In a previous piece, we discussed how to make yourself stand out if you’re seeking employment during the impending “Great Resignation,” a 12-month span where about 55% of people in the workforce are likely to test the waters, according to a recent survey.
But what if you’re not seeking employment? What does all this turmoil mean for those who prefer to remain with their current employer rather than look elsewhere, yet still would like to improve their work-life balance, advance within the organization, or seek higher levels of compensation?
Well, you may have some added leverage in your conversations with your employer about those very issues. As Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick told CNBC in the article linked above, “If there ever were a time for someone to be in a position to make a reasonable request of their employers, this would be the time.”
Here are a few tips to consider if you’re looking to improve your situation with your current employer:
Seek Greater Responsibility
Have you been feeling undervalued? Like you have more to offer but haven’t been given the chance to highlight your true worth? Increased turnover may create the perfect opportunity to look for greater ways to demonstrate your skills and attributes – to show your impact and contributions to the bottom line.
In discussions with your boss, find out where help is needed, establish a clear mutual understanding on the roles and responsibilities you will be taking on, create a plan and options, and be sure to follow up and keep the lines of communications open for feedback. This could be your big break to demonstrate you are ready for further professional development, or possibly career advancement within the organization.
Pursue Upward Mobility
Maybe you are ready to move up the ladder. Maybe you are feeling stagnant in your current role – some organizations may have offered limited advancement opportunities as workers hunkered down during the pandemic. With those above you looking to move on, the vacancy you’ve been waiting for could come along.
Use your internal status to your advantage. First, talk to your supervisor about potential opportunities and your desire to be considered. Do your research on the requirements and responsibilities of the new job. Update your self-marketing products such as your professional biography, cover letter, résumé, and LinkedIn profile.
As you proceed on this path, remember:
- Do not get complacent in your current role. Continue to demonstrate your worth.
- Clearly articulate your value proposition to perform at higher levels of authority.
- Always remain professional – competing for an internal promotion should not sour your day-to-day interactions.
[RELATED: Treats, Not Tricks: 6 Tips for a Successful Salary Negotiation]
Consider Enhanced Working Conditions
Even before the pandemic forced a lot of employers to make major moves into the virtual environment, employees had been pushing for more flexibility in their work schedules. As we enter a new normal and some companies return to the office, you may have an opportunity to discuss a more flexible work environment with your supervisor or manager – a move that could greatly enhance your quality of life.
You have proven you can and will do the job, and you’ve been performing at high standards, regardless of in-person or virtual status. This may give you the leverage to seek adjusted hours, more family-friendly policies, health and wellness options, or greater remote and teleworking opportunities.
Land That Raise
Simple supply and demand: A labor shortage is resulting in “historically high wage growth,” Forbes.com reported recently. When it is harder to find talent, employers react by offering higher salaries.
Although your best chance at greater compensation often involves seeking employment elsewhere, the current market environment might make employers more receptive to retaining their high-performing workforce by offering increased salaries and enhanced benefits or quality-of-life policies (like those outlined above). Your time to ask may be now.
As a MOAA career transition consultant, my best advice is to be straightforward and direct with your request for salary increase. Some tips:
- Be sure to schedule an in-person meeting. Asking via e-mail comes across as delivering a list of demands.
- Keep the meeting conversational yet professional while specifically addressing your accomplishments and achievements and the value you offer the organization through the additional roles and responsibilities you execute. Then drive it home by illustrating your contributions toward the results and outcomes impacting the bottom line.
- Be prepared to support your case with proper documentation.
[RELATED: Get Help Articulating Your Value with MOAA’s Personalized Consultation Services (for Premium and Life Members)]
Yes, it is a great time to explore other opportunities, because employers are offering unprecedented incentives to attract new workers. But they also want to retain the ones they have: In fact, they would highly prefer to keep you rather than go through the hiring process and months of training and development in the hopes your replacement can one day contribute to their bottom line.
As a valued employee, you may find your leverage to enhance your current employment situation has never been stronger.
Trusted Advice From MOAA
Looking to explore other offerings? MOAA’s Transition and Career Center serves as a one-stop shop for a suite of resources, offering links to upcoming events, recorded webinars, member-exclusive programs and publications, the latest in transition news and guidance, and much more.