I like the “ask for a raise” option. With the economy picking up and corporate balance sheets showing generally strong performance and, for many large companies, near record profits, it’s time for some of that profit to go to the people who make it possible. Benefits have been cut, time off has been nearly eliminated, and less people are expected to do more work, all in the name of increased productivity. At the same time, while C-level compensation has soared, the majority of us have experienced stagnant wages. That harms motivation, creates negative attitudes towards employers and ultimately I believe it will harm companies. So I think I will do them a favor and provide a pathway to increased motivation and company loyalty by asking for a raise next year.