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Talent Talk: Employees — You Are the CEOs of Your Career

Image: Alamy/Roberrt Hyrons man leaning on CEO desk
It’s a good time to ask for a raise — the economy and plastics industry generally are booming — but you will need to be your own advocate.

Last week we looked at some possible New Year’s resolutions for hiring managers and human resources professionals. As an employee, here is what you need to know. First, an excerpt from last week’s column that applies to employers and employees alike:

“The final numbers are not in yet, but recent data show that energy prices were up around 60% in 2021, used cars and trucks over 30%, and housing close to 20%. During that same year, the average salary or wage increase was about 4%. Our anecdotal evidence is that passive candidates open to a job change are expecting, and getting, 10 to 25% bumps right now.”

Consider asking for a raise if you did not get one because of the COVID recession, or if your salary increases have lagged in general the past few years. Our economy and the plastics industry generally are booming. We are also in a candidate-driven environment. You just might need to be your own advocate. Do a little research to see where you are at relative to your industry peers and justify what you ask for rationally.

In case you get fired for asking for a raise, make sure your resumé is up to date. I’m just kidding — you will not get fired for professionally asking for an increase, but you should update your resumé, especially if you have been with your company for a while and are not actively looking. Over time, your accomplishments tend to fade away, and updating the resumé once a year is a good way to refresh your own memory and document the contributions you have made to the organization.

Update your LinkedIn profile. When you update your resumé, you have all the information you need to spruce up your on-line business card, which is LinkedIn. This will help people find you for any number of reasons — high school and college reunions, community groups, professional organizations, and so on. And it is the number one way that a company or recruiter initially might see your background.

Make sure any other places you appear on the web (like Facebook) portray you in a professional light, or change your settings so that a potential employer cannot see you. These sites are fair game for companies, as the information is available to the public.


About the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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