4 Surefire Ways to Get a Pay Raise in a Pandemic


The unprecedented economic nosedive we’re witnessing in the United States is just one example of the devastation the coronavirus has brought on the nation, with around 20.5 million lost jobs and the unemployment rate increasing to 14.7%. 

Despite these difficult times, employees can still haggle with their employers for better pay. As explained by Alexandra Carter, Columbia University law professor and “Ask for More” author: “On the one hand, times are very difficult for a lot of companies. On the other hand, it’s never been more important to spend each dollar wisely. And what I’m counseling people to do is to really make the argument about how they would be the wisest investment … at this particular moment.”

The biggest challenge in getting your much-deserved raise depends on how you ask. When pitching a pay increase at a time when many companies are struggling with the pandemic and an economic recession, employees must offer extraordinary opportunities to assist their employer in lowering costs while increasing revenues and improving customer satisfaction. 

Recognize your worth

The crucial step in negotiating for a raise, especially during tough economic times, is to know your worth. Do this by assessing your contribution to the company, what matters to you, your education, tasks, and experience. Have you applied remarkable ideas that reduced the company’s inefficiencies? How many new clients and new inked deals have you brought in? Also, consider if your promotion would enable your manager to unload responsibilities that would free up their time for more vital activities.

Video beats voice

While virtual negotiations can be tricky, remember that the more your bosses see you, the more that they trust you. If you’re gunning for a pay increase or better compensation, communicate virtually and do it with confidence. Negotiators must engage in conversation, promote rapport, show appropriate emotions, and ask clarifying questions. The human connection created by video calls will help you hit all of these key points. 

When your employer says “No”

It is important that you know what you want and why you want it. This way, you can easily transition into getting sufficient alternatives. In times of financial stress, a higher salary might be tough to secure, but there are other alternatives to meet your needs for recognition. Having options will give you the ability to be determined without being hostile to the other party. And if a promotion or a raise is simply out of the question at this time, you can still bargain for other things, such as extra vacation days and health benefits after the coronavirus is over. Carter believes that employees and their company can always “come together to produce value.”

On hearing a victorious “Yes!”

Some negotiations end in an impasse, with both parties leaving frustrated and disappointed. This happens when a boss’s hands are tied by certain rules and is especially likely when the economy is overwhelmed with budget crisis and recession. However, research shows that replacing highly skilled employees can cost up to two times their yearly salary. To prevent a stalemate, get ready to present a yes-able option. You might arrange a raise (or bonus) that is linked to the accomplishment of a specific objective. For example, “if my project of reducing production costs succeeds, I believe it would be fair to receive a bonus of 10-15% of the overall savings.”