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1. Ask for a percentage. Step back and evaluate how you might increase value for your company. Can
you do something to bring more customers, increase visibility, expand offerings, boost efficiency? If so, write up a proposal outlining your idea, and suggest that if you manage to complete the project, the company could reward you by giving you a percentage of the increased revenue your efforts garner.
2. Ask for a bonus. If your boss says the company can’t afford to pay you more, ask for a bonus based on the company reaching certain benchmarks. This strategy is similar to asking for a percentage, except that your reward is tied to company performance, and it’s a one-time deal. Of course, it will be easier to win the proposition if you tie the bonus to your contribution. In other words, you get the bonus if the company does better and you can document the fact that you played a role.
3. Ask for telecommuting privileges. Now might be a great time to put forth the possibility of working from home part time. Why deal with the commute and a stagnant salary?
4. Negotiate with time instead of dollars. You can compensate for the lack of salary growth by creating a schedule you love, if your employer is willing. It can’t hurt to ask if you can tack on a week of vacation time, or come into work later or earlier, or shuffle your schedule to work only four days a week.
5. Up the training dollars. Your boss might not feel ready to risk giving you a salary boost, but you might be able to shake loose more money for professional development. If you approach your company with this idea, make sure you emphasize how the cost of the training will come back to them tenfold since it will help you to perform at a much higher level.