A new year often brings resolutions for a new start. For many, that might mean a change in their professional lives like a raise, a promotion or maybe a new job.
If one of these is on your goals list, there are several ways you can prepare before having those conversations with your boss.
The workforce made a resilient comeback in 2021.
"People had a new option that wasn’t as available which was work from home," said Luis Portes, professor of economics at Montclair State University. "Now, with remote work, the labor market becomes again dynamic."
Portes said the current U.S. unemployment rate isn’t too far off from where it was in February 2020.
"It was 3.5%, now we are at 4.2%," he said.
Although the unemployment rate went down, inflation went up.
"Overall prices are rising, but also there’s a more dramatic shift in particular prices like energy, food and shelter," Portes said.
He said higher prices often lead to demands for higher wages.
If you’re planning to ask for a raise in the new year, experts say you should be prepared to show why you deserve it.
"List out your accomplishments, things you’ve done really well," suggested Brooke McCord, a career coach with Ama La Vida, a coaching company is based in Chicago. "You always want to focus on metrics. You know ways that you’ve contributed to the company or team because of your efforts."
McCord said the higher amount you’re asking for, the more you’ll have to show a raise is warranted.
"Have you taken on additional responsibility? Are you traveling a lot more?" she said. "Five to seven percent is normal. That’s a pretty good, decent raise, but asking for 10% or more is not unheard of.”
Whether it's a raise or a promotion you're seeking, McCord said put yourself in the manager’s shoes and consider the timing.
"Think about it more from what you’re bringing to the table. Think about it from a team, a company point of view," she said. "Did layoffs just happen? If layoffs just happened, then it may not be the best time."
McCord also suggests having some alternatives to negotiate with.
"Could I work remote three days, two days and then come into the office a few days? What about PTO, flex time, things of that nature," she said.
If a career change is what you’re set on, McCord say take some time to study the job posting.
"Tailor your resume to every job you’re applying for. Tailor your interview questions to every interview you’re going to," she said.
Whatever your professional goal may be this year, McCord said don't treat it casually and be prepared.
"Practice saying it out loud, you know, going through your spiel with a friend and getting feedback," McCord said.