Worst New Year's resolutions

Receiving a 25% raise

You’re tired of spending 40 hours a week in a cubicle for an average wage and vowed to snag a 25% salary increase in 2013. Guess what? Even top performers are netting far less.

A 2012 survey conducted by consulting firm Mercer found that, while the top 8% of the workforce can expect raises of 4.5% in 2013, most of the workforce will get a 2.4% increase.

"You have to be realistic, (and) a 25% raise isn’t realistic,” says career coach DeAnne Pearson.

Smart solution: Think beyond dollars and cents.

Pearson believes you should negotiate for additional compensation (use an online salary calculator like the Wall Street Journal's Salary Wizard to determine average compensation in your field) and be prepared to offer specific examples of how your performance warrants a raise.

But do not ignore extras like health benefits, tuition reimbursement and vacation time. Companies are often willing to pair salary increases with nonmonetary compensation to retain their employees.

"Those extras have a lot of value that can help boost your total compensation package," Pearson says.

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