"Employees who ask their boss directly for a bonus are twice as likely to be successful in that request than last year, so making proactive, bold moves in 2017 could pay off, but one always needs to approach these conversations with care," said Accounting Principals president, David Alexander.
Let's say this courageous approach works and you suddenly find yourself with a handsome bonus — what now?
"First of all, if there's any debt to pay off, pay off debt— [such as] credit card bills or any high-interest credit," said Harvey Bezozi, CPA, and founder of YourFinancialWizard.com. "Unless it's debt on an asset that's going to produce wealth, debt on credit cards is very, very costly. You're not earning interest; you're paying interest."
If you're debt-free, Bezozi recommends investing in your education.
McBride agrees, especially if you want to snag one of those uncommon pay raises.
"In this competitive labor market, there's a premium on those who have unique skills, whether it's technology or particular knowledge or expertise — higher levels of education, [or] additional certifications. If you're looking for a pay increase, you've got to pursue those avenues to keep yourself relevant in the workplace. You have to distinguish yourself from your colleagues," he said.