Careers

45% of people who quit their jobs wanted a raise—here's the exact right time to ask for one

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Roughly 45 percent of employees who quit their jobs list salary as the No. 1 reason, according to a Glassdoor survey. Luckily for job-seekers today, the tight labor market presents advantageous conditions for negotiating your pay.

"Employers don't have the same ability to be as picky as they were five to six years ago," Martha Gimbel, Director of Economic Research at Indeed, tells CNBC Make It. "If you are looking to walk into your boss's office to ask for a raise, now is probably a pretty good time."

Right now, a record number of workers are quitting their jobs in the hopes of getting a raise. CNBC Make It spoke with Monster.com career expert Vicki Salemi about why timing your request correctly is essential.

Here's how to do that — and what to do if you don't get what you want.

Consider your tenure

If you just started a new job, or if you're at the same job and starting a new role, Salemi says you should wait at least six months before asking for a raise. Anything sooner, she says, is "not enough time for you to prove yourself as a valuable asset to the company."

Once you hit the six-month mark, she says there's no bad time to initiate a salary conversation. Even if you're unsure about your company's financial standing, she says, you should still move forward with having a discussion about your pay.

"Let's say your company is merging and they didn't do any layoffs, but they also aren't going to do any raises this year," Salemi says. "You can go to your boss knowing that it may not happen, but still show that you're an advocate for yourself."

Find out when your company reviews compensation

In addition to waiting at least six months, Salemi says you should also find out when your company's salary review process is.

"Let's say your fiscal year begins Jan. 1," she says, "and salary review conversations are Nov. 1 through Nov. 30. If you approach your boss on Dec. 2 and say you want an annual raise your boss may say, 'I wish you approached me earlier, because the annual budget adjustments are closed.'"

To avoid missing your opportunity, Salemi recommends asking your boss or HR manager about the time-frame when salary increases are decided. If your company isn't transparent about this information, then she says you may want to consider that a red flag about the organization's structure and leadership.

"Let's say you do miss that window and you are not aware that there was that small window for salary reviews," she says. "You still need to have that conversation, because it plants a seed with your boss and they may say, "You know, they are worth more. Let me see if I can do a mid-year raise.'"

Decide what you'll do if your raise is rejected

If your company is on a tight budget, it may be hard to successfully negotiate a pay increase. But that doesn't mean you can't discuss other perks and benefits.

College and career coach Kat Cohen says you should look at your compensation holistically when negotiating your pay. "This means reviewing the retirement savings, paid time off, commuter benefits and whatever other benefits are offered," she says.

In the event that neither a pay increase nor a benefits adjustment can be made, then experts say your next best option is to start looking for a new job. According to Brian Kropp, vice president at research firm Gartner, workers who quit their old job for a new job see an average increase of 15 percent in compensation.

"You're never going to get that 15 percent [increase] by staying at your current job," he says. "That's just not going to happen."

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