How Do Design Engineers Negotiate a Salary Increase in a Recession?

Getting a Raise as a Design Engineer in a Recession

A design engineer asking for a raise in a recession. Sounds like a silly idea, doesn’t it? Well, not necessarily. As a design engineer, if you think you are in a position to ask for a raise you may just get it, even in this economy.

According to a survey from Infrastructure, and Harris Poll, the biggest reason people leave their job is because of money. Employers want to keep hold of their most talented employees. They know that as a top design engineer, if you don’t feel that you are getting the pay you deserve, you may jump ship for a higher-paying role elsewhere.

If you are unsure of how to navigate asking your manager for a raise, these tips will help you make an informed decision and successfully negotiate a salary increase.

Timing Matters

When negotiating a raise, timing matters.

Normally, the best time to approach your manager about a salary increase is before annual budgets are set. This will give your manager the ability to submit your pay increase as part of the team budget for the coming year.

A bad time to ask is on a Monday morning. The week is starting, and your manager is likely to be extra busy planning the week to come. There may also be issues that have arisen over the weekend and that need attending to.

Assess Your Most Recent Contributions

When asking for a raise, you should go ready with evidence to support your claim for higher pay. Review what contributions you have made to the team, and the positive effects your efforts have produced.

You may have noticed an issue with a product and developed a solution that could be rolled out quickly, improving productivity by several percentage points.

Perhaps you have always delivered projects on time and on budget.

You may have improved the communication between departments, implemented better time management procedures, or headed a team coaching that improved brainstorming and innovation.

Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t let your ego overtake you – show that you are a team player who adds to the team’s effectiveness.

Take evidence of your stellar performance with you and use this to support your request for a salary negotiation. It is hard to argue against an evidence-based request – especially if you can convert your contribution into positive numbers that have benefited your team and your employer.

Be Aware of Company Layoffs

Do you work at a company that recently experienced layoffs or furloughs? Have other design engineers lost their jobs due to the pandemic? If the answer is yes, then now may not the time to be asking for a salary increase.

Let the dust settle and wait a few months. Then, reappraise. It’s better to have a clean slate for when you approach the subject of pay. Laying people off is usually a sign that there is not much money to go around; however, you can increase the overall value of your compensation package without asking for more money.

 Money Isn’t Everything

Money may be what you are looking to come out with at the end of the negotiation, but if you can’t get it, don’t leave empty-handed.

Have another request ready to substitute if money is simply not on the table due to the current recession. Your company budget may not be able to stretch to the salary increase you are seeking. However, you may be able to leave with other benefits.

Some things you can think about asking for include:

  • Better health, medical and dental benefits
  • Childcare stipend
  • Work-from-home days
  • Leaving the office early on Fridays

To Sum Up

Asking for a raise in your design engineer job during a recession might seem like an impossible task, but in some cases it might be possible. If you are a hard-working employee and make serious contributions to your company, your manager will want to retain your services.

Make your case logically, showing how you are an asset to your company, and approach negotiations tactfully.

If you don’t get the salary increase you believe you deserve, it’s might be time to start looking for a new job. For a confidential chat about your options, contact Loyal Source.

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