled, but rather humbled and eager to do more work and increase the value you can offer in order to get a pay raise.

Believing that you don’t deserve a raise or that people will think you are greedy or money-obsessed to even consider wanting one is not the right mindset to have if you want to move forward and develop your career.

When you implement some of these techniques, you’ll most likely find that securing a raise is a much simpler than what people let on.

Differentiate Yourself and Stand out from Others

Teamwork within the workplace is great. But when you think about it, the people who earn more, like managers and supervisors, have the ability to stand out from their peers and excel over them professionally. Whether you work independently or for a company, there’s always the opportunity to excel over others in your industry.

You can do this by going the extra mile and make your employers’ job easier by working efficiently, being dependable and being easy to communicate with. You may think that these sound like normal qualities that every professional should have, but that’s not always the case. You can stand out from your peers by developing great leadership qualities and proving to your employer that you are a person who they can rely on and trust.

When you establish yourself as an irreplaceable asset at work, it will be hard for your employer to refuse increasing your wages and they may even be just as eager as you are to grant you a raise for all your hard work and dedication.

Ask Your Employer

One of the most straightforward ways to secure a raise would be to just ask your employer. You might not want to walk up to them and demand a raise, but you can find the right time and an ideal situation to bring it up.

Leverage your annual review to discuss your performance and value to your employer. When the time is right, ask them about advancement opportunities and a salary increase. When you start working somewhere, you should make it clear at the beginning that you are interested in advancement opportunities and make sure your company offers generous pay raises to employees.

Once you realize that there’s room for growth in your company, work hard to showcase the value you offer and make yourself an irreplaceable asset to the team. You may even want to collect samples of tasks you’ve completed and the positive results that you’ve been able to generate to create a portfolio that you can show your employer to support the idea of giving you a raise.

Luckily, my full-time employer practically guarantees everyone a raise at the end of the year and I didn’t have to ask for one. I’ve also been on the other side of the fence when I worked a job for 3 years during college and never received a raise so I know how hard it can be to work up the courage to ask. But if you don’t ask, you may never get the opportunity to earn more.

Get a New Job

If the current job you have isn’t providing you with enough income to pay the bills and live comfortably, you can always get a new job. Even though the job market has been down after the recession, there are still plenty of individuals and companies looking to hire people for work.

Sometimes its just easier to find a new job if your current job isn't paying you well enoughIf you’re in the market for a new job, you should build your network and utilize the people in your circle to see if they have any job leads or if they can provide you with a referral. You can also check on sites like, and to search for available jobs.

Update your resume and have a friend or family member review it or you can even attend a local career-building workshop and pick up some interviewing tips and have a professional review your resume.

In order to ensure that you can negotiate a higher salary at your new position, you can also advance your skill set by acquiring more professional certifications in your field.

Give Yourself a Raise

If you don’t want to wait around for an annual raise at your job or apply to a new job in the hopes of increasing your wages, you can always give yourself a raise by establishing a side hustle or starting a business on the side of your current job.

There are so many things you can do to earn extra money whether it’s babysitting, selling your old items, tutoring, repairing things, freelancing or teaching others how to do something valuable. The list goes on and on.

I decided to give myself a raise when I started freelance writing earlier this year and it was the best thing I could have done to drastically increase my income. When you wait for an employer to give you a raise, you often limit how frequently you can get a raise along with the amount of money you can earn.

When you work for yourself by offering a product or service, you can also pitch yourself to more clients and customers if you want to make more money. Giving yourself is a raise is one of the best ways to become more in control of your earning potential.

Have you ever had to ask an employer for a raise? What is your favorite way to go about getting a raise?

Chonce Maddox
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