Can the Strong Job Market Help You Get a Raise?

By Daniel B. Kline

A green sign that says "salary increase just ahead" in front of blue skies.

1. Just ask

It sounds silly, but if you don’t speak up, your boss likely will assume that everything is great. Don’t just set up a meeting and ask for more money. Arrange an appointment and lay out a case for yourself.

List your accomplishments and why you should be paid more. It’s fine to mention that wages have gone up across your industry, but that should only be a small piece of your argument.

2. Don’t take no for an answer

If your boss tells you he or she believes your work doesn’t merit a raise, don’t let that stand. Ask for specific areas for improvement and for regular progress meetings.

In the case where you’re told “there’s no money in the budget,” ask for a promised raise to be worked into the next budget. If your boss agrees, try to get a specific amount negotiated or the promise of a meeting before budget season.

3. Gauge your worth

Look for a job with the idea that your preference would be to stay, but that you’re willing to leave. You may surprise yourself and find a much better situation. It’s also possible you’ll get a better offer that you can bring back to your current employer.

This isn’t a well to go to often, and it’s not one to undertake without considering the consequences. If you use this tactic, you may find that your employer doesn’t want you at a higher price — or that nobody is willing to pay you one.

4. Leave

In my first job, I went from a low-level part-time assistant to managing editor of a magazine in one move. As you might imagine, I was paid way less than the previous managing editor. Even though I received nice raises on a percentage basis, I still made much less than other comparable editors.

Since my boss wasn’t going to give me a $20,000 raise, my only real option was to leave. When I did, I got somewhere near market value because to the new company, I wasn’t a young kid who got a big job he may not have deserved. I was an experienced editor with a lot to offer.

Be your own advocate

It’s important to understand your worth and take an active role in managing your career. That doesn’t mean you have to job hop or eke out every nickel possible. Instead, find a company that values you and pays you a fair wage so that you can be professionally satisfied.

Mechanical Assembler/Piping (Huber Heights, OH)

What You’ll Do:

The essential job function is performing the assembly and disassembly of production machinery. This includes modifying existing customer products and building new products to customer specifications. You may, at times, need to travel to other sites to install production equipment or assist with troubleshooting.

What You’ll Need:

Associate’s Degree or equivalent experience

At least 5 years of capital equipment experience

Knowledge of hand tools

Must be able to stand, bend, push and lift up to 60 lbs with minimal difficulty.

Must be capable of mastering shop floor computer terminals and data recording

Must be able to adapt to changes without much notice

Hours: This is a 1st shift position from 7am – 3:30pm

About BARRYSTAFF:

The job search can be a pain. That’s why we’re here.

BARRYSTAFF has been putting people to work for over 30 years and remains the most successful locally-owned staffing agency in Dayton. With offices in Dayton, Piqua and Springfield, we specialize in industrial, clerical, and permanent placements. If you are looking for a new career, or if you are an employer looking for new talent, you are in the right place.

Welcome to BARRYSTAFF. Let’s go to work.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $17.00 to $25.00 /hour

Click here to apply via Indeed.com

You can also email your resume to a BARRYSTAFF recruiter at

recruiter@barrystaff.com