Asking for a raise now may seem like career suicide, but you might have more leverage than you think, said Eilene Zimmerman in Moneywatch.com. Salary increases at many firms may be nonexistent, but variable payments—such as bonuses and profit sharing—have never been more common. Managers seem to recognize the need to get creative when they want to hold on to top talent. If you’ve picked up work from laid-off employees, you’re now worth more to the company. “And if there’s a hiring freeze in place, so much the better.”
When a raise is out of the question, some employees are asking for more vacation time instead, said Chip Cutter in the Associated Press. Be strategic about such a request. Prepare an explanation of why you’ve earned the extra time—longer hours, say, or extra travel—and how the company will benefit from your paid time off. You’ll increase the odds of success by asking for time during slow periods or requesting “small chunks of time,” such as Friday afternoons. Just be careful what you wish for. Taking those extra vacation days could make you more vulnerable to layoffs.
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